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If you are unaware of the relationship between ambiguity, anxiety and fear, then you are probably lengthening your sales cycle and reducing your close rate.
When you sit across from a prospect, no matter how long or personal your relationship, you are still a salesperson who your prospect fears will sell them something instead of allowing them to buy
Today I asked a group of salespeople to share something that they wished they'd said to a prospect when they had the chance. I explained they were in a 'safe environment' so it was okay to be honest. The comments were interesting. And when I say interesting, I mean somewhat reserved, restrained and polite.
So when did you start saying, "I'll get to that tomorrow" when it comes to your goals for 2014? January 2? January 10? Did you make it all the way to the Super Bowl before giving up?
If you've fallen short of a goal already or are on pace to fall short before the end of the year, you're trapped in the procrastination triangle.
What is the procrastination triangle?
Draw an equal sided triangle. Label the top "no goals," the bottom left "no plan" and the bottom right "no discipline."
Thinking back to the fifth grade, I wonder how many of you dreamed of becoming a salesperson when you grew up? How many people do you think asked for sales training for Christmas this year? How many kids dressed up salespeople during Halloween? The unfortunate fact is that no one wants to be a salesperson.
I want to take you back about 10,000 years ago to the savannah in Africa. There are only about 1,500 human beings on the planet, and life is a scary existence. As far as predators go, we don't stand much of a chance. We don't have claws, or razor sharp teeth with fangs. We aren't very strong or fast, and we don't have any cool defense mechanisms like shells, venom, stingers, or even camouflage. Needless to say, it paid to be fearful on the savannah. Fear, vigilance, and worry kept us alive. Luckily for us, we got smart fast.
You're meeting with a prospect. You've asked all the appropriate questions to uncover the prospect's problem, concerns, desires, goals, and expectations. After fully analyzing the situation, you announce with no hesitation whatsoever, "No problem. I have exactly what you need."
Does the prospect gasp a sigh of relief, utter under his breath, "Thank goodness," and pull a purchase order from the drawer? Perhaps in Grimm's version of the story, but not in the real world.
I just returned from Las Vegas where I spoke to business owners in the construction industry. I admit, I do get excited about wagering, especially in Las Vegas, but I realized how I was getting suckered in when a slot machine caught my eye. It said "99% payout guaranteed," which sounded like a good thing. You essentially put in $100 and over time, you will get $99 back. When you aren't emotionally involved, it's easy to see the futility of gambling in Las Vegas. But the lights and the bells and the buzz of excitement reels you in and sure enough, in an hour, I handed over $60 to the resort.