dad teaching

Be The Play0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

Being a holiday Monday here in Ontario, thought we’d look at something that can get you to think enough not to distract from the sun and water, yet enough to count. So for that our topic for today is that there two views (often more, but at least two) into every issue. As a seller, be that an individual rep, a specific VP or an entire company, must be full cognizant, understand the other view if they are to succeed. Let’s be clear, I am not suggestion you have to agree, but to sell better and more, you have to be aware, and include in your calculations and actions. Failing to do that will cost you sales and time, neither most sellers can afford to lose much of.

Some time ago I post a piece looking at how people sell like they buy, and buy like they sell, this becomes a problem when the leader of the sales team buys everything on price. This was played again recently when I approached a graphics design company. Spoke with the owner and president, we identified some areas to explore, but he wanted to do it through his VP of sales. While this makes perfect sense, it is already an indicator that there are differing views internally, we’ll see.

dad teachingAs you would expect, the VP did not feel that the team needed any attention at all, and was clearly speaking because the conversation started “upstairs”. After performing the customary “Seasoned Team” ritual, we got down to business. My first question was about markets they were currently in, and those they were targeting; his first question was about price. Five minutes in, two of which were introductions, we are down to price. Not what kind of outcomes I have been able to deliver against, not what are the dials he is trying to turn in his sales approach and team, what we do, how we do it; with a hint to any of that, boom, price. Now I know he was trying to take me down the budget path, not so much to blow me off, but to be able to offer a sacrifice other than training: “look at all the other better ways we could spend that money, the team is good.” If only the numbers supported that fantasy.

More importantly, how do you think his team sells? I would bet on price. How much help is he to his people when they come to him with prospect question other than price? Especially since price is such a here and now issue, and leaders need to be forward looking.

This goes beyond the price question, if a leader cannot clearly project the future state of his/her organization, it is difficult to get your reps to do the same with prospects. Which is why many default to asking “what’s your pain point” or some other equally lame question, like “Don’t you agree it would be great if you deliver 11% more widgets?” “Of course it would, except nothing in this meeting thus far indicates you can do that, so let me ask, how much?” Whereas a question about their desired future state, expressed not in the form of a question, but as an outcome, one other customers have achieved and leveraged.

If you are a sales leader, be that VP, or front-line manager, next time you in the midst of making a purchase, ask yourself how you’re reacting, and what would you sales team see in your behavior, and how they would deal with it. If all they hear from mom/dad is price, what do you think they talk about when they are out there on their own?

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Win lose draw dice

Selling In The Past0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

Proactive Prospecting Summer – Part 5

Last week in the Proactive Prospecting Summer series, we looked at how to respond to the question of “What Do You Sell”. Arguing that the response needs to align with buyer/prospect expectations, meaning the statement should be about the business outcomes achieved, not the means of achieving them. The question I usually get, and a valid one, is “Well how am I supposed to know what their objectives are or business impacts they are looking for?” Well, it may take a bit of effort, but most sales people know this better than they pretend, they just have to change a few approaches.

“Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it”
Avoid Being Doomed

While most sales people nod knowingly when you say this, they fail to follow through on actually reviewing and understanding why the opportunity ended the way it did. Oddly enough, one of the most common refrains I get from sales managers is that it is not a good use of time, as opposed to the time wasted doing the same thing over and over without thought. There is some merit to the argument that if you have a lot of opportunities go in to the pipeline every month, then it does take a disproportionate time to properly review all of them. You can get the same outcome by reviewing a representative sample. If you are one of those sales that is more transactional, and say you have 50 opportunities that go into the pipeline, you can review 10 – 15 and gain all the benefit, without the fat.

The other thing you want to do is review all three outcomes, win – lose – draw (no decision). You can pretend like some do that you can get away with reviewing only wins or only losses, but you run the risk of not spotting trends early enough, and only responding to change after it bites you. You also want to make sure to review the no decisions, these will give you insights as to why the deal stalled, so you can approach it differently next time. Better yet, since they did engage, you have some understanding of what was getting them to act, and the review will tell why they stopped; as things change, these will be the first opportunities to go to, rekindle, and complete.

What Are We Looking For?

Even in organizations where they do a more thorough job reviewing outcomes, they tend to look at how they executed, important, but not what we want you to focus on. We are looking to understand objectives we have been able to help customers achieve, and more specifically, what business outcomes they realized as a result.

