Jill is one of those great salespeople you wish you could duplicate. She works hard, has a great attitude, does what she says she’s going to do and delivers high value for customers. But sometimes, these great attributes become an Achilles heel for Jill. She is so committed to helping her clients be successful that she often wastes time and energy with prospects that are whiners, not winners.
You know this prospect.
They whine about multiple business challenges. But when it comes time to stop whining and start winning, the excuses roll in:
- “We are really swamped — this is not a good time.” Note this is the same prospect that has plenty of time to waste revisiting and complaining about the same issues over and over and over.
- “This is a bigger investment than we anticipated.” They say this even though the investment would eliminate hundreds of wasted man/woman hours due to ineffective systems.
Whiners like whining. Winners like winning. Sales managers, give the Jill on your sales team coaching and training on the Sales EQ skills of reality testing and optimism. Jill’s high optimism makes her believe that she can help everyone. It’s clouding her ability to see the reality of what is going on — and the reality is that not every prospect really wants to change or improve. Not every prospect is qualified to be your client.
Jill is more committed to her prospects’ success than they are!
Equally important is teaching Jill good consultative selling skills, Sales IQ — ideas that test the prospect’s commitment to changing and improving. Questions such as:
- “Tell me about significant changes you’ve made in your business in the last five years that weren’t easy to accomplish.” (Whiners get paralyzed by change. Winners get moving, motivated by the need to change and improve.)
- “Companies like yourself have a lot of initiatives going on. Where does getting this challenge resolved or improved fall on your priority list? Is this a nice-to-have or a need-to-have item?” (Find out early if elimination of a business problem is just a want or a serious need.)
Your sales team is committed, works hard and provides high value. Make sure they are investing their valuable time with prospects that are equally committed.