Cash flow is the movement of money into and out of a business that is used for operating, expenses, and investments. What is the impact to your business if you do not have enough cash flow? How does sales play a role in minimizing risks from a cash flow perspective? What are areas where you can improve in the sales cycle for your organization?
Whether you’ve been in sales for 30 years or 30 days, I’ll bet a dollar to a doughnut that this article will resonate with you at some point. Read the following word and write down two or three things that immediately come to mind:
Most people will write words like “sleazy”, “used cars”, “swindler”, or even worse. Yes, that’s the stigma that we, SALESPEOPLE, have attached to us whether we like it or not. Why is this? Most of us are good people with big hearts who only want to help somebody, right? I am about to share some of the reasons why we must carry this burden and what we can do about it. So, put on your prom dress or tuxedo and don’t forget the corsage. We’re heading to the Buyer-Seller Dance…
The Buyer-Seller Dance has been going on for generations of salespeople. Your prospects have dozens of vendors call on them every day. Most of those sales calls have been less than stellar. Now, you are coming in to pitch your wares. In the prospect’s eyes, you are only as good as the last salesperson he or she met with. Here is how it usually goes…
You show up in your beautiful dress or suit. You’re feeling great with another opportunity on your plate.
Small Talk: You enter in to the Business Owner’s office. You see a collection of golf balls in a nice glass case, you see tickets to the Masters in a frame on the wall, and a photograph of the Business Owner and Phil Mickelson. In all of your glorious wisdom, you ask “So, you play golf?”. Legitimate question, but one probably asked by every other salesperson
Needs Analysis: Like everyone else, you begin with your needs analysis. You learn about the challenges of the company and you may think “I’ve heard this stuff a hundred times, I know exactly what to do”. You wrap up the meeting by asking when a good time would be to give a presentation.
Presentation: You have worked long hours putting together your dynamite presentation. You plan on knocking the socks off your prospect with your dazzling power point. You show up, do your dog & pony show, and feel great about it.
Close the deal: Now is the time to ask for the business. That’s what you were taught, right? You produce the contract, pull out your Cross pen, slide it across the table, smile and ask “So, should we get started?”. The prospect responds several ways…
“I need to think it over”
“Looks great, but I think I need some more time before I take this on”
“Good job, but I need to talk to the owner about this”
“Your price is way too high”
“I’m looking at some other companies, too. I’ll get back to you’
Handle stalls/objections: Now, it’s a tennis match. Close. Handle stalls & objections. Back to you. Close again. Handle stalls & objections. Back to you…and so on and so on. You may eventually get this piece of business, but at this point, are you exhilarated or exhausted? Most of the salespeople I talk to are the latter.
Chase Mode: You leave the proposal with your prospect. You ask “When should I follow up?”. They respond with a “Give me a call next Thursday”. You go back to the office and tell your boss “I got one!”. As requested, you call next Thursday. Voice mail. You wait three more business days. Voice mail. You drop by their office, but they are out of town on vacation for a month. You never hear from him or her again. Sound familiar?
Why do a lot of us fall into this trap? Answer: Not only do we, as salespeople, have our own system, the buyer has their own.
Small Talk: That’s right. The buyer engages in small talk as well. They want to make a positive connection.
Mislead #1: A buyer’s defensive wall is up from the get-go. They tend to hold their cards close to the vest. They say things like: “I’m not really looking for something like this” or “Show me what you got and I’ll see if I need it”. More than likely, we move forward anyway.
Gather Information: You see, the buyer wants to know everything you know about your product or service for FREE. The more information they get, the more they can shop and compare your competitors, negotiate a better price with their current vendor, or try to do it themselves in-house.
Mislead #2: They butter you up by letting you know they really, really like what they see. They ask for more information or for you to “sweeten” the deal to get it across the plate. Often, we oblige.
Disappear: Once they have all your information and pricing, they disappear.
If you are experiencing this Buyer-Seller Dance and are looking for solutions to get in front of good-fit customers that will have an honest dialogue, share their budget, and will make a decision, whether it’s a “yes” or a “no”, please contact me.
Sandler Training by i10 Solutions has helped thousands of business leaders, sales managers, and salespeople take control of their sales process, improved the attitudes of their companies and people, and boost top-line revenue and earn great commissions.
Chad Cuttino is the Director of Business Development at Sandler Training by i10 Solutions. Sandler Training is the largest sales training and development company in the world with over 250 offices in 30 countries. Chad works with CEO’s, Presidents, Business Owners, Sales Managers, and Sales Teams in various industries from local small to mid-sized businesses to Fortune 1000 companies. Sandler Training helps clients create behavior plans, enhance positive attitudes, and sharpen sales skills to help them reach their personal and professional goals. Chad’s clients are typically disappointed with inflated sales pipelines that turn into very little closed business, frustrated with a lack of a prospecting process and sales methodology, and struggling to build best-in-class sales organizations.
Connect with Chad
Phone: (704) 823-6571