I spoke with a company whose business it is to do third party post mortems, and they point to the fact that in most instances sales people cannot articulate why they lost a give deal. Where sales people will point to product features, price, personalities, and similar “not my fault, did everything I could”, the reality they find over and over is different.

When prospects who chose another vendor are interviewed by a professional who is looking to understand, not rationalize, the story is entirely different. Prospects tell them they did not get the sense that rep understood their direction, place in the market, and issues they faced in their reality, not one shaped and defined by a product, and the rep’s quota.

You may ask why this is important on cold prospecting call? Well if you call and sound like the 5,000 calls before you, you are going to suffer a similar fate to 4,999 of them. Product, feature, ROI, all noise. What difference can you make to their objectives, their market share, their cost of borrowing, their cost structure, or any of the other things they were likely thinking about based on their role and objectives. Start a call with that and you increase you odds of engaging, getting an objection you can deal with, and turn an interruption into a conversation.

How Do We Do This

We use a tool called the 360 Degree Deal View, you can download it here. While it does capture the usual execution stuff, it allows you to focus on objectives broadly speaking, and then the specific underlying elements. It does so in a way that allows you to lead with objectives and outcomes, and build from there.

Next Step

Download the 360 Degree Deal View, play with it, run your last five deals through it, see what you discover. You can also visit Sales Gravy University, and enroll in the Proactive Prospecting Program, there is a complete section on why you should adopt a review process, and several segments on how to best use the 360 Degree Deal View. As you do, and you need some input or have questions, just reach out happy to help.

PPP On Demand

Honestly

Lie To Me Like Everyone Else Does0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

Revenue, finding it, winning it keeping it, is more than sales, and certainly more than just one says. Winning growing and retaining clients (the source of revenue), may be centered around sales, but involves other key groups. Some like marketing, may not have as much direct contact with prospects/clients as customer support, implementation and others. All have an opportunity to reinforce the relationship, or blow it, making each and every interaction and exchange with a client. I know there were a number of accounts I lost because of an experience a client had with support; just as have landed bigger deals and kept them because of things others did for my clients. All this makes each encounter key, and makes one wonder why some companies have their representatives say some of the things they say to customers, and to know that they actually paid someone to teach these mistakes to their teams.

One challenge arises when there is a disconnect between what people say, and how they act, I guess one can call it incongruity

Empathy Is Not Just A Word

We all know empathy is central to interactions and by extension sales. But empathy is more than a word, it is more than an ingredient you measure and add in the right amounts at the right times during a conversation. It is very much the behavior that defines the word, not just saying it. You can’t say you are empathetic to a buyer or their concerns, and then behave in an opposite manner.

We have all had the opportunity to be screwed by a provider, I am not saying wireless, but as an example. Instead of dealing with the issue at hand they always apologize and empathize, I am sure it is like pages 27 to 32 in the work book.

“no matter what the prospect/customer says, just say ‘I apologize Mr. Shanto, I am sorry you feel, I can understand you feeling that way’ and then let them continue.”

You know they don’t mean, only because they don’t take any action to change things, just agree with your feelings, and apologize for how you feel, but not what they did to make you feel that way.

This is a challenge for sellers, because they too say things the prospect does not see them act on, which just confirms the whole mess.

What’s funny about the whole thing, is many companies, for example wireless, will do this to “how can I help – I apologize and see why you feel that way”; then do nothing, you bring up your next point, and they go right back to “yes, I can see that – I apologize and see why you feel that way”, and keep it going for a long time without resolution, until you drop the F-Bomb. Then it all becomes about that, the F-Bomb. So, it is perfectly fine for them to do it to you, but not for you to talk about it.

Honestly

The other words that cause prospects and buyers to be cautious is when a sales rep or support rep, says in response to a question the prospect/customer has says “Well to be honest,…” Hang on a minute, does that mean everything you said prior to this was not honest?

I know it is just a turn of phrase, but buyers hear these things over and over, and have come to take the words at face value, with the expectation that nothing will result of the conversation.

Why not just leave these expressions out? You want them to feel they are being empathized with, show them, act the part, don’t just talk to it because it is on page 27 of the work book. Align you actions with your words and people will see you are honest, you may not always be perfect, you may not always be spot on, but you will be perceived as being a lot more honest and customer focused, then just talking about it and then walking another way.

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Lawyer

Stop Leading The Witness0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

One of my favourite genres is court or trial based stories, could be a movie, play, TV program, but especially novels, where the author has room to fully explore elements and take one to unexpected places. These are usually larger than life, and even when the plot is viable, the settings, are exaggerated, full of symbolism than reality, all with the goal of drawing in the audience. You gotta love it, all the fantasy, all the pomp, and of course, all the dram, just like sales.

