No, in all of these instances, we have a plan – a system – that ensures our goals are achieved in an efficient and effective manner. And yet so, so many sales professionals leave their sales career in the arms of chance.
The 5% Solution
Despite all of these examples, chance sometimes works. About 5% of the time, just being in the right place at the right time by chance will get you a sale. Although this pretty much ensures one never gets very far, many people are okay with that success rate. However, it is a more intelligent move to have a system than to settle for a less than stellar success rate.
Recognizing the most fundamental truth of any sales/prospect encounter is the first step: You’re coming to the dance with opposing goals, in a sense. Yes, there is mutual benefit to have, but at the basic level, the prospect doesn’t want to spend any more money than they have to for your expertise and products. You want to not just make a single sale, but begin a long-term relationship that will benefit both of you. By dumb luck and sheer chance, you’ll always hit that 5% number. But, as your prospects pick your brains and then tell you they have to “think about it,” you’ll also be manipulated into giving away “free consulting.”
Lead the Dance
Controlling the conversation and leading the dance is the key to having a successful system. We all know what it feels like when you’re not leading the conversation:
- The prospect tells you very little about their goals or needs.
- The prospect gets you to tell them everything you know.
- The prospect vanishes with a vague non-commitment to get back to you – someday.
When contemplating a system to counter the prospect’s resistance and manipulation, you have to consider the following goals of any sales system:
- It should establish “ground rules” between the two of you about your expectations for the meeting.
- It should establish a relationship between you and the prospect quickly, doing away with adversarial “salesman” and “customer” roles.
- It should reveal to you your prospect’s needs or “pain points” that you can probe to your advantage.
- It should guide you towards crafting a solution to those “pain points” you can offer up as a powerful “close.”
Just thinking in terms of a system can improve your sales game immeasurably. Never leave your sale prospects to chance again – start working on a system today.