The hockey community (& other sports communities) have a phrase: “Act like you’ve been there!” This is intended for the rookies. It’s an attitude that serves these rookies well – if they live up to it. Easier said than done for many.
How often do you see a rookie in any sport make on-the-field (or off-the-field) mistakes? Not bad plays (those can be expected). I’m talking about bad penalties, inappropriate behavior, ridiculous spending, poor judgement & every other mind-blowing thing you usually read about the next day (or immediately) on social media. It happens all the time.
Have you ever wondered why there are so few really high profile athletes that have never been in the news for anything negative? Steve Yzerman & Derek Jeter come to mind… but why only the two? The reason is because it’s hard for high profile people to stay out of the news. There is such a spotlight on these folks that it is difficult to dodge the paparazzi. It’s difficult for most of these athletes to act like they’ve been there all the time.
I spend most of my waking moments coaching salespeople to carry a similar mantra. It’s imperative that professional salespeople act like they’ve been there. The repercussions of not doing so are enormous!
I’ve gotta tell you, the examples I am about to list DO NOT only pertain to “rookie salespeople”. I have seen 10, 20 & 30 year so-called sales professionals make these sales mistakes. It happens.
Not to “poke the bear” but do any of the following ring true in your world? When salespeople fail to act like they’ve been there they tend to:
- Get excited about opportunities way too early in the sales process (causing them to take their eye off the ball & let their guard down)
- Follow up on deals incessantly (turn into stalkers – because they never set the expectation of when a decision would happen)
- top prospecting (a full pipeline of garbage opportunities sets a false expectation of eventual sales)
- Talk & talk & talk (because they think a feature & benefit dump will endear prospects to them)
- Spend a ridiculous amount of time talking to non-decision makers (because they inappropriately trust people that say they have authority)
- Discount pricing (because they never have the money conversation & uncover budgets or target pricing)
- Quote & hope (key word HOPE – because they never qualified the opportunity & have no idea if it will close. Whoever said HOPE was a strategy was wrong!)
- Miss out on buying signals (because they couldn’t stop talking long enough to hear a buying signal)
Do I need to list anymore?
Been there? Act like it.