In sales, it gets easy to think you have all the answers.
After all, isn’t that what makes you valuable to the buyer? They have problems, you have solutions. You have an angle that they haven’t thought of before and a product or service to make everything better. If they just listen to you, you could close a sale and save them thousands, maybe millions.
We’ve written about the tendency to rush forward to the pitch and the ask. After all, why belabor the point when you’re ready to change their world? Right? Unfortunately, the savviest salespeople know that trying to rush the process by going straight to your own prepackaged answers to their questions can actually lead to delays down the line in the sales process.
In a recent post, sales speaker and author Anthony Iannarino spoke to this problem:
“You want to move straight to your best solution. You’ve seen your prospect’s current situation before, and you know the answer. You want to move forward with the right answer, but they want to collaborate and make sure it fits their needs, their company, and that it serves their clients.”
If you’ve been around sales long, you’ve seen this scenario play out right before your very eyes. They’ve got just the problem you’re looking for. You’ve got the solution ready to go. So you barrel through the discovery process, thinking you understand what they’re facing well enough. They seem to agree, nodding lukewarmly. So you unload your best pitch on them and get your best pen ready for the big signing. And then …
You exchange emails and voicemails. Communications seem to go around and around without actually getting anywhere. You can sense hesitation and hidden concerns on their side, but what exactly those are is a mystery. Now you’re not going fast at all. In fact, your sales process has stalled, and it’s your fault.
The truth is, the new sales environment, where you must work to influence a large group of stakeholders, can’t be rushed. And it takes much more discovery and coaching than most salespeople are used to. Yes, it means slowing down to do more talking and strategizing with them. Paradoxically, however, slowing things down to figure things out together could actually accelerate your sales.
Iannarino explains, “Spend a little time exploring options and developing the right answer together, and you’ll move forward sooner.”
No, salespeople, you don’t have all the answers. But by slowing down to work out a plan, you can still close a sale. And keep the relationship intact.
To learn how Consensus empowers sales and stakeholders to work more effectively together, click on the orange “Watch Demo” button below.