Sales and Sales Management Tip: Frozen Pipelines
Problem: Another opportunity of Bill’s was frozen in the pipeline. Bill mentioned to his sales leader, Sue, “I have put together a great proposal”. Bill went on to say, “I think I have covered all the bases and have given them three great advertising options for our magazine”. Bill began hoping one of them would work. This same hope-isum kept occurring to Bill, the prospects kept saying, “what a great proposal, we really like you a lot but we need to think this thing over a bit longer.”
Diagnosis: Sue began to debrief Bill in several areas. She started by questioning Bill’s real understanding of the issue. Next she discussed urgency of the matter. Last she wanted to know why so many options are being offered to the prospects.
Here is what Sue discovered. Because Bill was not utilizing all his bonding and rapport skills, trust was not as strong as Bill’s perception so getting to real issues was not working. For example, in this and other presentations Bill could not list the true cost of the issues when questioned by Sue. All Bill would say is, “they want to increase sales.” Sue discovered that because Bill could not tell the behavioral styles of the prospects. Bill could not share if the prospects were visual, kinesthetic or auditory. He could not remember how and if body language played a role in the conversations because he was not aware of any observable responses. In conclusion Sue felt trust was not as strong as anticipated because impacts, consequences, costs and commitments were not discussed. This usually meant the buyer is not willing to share vital information because of trust. As they say it is hard to hit a Bulls Eye if you do not know where the target is.
Sue also concluded that without knowing impacts, consequences, costs and commitments Bill could not establish a sense of urgency and therefore no need to act today on the part of the buyers.
Sue went on to discuss all the options offered by Bill. Sue was an old pro and has been through three serious recessions. What her sixth sense told her was too many choices kill the deal especially in slower economic times. She did her best to explain to Bill to simplify all offers especially in tough economic times by making too many choices you leave the door open for paralysis of analysis especially for the S amicable and C analytical behavioral styles.
Prescription: Sue pulled out a list of three business drivers and explained to Bill that he must draw a direct specific correlation to increasing value by doing one or a combination or all three things; Increase Sales, Decrease Costs or Improve Asset Management either human capital or physical capital. Here is how she drew the straight line for selling in the magazine. She started with increasing sales and drew the line to these three objectives; store traffic, phone inquires, website hits to specifically increase sales. Next she wanted Bill to find out the gaps. For instance what was the store traffic today versus what they wanted it to be? Next discover the cost of the gaps and the consequences of not fixing that gap. How long have they known about the gap and what are they doing to fix it. Has anything worked to fix the gaps if not why not. Finally Sue asked Bill, “Do you understand how hard it will be for you to get this information if the buyer does not bond and rapport rapidly with you?” The conclusion is about 40% of the DNA Solution Sales model is predicated on rapidly establishing bonding and rapport. What are you doing this month to get better in this area?