In these dramas, you inevitably run through the usual clichés, (just like sales), one of them being the usual set of actions by one attorney leading to an objection by the other, at least one for every five minutes of courtroom sequence. The one that reminds me most of sales is when one party objects to the other’s line of questions by suggesting that they are “leading the witness”.

Sales people get caught in this trap regularly, but often the prospect does not object out loud as they do in the movies, they just don’t buy, and usually we really don’t know why, because we think we asked the right questions, feel (rather than know) we got the right answer, only to be left asking in the end “what happened?”

LawyerThis happens when we ask questions that we are hoping to get an affirmative response to, and when we do we feel we are progressing, and we keep piling on these questions, realizing too late that prospect was giving us the answers we wanted, rather than what they would say if the question were put differently.

We have all been on the receiving end of this experience, it usually sounds like “wouldn’t you agree that it would be ‘good’ if you could ‘do ___________’?” Sure, prospects will agree, it would be almost illogical to disagree, as the questions are usually routed in some logical premise and phrased in a way that you are forced to say yes, but how sincere is that yes? How many times have you said yes to move things along, feigning to agree, but with zero or less conviction?

Prospects know when they are being led, and don’t often like, and reward it even less frequently. They know that the questions are delivered in a way to limit the discussion to those things that highlight your product. Problem is that often the difference is sales success is not the product, but the sales experience, as I have stated in the past, how you sell is the last differentiator. So if the prospect does not see a different sales experience, they will see little difference, and every other seller trying to lead them down a self-serving path. While the questions may make sense, they also clearly demonstrate that you want to sell things based on your view of the world, not their specific priorities.

You can take the same thought process, but deploy a different set of questions to engage the prospect and encourage them to open up and share things with you that they would not when they are being led. Rather than you painting the end state you think they need based on your quota and you needs, ask them to pain the end state they see. If you feel based on your experience that they may have overlooked something, or are making an erroneous assumption, you can still share alternative. The best alternatives are not questions that put them back on “your track”, but alternatives based on what you have seen clients do differently to achieve that outcome or objective.

Asking questions that lead to discussion, an opportunity for you to demonstrate you expertise and value, and help the prospect consider alternatives based on client experience is a good thing, because again, it provides the prospect with a different experience. But asking questions that lead to the prospect being boxed in, may lead to answers you want to hear, but not sales.

 

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Victorius businessman

What’s Your Buyer’s Closing Ratio0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

While it is important to understand your personal metrics, mostly as a means of improving your use of time, and to develop an ongoing improvement process. While many know some of their metrics and conversion rates, few take time to explore and understand their prospects’ closing average or ratio. It’s easy to see why, you find yourself in front of what appears to a willing prospect, sharing what they want to do, why they are thinking of doing it, all while asking you questions that your manager taught you are “buying signals”.

Victorius businessmanInstinctively you feed the fire, figuring that the more information you provide and gather, the more your share with them, the more likely they are to finish their journey with you. All is good till the last scene, curtains close without a deal. Would have been helpful had you had an inclination earlier in the sale, when you may have been able to change the outcome. The change in outcome does not always mean a closed deal, but saved time, energy and refocus on better opportunities in your pipeline.

No matter how good things look, professionals in all fields know that the fundamentals need to be present no matter what the immediate circumstances look like. A key fundamental in sales is not just to understand the buyer’s buying process, but their buying habits or patterns.

No matter how bright and rosy things appear at any time during the cycle, it is important to confirm and validate. Failing to do that leads to a familiar situation for us all, i.e. no deal at the end.

How & Why

This is where asking two specific type of questions, from a couple of different directions will give you window the buyer’s buying habits, or let’s be real, a prospect’s “kicking tires” habits.

The Why

The why – as you’re are going through the Discovery process, ask why they choose the current thing (product, service, etc.) you are exploring with them. What they respond is important, but more interesting is how they respond. Someone involved with the decision will have not just more details, and as a result lay out more dots, but will also be able to tell you why those dots connect, and how they prefer them connecting. Someone who was tangential to the decision will deliver the same headlines, but no detail. Someone involved in the decision would describe things in first person terms, while those who were not, say implementers, will use third party description. You will also see who was able to drive a decision, and who could not; in the case of the latter, listen for who internally they blame for the decision, (or lack of one), those are the people you should pursue to connect and bring into the current cycle.

