The best thing about a superstar salesperson? Her competitive spirit. She loves to win. But, more importantly, she hates to lose. Can’t stand it!
We love competitiveness. A top 3 quality for sales studs & studettes. Show us somebody that abhors losing a game of cards, a game of racquetball, a game of corn-hole (or a parking spot for that matter) & you can be sure that person will do her damnedest to not lose the deal. We’ll take her on our sales team any day of the week. That’s a winner.
The salespeople that hate to lose will do what it takes to win deals. They fight. They dig. They’re impatient. They have that figure-it-out-factor that we wish we could teach.
But, wait. Impatient? Yes, impatient. A fine quality in rock star salespeople. Unless that impatience causes them to take shortcuts. It happens often. Short-cuts can be the death of a deal & ultimately the death of the salesperson’s career.
If you have been in sales for longer than a month, then you know that time kills deals. It does. Superstar salespeople know this, too. They don’t want anything to get in the way of them & the finish line. Sometime this comes at the expense of dotting all of their i’s & crossing all of their t’s. They rush, take short-cuts & try to out-smart the process. When that happens, the deal can de-rail. You’ve seen it happen – some all-too-often.
You know the feeling when your competitor “steals your deal?” The feeling when the rug is pulled right out from under you? The feeling when you ask yourself WTF? That’s the time to ask yourself the question: Did I take any short-cuts? It takes a strong person to admit it as most would make excuses. Here are 4 signs:
4 Signs You’re Taking Short-cuts in Sales:
1. You feel the urge to hang up the phone before “they” do (rushing)
How often do you rush on the phone? Sometimes you feel like you are being rushed by your prospect or customer. Other times it’s you doing the rushing. Either way – not good. Your ability to hang in there, ask all the questions & give your prospect the feeling that you “get them” is critical. This is where true solution-providers separate themselves from the pack. Anyone can rush. You need the discipline to hang in there & learn.
2. You set very weak Ground Rules (expectations)
If you are not crystal clear about what’s happening every step of the way during your sales process, you may be taking short-cuts in the Ground Rules department. You should always know the answer to these questions:
1. What is my prospect doing next?
2. What am I (we) doing next?
3. When is our next meeting or phone call?
4. What is the purpose of that meeting?
5. Who will be in attendance at that meeting?
6. Wh0 is calling who back? (& the answer is you are making the call)
7. What happens after we prepare a quote or proposal?
8. Are they making a decision & when will they be making it?
3. You rush through the Qualifying Questions (if you ask any at all)
1. Problem/Pain Point: This is by far the biggest short-cut taking area. Many salespeople fail to ask all the necessary questions to uncover the prospect’s real problem or pain. Most stop at the first sign of a problem, brush it with broad strokes & think they have pain. Not pain. Usually, it’s barely a symptom, let alone compelling pain.
2. Budget (money conversation): When a prospect says, “we have the money’ or, “don’t worry, money is not an issue” that’s the time to worry. That definitely does not mean they are “qualified” for budget. You need to find out 2 things relative to money. One: Is there money to pay for your product/service? Two: How are you going to get it?
3. Decision making process: Just because your contact is Carl, & he returns your calls, & says he’s “the man”, does not mean he can say YES to the deal. Often, Carl can only say NO. No short – cuts here. You must ask this question, “How do decisions like this get made here, & who is involved?”
4. You ask for the business before its time
There is nothing worse than working with a desperate salesperson. Desperate salespeople rush to the close. Desperate salespeople ask for the business far too early in the cycle. Desperate salespeople follow up like stalkers. The cause for such desperation? Taking short-cuts earlier in the sale. Think about your business. Is it a “closing” problem you have? Good chance, if you think it through, it’s not a “closing” problem at all. Could be that you have an “opening” problem. You may not have all the information (short-cut). You may not be managing expectations or Ground Rules appropriately (short-cut).
You have permission to slow down. The deal will still be there. Trust the process. You know what happens when you take short-cuts. No more of those!