Many believe that sales is some kind of magical talent given to only a select few. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If someone has the discipline to follow a process, they can sell…as long as they utilize the right process. Everything most business owners and salespeople “know” about sales and sales process might just be wrong. The tools, data and resources needed to study and understand sales and how people really make decisions were unavailable until fairly recently.
WHAT ARE SOME COMMON SCENARIOS?
If we look at some common prospect behaviors that drive salespeople absolutely bonkers, we can identify new solutions to help avoid them.
First, there are the disappearing prospects. Salespeople who feel good about a sales scenario are often surprised when the prospect falls off the face of the earth. Their prospect doesn’t return emails, phone calls or even text messages, leaving the salesperson stunned and their pipelines destroyed. In any type of sales, this scenario is not uncommon.
Another common scenario is one in which prospects don’t tell the salesperson the whole truth. These white lies can be about various things such as how decisions are made, what people or things will influence buying decisions, or how they are being impacted personally by their current situation. But the problem is that the less a salesperson knows, the less likely they will be able to craft the appropriate solution to help the prospect. Unfortunately for both parties, this often leads to a lose/lose outcome.
WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?
As frustrating as these behaviors can be, sales professionals cannot blame their prospects. It’s not their fault. If a prospect’s behaviors are dysfunctional, it’s a sign that the sales process, tactics and techniques being used are dysfunctional. When a salesperson gets undesired prospect responses, it’s only because that salesperson is approaching the sales scenario the wrong way.
I’ll explain. Why do prospects disappear in the middle or at the end of a sales process? Prospects hide when they feel like no matter what they say or do they will be pressured into a “yes.” You see, when a prospect goes dark, it’s because they don’t feel they can comfortably say no. This also happens to be one of the reasons why prospects sometimes mislead salespeople or omit information. They are afraid that any concern or objection they have will be met by a salesperson trying to overcome that objection and that any information they divulge could be used against them.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
So, how can a salesperson overcome objections? Unfortunately, they can’t. Only prospects can get over their own objections. It’s the salesperson’s job to help them do that through strategic questioning. If a salesperson doesn’t know what a prospect’s concerns or objections are, they cannot help them overcome them, and deals will die.
Everything most businesses “know” about sales is possibly wrong. Through the use of fMRI technology, neuroscience, behavioral economics, psychology and other social sciences, biology and genetics, we now have a much better idea of how people actually make buying decisions. Armed with this knowledge, and some simple sales tools, we can easily find a prospect’s internal motivation and create an urgency within that prospect to take action. Many salespeople are still selling the “old” way, but if a business desires to change their sales results, they must start with their sales process.