Ya Never Know. Snap Judgments Could Be Costing You Sales
April 28, 2016
A sales rep I was doing field coaching with recently took me aside before our first appointment. He shared some shocking information with me, that I hadn’t been aware of. He told me he’s going through a divorce (been there, done that!) but that’s not the shocking part. His soon-to-be ex-wife recently jumped on him while he was taking a nap, and proceeded to attempt to choke him to death. Fortunately this rep was okay, and his wife is getting the help she clearly needs. He told me this before we started working because, he said, “If I’m a little off my game today, there’s a reason.” It got me wondering, what if he hadn’t shared that information with me before I observed him at work? I suspect I may have judged his performance quite differently. (By the way, he did a terrific job under the circumstances)
It got me thinking…how often do we make judgements about our prospects and customers, without knowing what may be going on in their world, and is that lack of knowledge possibly costing us business?
1) You go on a sales call and the prospect treats you less than warmly. They could be uninterested, or busy, or have their boss breathing down their neck. It may be nothing you’re doing. A bit of understanding that there might be other stuff at play may help you to be more empathetic and not simply decide that they’re a jerk, unworthy of doing business with you.
2) You leave your appointment and don’t set up a Best Next Action Step (Which , of course, you’d NEVER do!) and don’t hear back from the prospect, even after repeated phone calls and emails. You can give up, and there is a point where the smart move IS to move on, or you can send an email asking if everything is okay. Or perhaps you have your manager call to inquire if you did anything wrong which caused the prospect to stop communicating. The answer will probably be that you didn’t, but now your manager can set an appointment for you to get together with the prospect to move the sale forward.
3) You go on an appointment and based on the appearance of the office and the general conversation, you decide that they can’t afford what you’re offering. I’ve had the reverse happen more than once, where I’m the potential customer but am not dressed in a suit and tie (I dress down when I’m not working!) and have had salespeople assume I wasn’t worth their attention because I probably couldn’t afford the Gucci wallet I was buying for my father, or the Porsche I wasn’t ready to buy that day.
As humans we tend to make snap judgements, and that’s not a completely bad thing…but keeping an open mind during the sales process can help us to close more business.