Whether or not you sell with a system, prospects will always buy with a system. The prospect system of buying is called the:
Hide, Cheat & Steal System of Buying.
Here’s how it works:
Prospects will hide from sales people that they deem low value by any means necessary in order to avoid a direct confrontation. One of my clients told me how a prospect’s secretary once told him that the prospect was going to be in the hospital for a few months. My client, sent over a get well card right away. Two weeks later, my client saw that same prospect at an industry meeting. My client went up to the prospect and asked how he was feeling. The prospect had no idea what my client was talking about! Lies! The reality is that many of us are probably guilty of this one ourselves, so ask yourself why you do this. It’s because you perceive the sales person to be of no value to you and will very likely try to put you in some fancy headlock close technique.
Prospects will cheat in order to gain any advantage with sales people. The funny thing about this one is that we sales people have allowed this one to happen forever! Imagine playing a sport against an opponent you knew was cheating, but instead of doing anything about it, you simply play game after game, losing each time because the opponent cheated. Nobody would do that, but sales people do it all the time. Think of all the times that you had a sales meeting, at the end of which you scheduled a follow up call, and then the prospect was never to be heard from again. Knowing what I know now, I do not understand why sales people put up with this.
Finally, prospects steal from us all the time. There is information that our prospects want, and would readily pay for in the form of consulting (Boston Consulting Group just down the street from me brought in over $3 Billion last year), but we foolish salespeople give it away day after day just hoping that something will come back in return. What salespeople are really doing is lowering their perceived value to the prospect by giving away all this high value information for free. And sales people are willing do it over and over again. Just the other day, I was talking to one of my coaching clients about a prospect of his from a while back (before we began working together) that he had gone through an entire sales cycle with only, in the end, to lose the deal because the prospect decided to do the project in-house. My client had given him invaluable information and free-consulting to end up with nothing.
Then just the other day, the prospect called him up to ask for another proposal on a new project. My client was bragging about how, rather than jumping at the opportunity to do more free-consulting, he brought him through our Game Plan Selling System and was able to get paid up front for the proposal. Most sales people would have jumped right back at the opportunity to get abused and cheated by the prospect all over again. Say this with me now aloud, “No more!” You are an expert, stop letting people treat you like anything but an expert.
By Marc Wayshak, America’s Sales Coach on Game Plan Selling and Sales Trainer Boston.
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