You will also get a window into how progressive and early to adopt they are, or are they the type that wait second or third iteration of a technology.

The How

Now that you have a sense around how they deal with their “whys”, why change, why that, or more like why not, it is time to turn to how they select based on the why.

“So now I understand why you chose to go with that kind of database, help me understand how you selected ACME Corp as the vendor?”

Much like above, you will be clearly able to tell if they were in the thick of it, or someone that was not invited to the offsite where the decision was really made. People may want to embellish, but you will be able to have a good view wit the right questions.

The reality is that everyone will paint a positive picture in the start, even the “Brochure Scouts” sent to gather information. Exploring their role in past similar decisions will help you gauge their closing average, which has a direct impact on yours.

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Hypos

Hypothetically Speaking2

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

It is easy to understand why some, especially in business, don’t like hypotheticals, they want to deal with facts, and tangible things that impact their business. Many view hypotheticals as just a distraction from things they need to deal in the real world. But it is precisely because it is a distraction, something that takes them away from the challenges they are dealing with that make hypotheticals a good tool for sellers.

Often, especially early in discovery, it takes a bit of an effort to pull back the layers and get to the substantive issues that can impact a prospects business, due to previous “abuse” by lesser sellers that preceded you, prospects may be a bit guarded. They may be reluctant to share key information that could actually help you formulate the right plan for them. A bigger challenge can be to take them in a direction they had not considered, may have misconceptions about, or areas they have avoided due to perceived risk, even if we do see it as such, the prospect is driving this process.

Hypotheticals allow you to engage around these areas without the associated risk. Some sellers, firm in their conviction that they have a great “solution” for the prospect, will ignore the buyer’s reluctance, hoping the strength of their solution will prevail. It may, but only if the prospect is open to the topic, but if not, as is the case for most buyers, their solution does not see the light of day, and it’s all for not. Framing the discussion in a hypothetical, especially a hypothetical outside the company, allows they buyer to tip their tows in the water without the sense of commitment of a head on question presentation. They don’t have to own a hypothesis, the sellers does, if they don’t agree, no harm, if it starts to resonate, all the better.

Hypotheticals are also a great way to get people to think outside their current lane. This is especially powerful if you are dealing with a buyer who has traveled all alone the first “57% of their buying journey”. By the time they get to you (I know you think you got to them), they have firm impressions if not opinions or more; to change their direction, to get them to take an alternate path to the one they are down, you’re much better off using hypothetical than facts. This is not to say we ignore the facts, but if they are not willing to have the discussion, the facts as you see them may or will not see the light of day. Starting them off with a hypothetical allows them to step outside their lane without all the associated risk.

HyposHypotheticals will get the prospect to share facts (pains if you like that type of thing), you otherwise would not have discovered. One of mu favourites is to ask a prospect a forward looking hypothetical. Placing the scenario into the future allows them to escape the shackles of today, and go to a happier place in the future, a future that is sunny and bright. I start by asking:

“I am curious Julie, if we were meeting here, 18 months from now, and you were happily telling me that your team had hit a Grand Slam, what would that look like?”

It may take them a minute to get going, as they start their journey to feeling what a Grand Slam feels like, but if you don’t interrupt, they will get going, and tell you all the things they want to be real 18 months from now. You’ll be amazed what they will share, as long as you let them. When they have shared their vision of a Grand Slam, I follow with:

“That’s a great vision Julie, and I can see why that would indeed be a Grand Slam; so help me understand why we are not there now?”
And that is when they will share with you all the things they see being in their way. I find that they usually share a number of things I have a “solution” for. This is when we move from the hypothetical to the real world, to the sale.

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Come Spend Time At Call Camp!2

Red Phone booth

What You Don’t Know about Discovery that Kills Deals

Why should the kids be the only ones who benefit from camp? Here is your invitation to attend a camp you can enjoy that also leads to better sales and selling.

THIS AIN’T NO WEBINAR!

This live coaching based on real discover calls. We will be listen to real calls, offering contextual coaching you can use to improve your discovery calls and results. As the name says, this is call camp that will help you and your reps to conduct more effective discovery calls, leading more conversions to proposals, and accelerating your cycle. Real world calls dissected by three sales leaders:

Mark Kosoglow – VP of Sales, Outreach
Steve Richard – Chief Revenue Officer, ExecVision.io
Tibor Shanto – Principal, Renbor Sales Solutions Inc.

July 19th – 1 PM EST – 1 Full Action-Packed Hour!

