It has been said desperate people do desperate things. As a sales professional, do you? Let’s try something…Close your eyes and recall this image from your past: Remember seeing ducks just smoothly gliding on top of the water? Pretty relaxing right? However, did you stop to think about what is going on underneath? It could not be more chaotic; with the constant churning and paddling to make the gliding possible.
This can even be an illusionist’s trick, and one you as a sales person must master. In trying to close or negotiate a deal, frustration will always be part of the mix. How you deal with the frustration is how the tempo of your close will go. Clients do not like to be rushed, but they do need to be prodded sometimes.
In order to keep things gliding smoothly along without showing any level of frustration, you must be constantly paddling, though you don’t have to be going at a constant 0-100 break-neck speed all the time. The one thing all salespeople see themselves at a disadvantage over, is time. In fact, some consider it a liability and this can lead to desperation. I completely disagree with those that do; but only if it is accompanied by a plan of attack. In other words, if you don’t have a plan, it is a liability, a big one! One thing I am adamant about is having a plan. I wrote this article about the benefits of having a game plan.
Time is a liability if you don’t have a plan. This is because when you enter into the negotiation stage and you are pressed to make your numbers, you will be at an instant disadvantage. The moment you view this as a liability in your sales cycle is the moment you just gave the upper hand to your buyer (client). When you become desperate in your dealings with customers, it comes through loud and clear on their end. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is twice as difficult to stuff it back in.
So how do you keep from coming off as being or sounding desperate? Here are a few items that work, but keep in mind that for most sales people these concepts are extremely foreign and difficult to grasp. So much so, I wager that only 3 in 10 sales people reading this article will really understand the concept. That’s ok, this is more for the managers in the audience. Nevertheless, if you want to reach the level of your manager you will need to be a little more open-minded and grasp these concepts. I’m not asking you to endorse them, just understand them. So here are some things to try:
- Build a plan that is inclusive of the buying process of your customer. This replaces trying to accelerate the process in order to make your numbers. Did I mention to make a plan? This allows you to forecast the closure date accurately.
- Time sensitive sales closures should be tied back to cause and effect and the consequences for inaction.
- Manage your tunnel digging before you have to use it. The closer you get to final negotiations, people become less talkative. This is not the time to be trying to reach the approvers. This should have already been done early in the sales process. Doing it now makes you look desperate.
I will end part 1 with this: You must ooze confidence from the moment you first meet the client all the way to the end. A keen negotiator will look for any kink in your armor. Remember the duck; paddle like heck, but glide smoothly.
I will follow-up with Part 2 and cover some additional techniques that will enable you to project the confidence necessary to reach the levels of attainment meant for the very elite of the sale force!
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Great article Ed. I find salespeople do come off sounding desperate but also quite unsure of themselves. Maybe the pressure?
Love the analogy of the paddling duck!
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