White Elephants on
the Sales Call
By Tony Cole
In your selling
system, what is it that you need to recognize that you have been
afraid to confront? How many times have you been on a sales call
and knew that something was wrong, but lacked the sales courage to
do anything about it?
maker isn't there
isn't being truthful
They have a
problem they really don't want to fix
going to undo a current relationship
have the money or resources to invest to fix a problem
ignore the ‘elephant'. For example, think about the short term and
long term consequences of ignoring the fact that your prospect has
not yet decided to change from their current problematic
relationship. Certainly, the problem for you, as the sales person,
is that by ignoring the fact that they can't change a relationship,
you are going to end up doing a lot of work and putting money in
someone else's pocket. This takes from you and your company. It
takes the time that you could have spent on someone that is ready,
willing and able to change. It also takes time you could have spent
with a client that needs additional services from you, and it takes
time from your family.
ends up supporting an effort that has zero return on investment
because you aren't courageous enough to address this particular
white elephant of not being able to fire the incumbent. They invest
time, money and resources on you and your "I think they will buy
from me. They really liked what I had to say and enjoyed the
presentation." Great; however, none of that gets you paid or
enhances company profits, and it certainly doesn't solve the problem
for the prospect.
If you are going
to sell more and be more productive and effective in your sales
efforts, you must first have the sales courage to call out "white
elephant in the room"
when you see it, hear it or sense it. I won't insult your
intelligence by suggesting that you have to learn when it's there;
you already know. Your gut tells you when something is amiss. Now
you must have the courage to speak up and say,
‘If you don’t
mind, there is something that I'd like to address, is that ok?"
recognize this and develop the courage to address it, you won't have
to worry about what you should say. The right words will come to
you. Just remember to be assertive and not aggressive. Stay
clinically detached, nurture your comments, and don't be afraid to
walk from the prospect or client if a mutual understanding and
agreement isn't reached.
to Ask Yourself to Improve Your Sales Courage:
1) What was a
recent white elephant moment you had in selling?
that you knew would take the sale sideways or corrupt your ability
to close the deal, but you ignored it ‘hoping' you could find a way
to handle it later, or that it would go away and solve itself')
did you want to say or do but backed off?
3) What can
you do, must you do, about it now?
4) How will you handle such incidents
in the future?
Read other articles and learn more about
[Contact the author for permission to republish or reuse this article.]