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Professional Achievement Group, Inc. | Rockville, MD

Prospecting & Qualifying

There's a rather common belief among selling professionals that business slows down in the summer months. However, this is mostly a self-fulfilling prophecy created by professionals telling themselves that despite strong efforts, the summer months will be tough.

One of the classic selling rules David Sandler developed and shared with selling professionals sounds a little harsh…but it’s true. Sandler warned us that “All prospects lie all the time.”

Have you ever made a prospecting phone call whose central message sounded something like this?

Have you ever gone out shopping for something and run into a salesperson that was a little too eager to show you exactly what you were looking for? And maybe the pressure you got from the salesperson didn’t help you feel warm and fuzzy about the buying experience. At that point, you really felt like getting out of the situation, and out of the store so you could see what was available elsewhere.

So what did you do? You extricated yourself from a potentially awkward situation with that salesperson by uttering the magic words: “I just need a little time to think it over.” It worked. You were free!

As selling professionals, we hear this all the time, don’t we?

It’s that time of year! In the coming days, every selling professional will be hearing some of the most dreaded words from prospects. What’s most unfortunate is that most selling professionals will agree to call back, and then invest valuable time chasing these decision makers, when they already know the outcome of their efforts.

Have you ever given a presentation to a prospect who seemed ready to buy… but then found that, for some mysterious reason, the opportunity went nowhere once your presentation was complete?

Has this ever happened to you? During an initial discussion with a prospect, you make it a point to review your pricing information. You put everything right out on the table. The prospect tells you the price you mention “looks fine” (or is “OK,” or “seems fair,” or is “in the ballpark,” or any similar piece of vagueness). The prospect then tells you to put together a couple of samples, designs, or prototypes.

Having a big pipeline of “prospects” is typically seen as desirable. The more prospects you put into the pipeline, the more will eventually emerge as customers. At least that’s the theory!

Maybe something like that has happened to you. Perhaps you had a “good initial discussion” with a prospect, and, based on that conversation, you agreed to invest time and energy gathering information, working up prices, and putting together your presentation.

Following up on what a prospect is going to do is good. Unfortunately, some selling professionals don’t even make a single follow-up attempt. Here, Bob has gone beyond what can possibly be considered good follow-up methods. Bob is a pest and deserves to be treated as pest.