Are Prospects Pressuring You? Don’t Make these 3 Mistakes!
In December, I spend time contemplating what I did well and what I did poorly throughout the year. I consider 4 buckets: health, finance, professional growth, and value-added to my community. My process of contemplation involves a quiet space, a pen, a pad of paper, and a cigar. I will also put my calendar on the big screen to help with memory. I have a set of objective criteria and a couple of subjective criteria for each bucket.
This isn’t a unique process, I know. However, this year my win rate went up – 9%. I improved my performance under pressure. I performed better under pressure because I planned better, and I practiced more. This got me thinking about how salespeople respond to prospects when they feel under pressure. Many salespeople become emotional when they hear objections, get asked tough questions by a prospect, or told something that triggers them. When this happens, those who cannot control their emotions can make one or more of these mistakes.
- They become defensive
- They become offensive
- They say something unrelated to the prospect’s issue
Whatever the reaction, salespeople tend to lose control of the meeting, and the prospect becomes uncomfortable and doesn’t want to do business with them. One of the 21 Critical Core Competencies is Controls Emotions which is part of the salesperson’s Sales DNA. Salespeople can make improvements in this area sometimes by just being aware of the weakness, but it is difficult to change.
So, what’s the solution? We recommend sales managers work on this with salespeople by doing role-plays around objections and difficult conversations. Practice! Practice!! Providing salespeople with tools to help is critical to changing behavior. One technique we coach is to simply pause and acknowledge the prospect’s position is real and needs to be addressed. This takes the air out of the balloon. Next, asking a series of questions meant to better understand the concern. Dig in and uncover the prospect’s concerns; in other words, take the emotion out of the situation.
- Understanding a salesperson’s hidden weaknesses will accelerate the changes needed.
- Sales managers must be coaching at least 50% of their time.
- Preparation for meetings. Role-plays and practice must be part of the coaching culture of the sales organization.
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With 30+ years of experience in business development, sales, sales coaching, and sales management positions, Walter has gained a deep understanding of, and rare insight into managing and implementing a sales process. His unique, best-in-class sales assessment tools and CRM software have proven to be exactly what businesses need to transform their sales team and process.
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