Stop selling to the wrong people


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How many times do we get stuck at the wrong level in selling to a prospect? Time and time again, we bang on the door of the right person, someone who should be interested in our product or services. But we don’t understand why they won’t engage. You may hear yourself saying, “They really need our product/service and I know I can help them! Why don’t they respond?” 

This is the point at which I urge you to take a deep breath and think about how you can approach this differently.  Just stop stalking that person and find an alternative route.

When commuting to the office, don’t you often listen to the traffic report and make decisions to avoid certain roads if there is an accident or breakdown? You need to take the same approach to your sales deals. Find alternate routes by using your network to get on the back roads to your destination. It may take a bit longer but you need to:

  • Involve more people
  • Navigate a few more roads

This will most likely take longer but at least you are not stuck in traffic and can keep things moving forward. 

This is why mapping your deals is so incredibly important and leveraging 2nd connections both inside and outside the target company makes a ton of sense.  In the event there is no one we know and no one we can get an introduction to, it’s time to stop driving in traffic and take another route. This means start high by going to the CEO of your prospect company and ask them for a referral to the right person.

To illustrate this point, we recently had the great fortune of working with a sales rep who loves sales and wanted to break into TIME, Inc. This rep showed me all the things he had done and was continuing to do in order to get some traction with Time. He thought he knew who to go to and crafted his best long winded message to the “right “person. During our session, we re-crafted the email by:

  • Making it short;
  • Talking about the prospect and;
  • Briefly explaining why they should engage with his company.

This email was sent to the CEO and, low and behold, he responded with the name of a different “right” person. It turned out that the initial contact he was stalking all this time actually had no power and was never going to be able to get them in the door. However, the CEO referral had all the magic that was needed. They set up the first meeting and, interestingly enough, when the meeting invite was sent the person he had been stalking was included as an “optional” attendee.

The moral of the story? Start high and stop selling to the wrong people. Refocus your efforts if you’re not getting anywhere and always look for another road to get you to your destination: a closed deal.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tim Haller
Tim Haller has over 25 years of sales and sales management experience. He has delivered training and consulting to Fortune 100 clients across a variety of industries, including technology, business services, travel/leisure and biotechnology. Tim has trained hundreds of sales professionals to close business through the use of effective sales prospecting, negotiation, and closing techniques.


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