Happy Ears or an Empty Sales Pipeline?

Very often, when an opportunity dies, salespeople will ask their managers or me for help.

After debriefing, when it’s clear that the opportunity is hopeless, and the salesperson continues to ask for help, still wants to schedule another meeting, and still wants to reach out and get it moving again, there are usually three factors at play. The salesperson either:

  1. Has happy ears and believes he heard something to give him hope.
  2. Doesn’t understand compelling reasons, qualifying, or both.
  3. Has very few opportunities in the pipeline to fall back on.

With new salespeople, my money is usually on #2.

With veteran salespeople, my money is usually on #3.

With all salespeople, #1 is usually a constant.

When you debrief a salesperson who has just experienced the death of an opportunity, it’s important that you don’t perpetuate their belief that something can be resurrected out of this disaster.  Instead, insist that the salesepeople find some new opportunities to work on and hold them accountable.