Old-school selling prescribes doing everything in one’s power to avoid the dreaded “no.” So what happens is that sales-people spend half of their time just following up on prospects stuck in their pipelines.
Think about your current pipeline of prospects right now. Let’s pretend you hired me to call those prospects and say the following:
“Hello [Prospect’s Name], my name is Marc Wayshak and I’m looking for feedback on your connection with [Your Name]. Please be brutally honest. Do you have any intention of working with [Your Name]?”
My guess is that most of the prospects in your current pipeline would tell me they have no intention of working with you. But, people hate confrontation, so they lead us on. It’s a terrible waste of everyone’s time, but it’s not the prospects fault.
Salespeople, by trying to get prospects to tell them “yes,” set themselves up to waste time with prospects who never intended to work with them in the first place but were too “nice” to just say “no.” There is an old truism in sales that goes like this: “People hate a sales pitch, but they love buying stuff.”
We all love to buy. I could spend hours in stores like Best Buy, Home Depot or Target. I love buying all sorts of things, but the second I believe that I’m being sold, I don’t enjoy it anymore.
By making it a goal to disqualify prospects, suddenly your pipeline consists of only viable potential clients. And it shrinks dramatically.
This gives you much more time to focus on finding new prospects, whether it’s by finishing that marketing campaign you’ve been putting off, making more prospecting calls or asking current clients for introduction.
Do you have junk in your sales pipeline that you need to clean out?
Written by Marc Wayshak, author of Game Plan Selling. He runs much of his sales training in Boston, MA