Register

Discovery isn’t just about collecting information, it’s about discovering how you buyer can benefit from your offering, and you discovering how to help your customer buy from you.

It’s all about understanding your prospect’s Objectives, gaps, and yes, at times pains, offering a solution, and even walking away if when you’re not the right fit for them – or if they aren’t the right fit for you.

This Call Camp is all about effective discovery that will land you the deal.

Register to learn:

Check mark How to ask questions to understand (not collect data)
Check mark 3 steps to offer the correct diagnosis
Check mark Why shoehorning a customer into the solution does not work
Check mark Advanced discovery techniques
Check mark Changing the narrative your salespeople use

Register

If you want to make it more real, submit your best discovery call – If we play it at camp, you’ll get a $100 Visa gift card.

golden leader in business way

Confusing Choice with Decision0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

We all know the expression “Often a bridesmaid but never a bride”, we see it playing out in sales daily. Sellers who want to believe that if they educate the buyer and help them make the right choice, the buyer will choose to go with them and their product. But we all know that making a choice on a product or solution level, does not always lead to the decision we want or need, namely, the decision to buy from us.

While educating the buyer is a good thing, getting the sale is better; but the two are not mutually exclusive, especially when you focus on and manage both, rather than naively expect that one will lead to the other. Helping them make a better choice (for them) does not lead to them executing that choice with you. To do that you have to sell while you educate.

One way to do that is to take your product out of the mix entirely, and make the whole experience about what the buyer wants to achieve. Contrary to what some will say, prospects, especially Status Quo prospects, do not set out to buy things, they set out to achieve something, usually something specific that is defined by business objectives and impacts, not by specs and price. The fact that it often ends up there is usually the fault of the seller, not the buyer.

golden leader in business way

Leave your product in the car, leave the window slightly ajar so it can breathe, but go in equipped with your knowledge (not info), experience and curiosity. Think of it as you bringing your colour pallet and brushes, the prospect brings the blanc canvas, and together you create a unique outcome, that they can and are willing to buy from you. Not because of price, but because they see how it drives their objectives.

But more than anything, don’t forget that you are there to sell, and the insight you share with buyers needs to help them decide to buy from you, not just to buy. One thing people talk about but execute poorly, is getting the proper Next Step, an actual step. To do that you need to have a plan for each interaction, that helps the buyer understand their choices, but also gets them to commit to taking steps forward with you. I still don’t understand sellers who do not know what they want the outcome each meeting to be, and those outcomes will be achieved. At the risk of overstating things, the outcome you want is a sale for you and your company, not just an educated buyer with choice.

Another way to increase the odds of a getting the decision you want (need), is to limit choice.  Once you and the prospect created that mutual image described above, don’t confuse things by introducing choices, especially ones that add little to the direction chosen. Too many choices impede decision, increases the shadow of potential buyer’s remorse, making people reluctant to make a ‘bad’ decision. So they choose not to make one at all, or they make the safest, cheapest, and most politically correct one. Often leaving the rep who did least walk away with the prize, while the one who helped the buyer make their choice wins the “Informative Congenial” rep prize for helping the chose, but not decide.

Don’t be that seller that helps them choose but is left out of the decision.

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girl by phone

Objections – Cause – Effect – Resolution2

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

Telephone prospecting is hard, in fact so hard that most people spend a disproportionate amount of time and energy trying to avoid it. What they are really trying to avoid is the rejection part of the call, “The Objection”. That’s why alternate means of engagement have such a great appeal for the masses (washed or unwashed, you decide), whatever your view of social selling, there is no direct rejection. Somehow, some sellers can differentiate and compartmentalize rejection from being ignored; they may not blow you off in a direct way, they just pretend you’re not there. The net effect is the same, no engagement, no prospect.

The problem for many would-be tele-prospectors is that they see the objection as being separate from the rest of the call. They love to brag about their company and product early in the call, (mistake), and are surprised when the voice on the other end say, “no interest”. What they fail to understand is that their intro, the start of the talk track (or script for you traditionalists), has a direct impact on the response.

Nothing to do with the school of sales one is from, and everything thing to do with human nature. The good news is that both parties in this drama are human, giving us ways to deal with this in a way that yields results for both. How we start a conversation directly dictates what kind of response we get. For example, if a parent scolds a child for being late, the child will quietly take in the words, but not the message, offering a meek, if any response at all. Alternatively, if the parent took the opportunity to present a life lesson, taking a conversant tone and carefully selected words, the child is much more likely to take in the message, leading to entirely different (better) reaction and response, making them more open and engaged.

girl by phoneSo while you will never be able to avoid objections in telephone prospecting, or being ignored in other forms of prospecting, you can do things to limit the number of potential objections, and keeping objections to predictable and manageable set. You can then practice how to take away those most common objections that result from your well and purposefully crafted introduction.

