Outward Honesty – Your Sales Director Can’t Help
Most salespeople have been in the situation where they’ve told their Sales Director they are going for a ‘closing meeting’ or a product demo etc. They might even take someone along from Technical or another area of the business to assist them. They get in the car, positive attitude and well prepared for the meeting but walk away with no order or maybe something else unexpected happened.
They return to the office and discuss the meeting with their Sales Director at which point, completely honesty, they reveal that they’re not sure the prospect can afford the proposal or perhaps the timing is not right.
The reality of the situation is that there is absolutely nothing your Sales Director can help you with on the account. I see this quite often across a broad range of industries where sales people aren’t confident about being outwardly honest to their potential customers.
Ask Or Address When You’ve Got The Chance
The best salespeople are very, very good at being outwardly honest, acknowledging roadblocks and communicating their fears, concerns or reservations directly to their prospects.
For example, if in a sales meeting I had a small concern as to whether my prospect can afford my service right now, I need to be outwardly honest so as to set my own expectations correctly and ask some pretty subtle questions to qualify the prospect in or out in that respect.
(Beware, budgets are predetermined sums allocated to specific expenditures so always try and talk about money instead. If they want what you offer, they will often find a way to buy it)
Here’s a good ‘money’ question that I use to great effect in my softest voice to qualify money when I’m in meetings…
“Is this kind of investment going to be a problem?”
Then drill down…
“Is this kind of investment going to be a problem this month?”
Remember, genuine buyers don’t find it difficult to answer tough questions so it’s really important that we focus on our ability to be outwardly honest with people. Like anything, the more you do it, the more comfortable and confident you’ll feel in doing it and the more naturally it will come.
My point is that if you’ve a concern about an account or prospect you will find it much more effective to go back to your client and discuss it honestly and openly with them than you will going back to your Sales Director who just simply doesn’t have the answers you can only get from your prospect.
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