Let’s discuss the number one reason sales people cannot close deals. Many get caught in a vicious cycle which prevents sales. In this episode I’ll pull you out of the gutter of desperation and guide you toward success! There are two completely different audiences to consider when making sales training or presenting content. One […]
Let’s discuss the number one reason sales people cannot close deals. Many get caught in a vicious cycle which prevents sales. In this episode I’ll pull you out of the gutter of desperation and guide you toward success!
There are two completely different audiences to consider when making sales training or presenting content. One is the 20% of sales people who make 80% of the sales. Another is the 80% of sales people who are not very successful. They are just trying to survive. I realize there are people from both groups following these episodes. For the 20% group, I offer tips on such subjects as selling better, improving closing rate, and overcoming objections. This episode is clearly for the 80% group who are having a difficult time closing deals. I see one huge reason for that.
Learning to sell better is certainly important. But there is are two bigger reasons why you can’t close deals. Both reasons share one foundational cause.
#1. There is no one interested! I’ll explain why in a second.
#2. Those who are interested are turned off by your desperation.
The foundational cause is bad prospecting strategies and bad prospecting discipline. When sales people don’t keep the pipeline full of new prospects, discouragement and depression sets in. The scenario mentioned in the previous episode is a prime source. The rep gets twenty prospects and closes three of them. Because his/her closing rate is 12.5%, those prospects are all “used.” But the rep doesn’t realize this math and keeps working on those seventeen not sold yet. That rep is just spinning wheels. The leftover prospects are not interested and not going to buy. The thinking is, “What’s going on? Last week I closed three deals. This week I haven’t closed any; I don’t understand why!” Mathematically it’s impossible!
Then a vicious cycle kicks in. The rep realizes there’s no income for the week. All the bills will be late or unpaid entirely. The spouse will be upset. Desperation begins to set in. “I REALLY must make some sales this next week!” So, he/she returns to the same seventeen prospects. Recognizing the desperation immediately, they are not interested. Everybody knows the rep is broke, is terrible, and has no self-confidence but HAS to get a sale! Is that a recipe for success? No. There won’t be any sales again, so the desperation increases.
Finally, this rep understands more prospecting is the key. However, when going prospecting with desperation all over the face, nobody is interested! The next downward trend is loss of self-confidence. The sales person decides to change the pitch, read another sales book – just take some time to think. As I taught in a previous episode, thinking is the biggest enemy of prospecting! All these problems come because (and ONLY because) the rep stopped prospecting. Just keep prospecting; keep the pipeline full.
Those seventeen “leftover” prospects should go into the drip marketing campaign. Get rid of them! Many of you need to clean the slate on a weekly basis. Go on to the next group of twenty. The temptation is to think, “All right, I have fourteen people I didn’t sell. I only sold three.” But those fourteen are dead. Start a new batch. Then every week you’ll have fresh prospects. Obviously, this is not a perfect method. People you talked to on Friday might not be sold until Monday or Tuesday. A rolling system would be preferable. Once prospects are seven days old or two weeks at most, they should be out of the system.
The key point here is the reason you’re not closing deals. For many of you, it’s not that you aren’t good at sales. You’ve just been caught in this vicious cycle. Here is a simple, two-step process to stop the cycle.
#1. Embrace Reality. Deal with the late bills. Talk to your spouse, “Hey, you know what, honey – the water will be turned off today. I made a mistake and was stupid. I’m sorry, but I can’t fix it. We won’t have any money for a week.” Deal with whatever the fall-out is going to be in your personal life.
#2. Go prospecting. Go with confidence and a full embrace of reality, “I’m not desperate. I know I’m screwed and won’t make any money for a week. That’s just the way it is. I was stupid and didn’t go prospecting to get new people in the pipeline.” You must go prospecting without the desperation. Instead, say, “I’ve got the self-confidence. I know I can make sales. The problem last week when I only made one sale was that I only talked to five new people.”
Take your focus off those three people who keep procrastinating. Stop wondering what else you could offer them. The answer is NOTHING! Get rid of them. Go sell somebody else. Even if you could save them $1,000 a year or $500 a month, embrace the reality that they’re not interested. You must refill your pipeline. Otherwise, you’ll become desperate and get caught in the vicious cycle.
Implementing these tips will pull you out of the gutter of desperation. Stop the vicious cycle and start closing deals.