Remember, the person you’re calling has literally heard all this before, thousands of times. As soon as they hear a voice buzzing on about “leading provider”, “cutting edge solution”, or any set of words immediately followed by “awesome”, the prospect starts desperately search for their fly swatter, and start flinging objections at the buzzing sound emanating from their phone.

The logical conclusion is that to avoid fatal and unpredictable objections, we need to change what we talk about at the top of the call. Namely, things the prospect was likely thinking about before you interrupted their day. If that interruption is in line with what they were focused on, you will still get an objection, after all, you are an interruption, but it is likely to be one of a handful, literally 5, objections. Focus on their objectives and the impacts you have delivered for others with similar objectives, and you will get the predictable response, allowing you to take away that objection in a predictable fashion that will lead to a conversation, which is the first step in engagement.

Once you know the cause, you can resolve it, and change the outcome.

Learn the specifics of handling the most common prospecting objections:

OHH N

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Win lose draw dice

Let’s Make A Decision!0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

We’ve all been there, a real-life version of the popular game show. You’ve done your work, and have arrived at that final fateful stage of the sales.

Three possibilities, three doors:

  1. A positive Decision
  2. A negative Decision
  3. No Decision

While it is clear which door the individual sales person want, the question is how to get that. Much of that will depend on the state of the buyer and their organization at the time of decision. Broadly speaking three sates: 1) Actively looking, those people out there consuming all the content you dangle in front of them as they willingly march down their buying journey. You know all about these folks, 57% of the way… blah blah blah. They know what they want, why, and they are geared to get it. 2) Passively looking, they know they have to make a purchase, but they are not driven by the same urgency as their Active cousins. The things these two groups have in common include that they know they have to make a purchase, one now, the other sometime in the next 12 to 18 months. The other, is that they are both at the point of choosing the product, and will most likely end up with doors number 1 or 2. The other thing to consider is that these two groups make up less than 30% of the over target market.

But if you are only selling to this small group of buyers, an informed and opinionated set of buyers, you are most likely facing a decision based on price, features, or both. The good thing is that while you may not like the decision, at least you’ll get one.

What about the remaining 70%, the Status Quo, the complacent, set in their way, completely oblivious and removed from the market? Unlike Active or passive buyers, these people are not even thinking of playing, never mind deciding. Which is one of the key factors behind the high and rising number of deals that end up behind door number 3, no decision! According to sources some 30% of opportunities going into the top of your funnel will end in no decision. Take out the Active and Passive folks, who will make a decision, even when not in our favour, this means about half of deals initiated with Status Quo buyers go nowhere. Not the best use of time or resources.

While there a host of reason for this, but I think the key is what we are selling these folks. Because most sellers are practiced at selling to Folks who have made the decision to act, and are now down to selecting a product. Status Quo people are much further back down the road, they need to be convinced that a change is necessary. When we are successful at doing that, then they enter the product, or if you like, the solution, selection phase. The reason half don’t make a product decision is we were not successful at showing them why they need to leave the safety and warmth of their current means of doing things. Without that, they don’t need to decide on a product, feature, price or any of the common features of a buyer initiated and driven sale. Active and Passive buyers do most of the lifting, they just need someone to place an order with once they made up their mind.

Win lose draw diceSuccess with getting Status Quo buyers rests in being able to engage them on how they do things now, how that aligns with or detracts from their objectives. If we fail to get them to understand that there is another way to achieve those objectives, there is no need for a product decision.

Forget what makes you successful in winning what’s behind doors number 1 & 2, to win what’s behind door number 3, you need to create a reason for them to have to decide, this is about everything but the product. Active and Passive buyers have made the decision to decide on their own, leaving the sellers who service them no opportunity to exercise by sales people who are only selling to these buyers. Frankly a challenge for many inbound types, and others.

Adding to the challenge is that as soon as we go “product” with these buyers, they turn off, for them that is putting the cart way, way ahead of the horse. Your options need to look to their internal processes, and how those are enabling or preventing them from achieving current objectives, or objectives you can get them to adopt. The half of Status Quo buyers who choose not to make a decision, are not rejecting your product, but your inability to persuade based on anything other than product.

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