When was the last time your prospect said, “We’ll probably go with you”? How many times have you heard, “There is a good possibility we will give you the business”? What about, “Your solution looks good”? Things like this sound pretty good, right?
Fred the fictitious salesperson hears this and runs back to his office to upgrade his pipeline from 50% to 80% or 90% or even 100%. He puffs his chest out (going from a 38 short to a 48 long!). He tells a few people in the lunchroom. He pokes his head into his bosses office to remind her how great he is. Then he goes home and has a great weekend. Over the weekend he spends his commission dollars in his head.
Fred’s a pretty positive guy. He likes people. He trusts people. Fred gets his needs met when his prospects stroke his ego like this. Fred thinks, “After all, why wouldn’t they buy from me? I know my stuff. Our products and services are good. They’d tell me the truth if they really weren’t interested.”
Story of Fred’s life! Only problem is the story isn’t over yet. What you don’t hear… what Fred didn’t hear is the word YES. Yes, we will buy from you. Fred trusted a wishy-washy answer. He heard the wishy-washy words but he didn’t LISTEN to them. Don’t be a Fred!
In sales, we have to pay attention to what people are saying. We have to listen to the words — really listen to what people say. Nowhere in the above statements do the words “Yes, we will buy from you” come out. It’s no different from what we heard as kids. Ever ask your dad if you could go to the movies? If he said “maybe” you knew there was no movie in your future. If he said “we might” you might as well make other plans. Hell, the only time I ever really believed an answer from my dad is when he said, “Go ask your mother!”
Let’s identify a dozen wishy-washy words we need to look out for in sales:
- We might
- It’s possible
- We could
- We should
- We may
- Looks good
- We’ll see
These words should make you nervous. They’re non-committal and don’t mean a thing.
Don’t be a Fred!