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Sales Process = Your Worst Enemy

If you're not adaptable, your sales process can get in the way of making a sale. A recent comment to the post "Top 10 Lies Customers Tell Sales Reps" showed a classic example of a sales rep almost blowing the sale simply because the customer's behavior didn't match the expected process. Check it out:
Recently i had a meeting with a prospective customer -- the deputy IT director for a well-established hospital -- whom I have been following up with for a very long time. Finally, he gave me a chance to meet him and asked me to come over. He left me waiting for 1 hour. He then came after a meeting with his superior and gave me only 5 minutes to wrap up the presentation. He told me to forward the presentation to him and he said "Let's do something." Then he went off without even giving his business card. I am not sure whether he is interested or just fooling around or just wants to get the insight of my proposal. Please advise the best way to proceed.
Click HERE for my response... »

My response is... FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, GET A HOLD OF THE GUY AND CLOSE THE FREAKIN' DEAL.

You're so hung up with your sales process that you're missing the important stuff:

  • Green Light #1: He agreed to meet with you. While your sales process may assume that a customer meeting should come early in the sales process, this guy is the type who only wants to meet when he's already made a decision. The agreement to meet with you is therefore a sign that he wants to buy.
  • Green Light #2: He had a good reason to stand you up. You're all in a huff because he kept you waiting, but consider: He was meeting with his superior! The superior is very likely the kind of manager who expects underlings to drop whatever they're doing when he wants their attention.
  • Green Light #3: He wanted a copy of the presentation. Normally this might seem like a blow-off, but given that you've already got the guy interested, he probably wants the presentation so that he can use it to sell the idea to the other stakeholders in the company.
  • Big Giant Green Light #4: He said "Let's do something." Hello?! Helloooo??! He wants to do business with you. He's going to buy. He's already convinced. And you're worried about his freakin' business card?!!? Did it occur to you that he might think you already know how to contact him, since you've been calling him for weeks?
Forget about your sales process. Adapt to the customer's behavior, and close the deal.
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