- February 21, 2017
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
Disclaimer: This is not a political post even though I quoted someone with a political opinion. The entire article is about sales.
On my way to the office, I was listening to the News when they cut to a diner in Jacksonville, Florida to interview some of the patrons there. One of the people interviewed was Stanley, a Veteran who said he had two messages he wanted to share. He said, “To the media, don’t make in-depth assumptions from shallow observations. And to the obstructionist democrats, we have a saying in the military. When the horse dies, dismount and quit riding that dead horse.”
I might not have nailed his quote word for word, but I’m sure I captured the gist of it. Just think of the sales lessons that can be taken from this! The short video below is from the interview and below that I will share some lessons for the sales profession.
Don’t Make In-Depth Assumptions of Shallow Observations. Salespeople make more assumptions of a prospect’s buying potential and readiness than you can imagine. They observe what appears to be interest and then, instead of uncovering their compelling reasons to buy, thoroughly qualifying and building a case, they assume the prospect is “good” and will “probably” do business, hastily create a proposal, forecast the business to close, and then spend most of their time in the act of futile and ineffective follow-up. Result? Dead opportunity.
When The Horse Dies, Dismount. Salespeople with nothing but dead opportunities in their pipeline are pretty much dead themselves. We are seeing inadequate pipelines in many companies and there are multiples reasons for it. They include, but aren’t limited to:
- Lack of accountability
- Lack of clear expectations
- Confusion over whose job it is to find new opportunities
- Unwillingness to make cold calls
- Over-reliance on social selling
Salespeople who include their dead opportunities in the pipeline are reluctant to archive them for several reasons. They include, but aren’t limited to:
- Fear of letting go
- Repurcussions of an empty pipeline
- The reality that without those opportunities they will have to prospect
- Fear of rejection
- Alternate facts
- Lack of Commitment
- Poor Outlook
- Ineffective Hunting skills
I believe that Stanley shared two great, shallow quotes that deserve more in-depth analysis!
Speaking of News, here are some other things you should be aware of.
My thoughts and a fantastic Wharton School of Business video on why sales leaders fear predictive assessments appear on LinkedIn Pulse. Read and watch it here.
Earlier today, I presented a 30-minute session on how OMG’s Tailored Fit is not only different from benchmarking, but makes benchmarking silly and unnecessary. It was very fast-moving, had lots of data, a good story line and a sneak peak at the magic of the OMG sales selection tool.