Don’t solve Symptoms

Do your deals get stuck? Maybe you are addressing symptoms instead of consequences. Most salespeople are pouncers. They hear something that sounds like a problem and they pounce. The prospect says that “deliveries have been a little slow” and the salesperson pounces on that hint of pain. They say “well mister prospect, we have an excellent expediting department and we are able to guarantee a 98.34 percent on-time delivery”. The prospect nods and the conversation moves on to the next topic. What the salesperson should do is ask more questions of the prospect to uncover what the consequences of the late deliveries are. For example, the late deliveries could be causing a problem in their production lines leading to production down time and lost productivity. That would possibly be a problem worth paying money to solve. However, the elite salespeople go even deeper. They realize that a true compelling reason to buy requires that significant consequences must result from the problem under discussion or the prospect will not be “compelled” to take action. Having a compelling reason to buy I s the first element in having a truly qualified prospect. A few more questions and the elite salesperson might discover that the prospect is a subcontractor to a major government contractor and late deliveries are causing their vendor rating to be depressed which has the effect of prohibiting purchasing agents to issue subcontracts to them no matter how good the product or how low the price. This severe consequence will most likely demand that the prospect take action. so the lesson is, don’t solve symptoms dig deeper to get to the consequences that will cause action to be taken.

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