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Sales: Is there a Light Switch in this Big, Dark Room?


Sales: Is there a Light Switch in this Big, Dark Room?

Imagine you are in a huge warehouse that is dark and has no windows. You are told there is a light switch in here somewhere.

Go find it!

That is what being a sales person is like! How would you solve that puzzle?

Probably your instincts would tell you to break the problem into smaller parts and start by searching the perimeter. Notice you have start by creating a system, this is what we do as humans.

This metaphor is very much like the job of a sales person, go find and close a client in this sea of people.

This is a big dark room full of obstacles like:

  • Targeting the prospect
  • Getting past the gatekeepers and voice mail barriers to meet the prospect.
  • Disarming the defensive nature of people to hide the truth so you can have an open conversation
  • Finding a problem to fix or compelling reason for someone to buy what you have
  • Determining if they are willing and able to spend the money needed to fix the problem
  • Exploring the nature and process of decision making and who else is involved
  • Preparing a proposal, quotation or statement of work that is convincing
  • Proving that you can and are the best solution to fix the problem they have, with a presentation, demo or sample project.
  • Making sure you set up the relationship for long-term success.

Over the next several posts I want to share my thinking about each of these phases of selling because they have their own unique challenges, and if you don’t solve each phase you will never find the light switch! (ie. Close a deal.)

“Your Money Hang-ups Block Your Sales”

You have just spent 30-35 minutes bonding and discovering what your prospects needs and pains are, now you know it’s time to explore money resources. What happens next? Do you dive in or do you start to think, “This is awkward, or I can tell they have the money, or it would seem pushy if we discussed money this early”?

If you ever find yourself avoiding the money conversations with self talk that has any variant of what I have listed, you are normal! Most of the executives and sales people that coach will have something they avoid in this realm. There are 2 common or primary reasons for this avoidance pattern:

Childhood Programming

It has been proven that most of your thinking patterns are developed by your upbringing as a child. This programming has caused you to respond to be culturally appropriate, so that you don’t offend, be rude or say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Money conversations are not easy in the best of cases and add programming and thinking like:

  • “money doesn’t grow on trees”
  • “ We don’t discuss Money”
  • “ It’s rude to discuss a person’s income”

This thinking builds an unconscious barrier in the mind that is hard to cross. So in turn you avoid it.

Finding “Excuses and Justification”

Oh, these people have tons of money because the marble is on the walls and the floors. Just because people spend money on the “SHOW” of the business doesn’t mean they value the problem you are helping them solve or spend money to fix it. We sometimes will make excuses and justify why we shouldn’t discuss money.

When you think it is wrong to discuss whether someone is able or willing to spend the money, because “we don’t want them to feel bad, or put pressure on them”, whatever you say after the word “because”, is the excuse and justification.

As a sales professional; knowing that a client is willing and able to spend the amount of money to get the help they need is important to discuss.

When do you want to know, they can’t afford it or won’t use the monies to solve this issue, before or after the hours of travel, proposals and presentations?

Posted by Mike Toney / Posted on 03 May
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