-by Shamus Brown
A wise salesman once said "If we're going to lose, then let's get it over with early!"
Sales people who lose deals late in the sales cycle waste valuable selling time that could be better expended on good prospects.
Here are 3 reasons why sales people keep loser prospects on their forecasts long after they should have dropped them.
You're a good sales rep and your gonna prove it by getting the sale you said you could win.
The problem is your prospect.
He's about to make a deal with your competitor.
So what do you do?
Do you fight it out and hope for the best?
Frankly, whatever you do at this point likely won't have much effect on the outcome of the sale. You lost such a sale a long time ago.
Most prospects figure out somewhere between a quarter to half-way through the sales cycle which product or company is best for them.
The other companies that they continue to evaluate to the end of the sales cycle are only there to keep the preferred vendor honest and get his price down.
Stubborn persistent pride may seem like a chivalrous virtue, but your best strategy is to learn how to profile and qualify your prospects so that you only selling to those with a high likelihood of purchasing from you.
When the pipeline is empty, some reps keep working the few deals they do have active, even if they know these are losers.
They rationalize that having a prospect on the forecast which they can actually go make sales calls on, give presentations to, have meetings with, etc. is better than prospecting for new leads while having an empty pipeline.
A common reason for this rationalization is the need to give the appearance of being busy to sales management. If one appears "busy" then maybe fewer questions will be asked of him.
Unfortunately, an active "loser" prospect will eventually move over to the loss column. And then you'll have to prospect again.
The best approach is to be confident. Have confidence and faith that by cutting loose loser prospects, you will find more good prospects through sustained and continual prospecting and qualifying.
Hey people are basically honest, right?
Yeah, you believe your prospects when they tell you that everyone is on a level playing field and that you are being given the same chances to sell as your competitors.
The only time the playing field is level is before anyone has stepped onto it, before your prospect has begun to think about purchasing a solution to solve a problem.
Once the game is on, the field starts to tilt. And once the prospect sees something they like, they field will no longer be level again.
You need to find out what problems, wants, and priorities are driving the sale early on. When they don't match up with what you sell, or if you can't change things so that they do, then its time to get out.
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