Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sure Things Are Never Sure in Sales

I can't tell you the number of times I've been right on the cusp of doing business with a prospect in my sales career. I've had all the buying signals present and then the order never comes. It seems as if the "sure things" are just never sure in sales. As a matter of fact, when it looks like a slam dunk it is time to take off your boots and start running in retreat in the desert.

Why do these sure things or slam dunks just never work out? It is usually found the qualifying process you are using. Most likely, you didn't ask the correct questions when you were trying to "qualify out" your prospect. Your sure deal was never sure, it just seemed this way because you missed some key elements in your prospect's buying process.

The deals I seem to close (whether they are big or small) usually involve at least some mild resistance. This makes sense, because customers generally do not like change (as most people in general don't) as this creates a feeling of instability in their business.

I'll throw a little wrench in the mix here, also. If any kind of proper use of a referral is involved, than a sure thing actually will be sure most of the time. The reason why is because the credibility gap is closed so fast by your referrer. When a proper referral is present, business can come relatively easily.

Remember, when a sure deal exists with a prospect, try to dig a little deeper in the sales interaction to make sure you aren't missing anything. Better to find out the beginning, before tons of your time has been poured into a prospect that has no intent of doing business with you.

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