I was with someone the other day who drove me completely crazy.
We were carrying a box of marketing materials into an office, and there was a light drizzle outside. Plus it was very windy.
The box didn’t have a lid so he grabbed an old towel out of the trunk and put it over the box.
As we walked toward the office building door, the wind kept blowing the towel off the box. He’d stop, try to pull it back down over the box, and start walking again.
Sure enough, this happened again. And again. And again. And every time, he stopped to pull the stupid towel back over the box top.
Finally I got fed up and yelled, “Just run into the damned building and get it over with!”
You see, every time he stopped to fiddle with the towel and the box, more rain would get into it. And every time the wind blew the towel off, still more water got in.
If he’d simply grabbed the box and ran into the building as fast as he could, there would have been a lot less damage and we would have saved a bit of time.
It’s no different than taking off a Band-Aid. If you try to pull it off slowly, you’d think that it would be less painful, but doing it that way actually hurts like hell. But if you rip it off fast, the pain level is technically higher, but you get it over with a LOT faster and it’s actually less painful in the end.
And the same is true with sales.
Day after day I see salespeople fiddle around, waste time, chase prospects who will NEVER buy, and then they try to blame everyone but themselves when they get a lousy commission check at the end of the month.
In Frank Bettger’s outstanding book, How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling, he explained that the single best thing he ever did to increase his sales was to institute a policy of abandoning prospects who didn’t purchase by the second appointment, and to refuse to meet with them ever again.
At first it was painful. No one wants to turn away any prospect who is willing to meet with you. But, like tearing off the Band-Aid quickly, it was a lot less painful in the end, and he doubled his sales numbers as a result!
In working with salespeople for nearly 10 years, and in my own sales career, I’ve also discovered that walking away from anyone who doesn’t buy quickly is a very profitable decision. Here’s how you can do it:
1. No longer meet with or pursue prospects who don’t buy by the second appointment, or whatever number you deem appropriate for your product or service, if you happen to have a long sales cycle.
2. ONLY meet with prospects who are pre-qualified, and who are ready, willing, and able to buy right now.
If you’re stumped when it comes to step 2, and most salespeople are, the answer is to stop cold calling forever and begin using intellingent, Information Age self-marketing strategies instead, along with good old fashioned networking, referral selling, and dozens of other prospecting techniques available to you today that work infintely better than cold calling!
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