I hear sirens, don’t you??


Allow me to shift gears for a while and talk about sales.   And please indulge me while I quote from a recent article I read in Entrepreneur magazine… [May 2009 issue, for the terminally curious]

“Many entrepreneurs mistakenly think that making the sale has to do with using the consultative selling approach, special listening skills, likeability or any number of popular questioning or closing programs.  Sure, they’re all important aspects of selling.  But the granddaddy of them all – the one factor that guarantees your sales success more than any other and the one method top producers have in common – is a sense of urgency.”

I am going to try hard not to take issue with about 30 different aspects of that opening paragraph and just focus on the overall message and ask a simple question:  “WHOSE urgency??”  If it’s yours, as in:

  • I have to make my number for this quarter or
  • my sales manager is all over me to close something, anything, in the next 30 days or
  • I really think this company needs our product/services/crap

then I would have to strongly disagree with the author.  In his defense, he does go on to suggest that maybe you could focus relentlessly on the product or services division and ensure they get the quote together on time, write a compelling proposal, send their best consultant for demo, whatever.  But then it all falls to pieces when he says, “But the real reason was that I wasn’t leaving him until he did buy from me.”  No kidding.  Have any of you ever had the “pleasure” of having a salesperson tail you like the Feds, or lock you in a room until you relented and bought something from them?  I have good money that says that if you did buy, it was to make them go away and you swore to yourself you’d never buy anything from someone so heavy handed again as long as you lived.

Do yourself a favor.  Let your prospect’s sense of urgency dictate yours.  If they say they won’t be ready to make a decision or move forward for 3 months, LEAVE THEM ALONE for at least two.  If they need a proposal tomorrow, GET THEM ONE TOMORROW.  But whatever you do, don’t try to impose your ‘urgency,’ whatever that is, on them.  Remember:  if your prospect doesn’t hear sirens coming, neither do you…

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