They're Just Not That Into You
"Your prospects are not telling you the truth," says Stanfill. "It's not that they are really lying to you, it's just that they are not telling you the whole story. Is that their fault or yours? It's yours. In this economy our biggest challenge as sales consultants may be getting to the truth and finding the real opportunities. Let me illustrate."
"Recently a friend called to ask me about my interest in partnering with him to buy a house in a very expensive development near the beach. Here's the reality (a key word) - although I would love to buy a lot in this development, I have absolutely zero ability to pull that off right now. But here's what I said, "Jim that sounds great. I've always loved that development. Why don't you look further into it and see what you find. Do you think we could get a deal?"
Why would I say that if I had zero ability to invest in a vacation home? For the same three reasons your prospects act interested in your solution when they have little or no ability to fund it:
--Pride. Pride keeps me from being honest about my actual resources or, in the case of your prospects, their power to access the resources or influence people in the organization
--Conflict avoidant. It's just easier to go along with the conversation than to deal with any potential conflict that may arise by telling the truth.
--Sincere desire for the offer. I really would like to buy a vacation home. So, just like your prospects, my desire for the vacation was more enjoyable to discuss than focusing on the likelihood of funding it.
"There is only one reason the prospect would be completely candid - to help you," explains Stanfill. "And it's just not that common to bump into a prospect whose focus is to make sure you don't waste your time."
"The bottom line is, regardless of the reason, we do not have the luxury of operating on half-truths. If my friend Jim had asked a couple of simple questions, he would have quickly learned I was not going to invest in the beach home."
Tom Stanfill is the CEO of Aslan Sales Training. Aslan helps organizations that primarily prospect, sell and manage customers using the telephone. Download their free whitepaper, The Seven Barriers to Inside Sales Success.
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