What would you do with a crystal ball and your selling? You would avoid doing a whole lot of things that waste your selling time this year. You don’t have a crystal ball. Here’s what I think are big time wasters in selling. Try to stop wasting selling time and avoid them this year.
No sales process for selling.
I see a lot of sales teams whose management says that they only hire people who can sell. Then they turn these experienced salespeople lose and say, “Go out and sell.” They don’t include any indication of their preferred method to sell.
Yes, management provides training on products and services. It’s not enough. It is management’s job to provide the process to sell. You would no more expect to work on an assembly line and have management tell you, “Put things together any way you want.”
That instruction sounds crazy, right? It’s no more crazy than management expecting sales professionals to sell without giving them a specific process to actually go out and sell. Management needs to provide your sales process which include who your ideal prospects are, how to uncover likely reasons to need your products and services, questions to uncover those issues, and demonstrated proof of performance to deliver your promises. After the sale support is also part of your sales process.
Having an incomplete picture of your prospect.
Do you know why he is buying from his current supplier? Certainly you do know who his current supplier is, right? The why he selected his current supplier is important for you so you don’t waste your selling time. Each prospect has a priority in your list of possible sales this year. Some prospects are more likely to close and do business with you than other prospects.
Here’s one type of prospect that is less likely to close and do business with you this year. A prospect who is doing business with a friend or relative of the buyer or other key decision makers is unlikely to buy from you this year. I worked with prospects to learn who and why they were making their purchases. I quickly realized the probability went way down of my making a sale when the prospect was doing business with his golfing buddy or a relative.
Can you imagine the awkwardness of your prospect teeing off with his golfing buddy when he just took business away from him? Or the next Christmas dinner with his brother-in-law? Don’t think that a prospect is going to tell you directly that he’s buying because the supplier is a friend. Listen carefully to the small talk conversations you have with prospects while you sell. He may reference golfing with a supplier.
You’ll probably have to do some detective work to hear from either a user of your products or another point of contact at your account that the supplier is a friend or relative. It’s unlikely your prospect will admit the decision was made with what appears to be a conflict of interest.
You don’t need a crystal ball to know that there are only 24 hours in a day and there is no way to make more time. You need to take care of yourself with relaxation and sleep. Making the most of your selling time is clearly an objective you will have this year. Stop wasting your selling time with a flawed sales process or unlikely prospects.