Prospects don’t go shopping for consultancy. They buy consultancy because they believe it will help them achieve something their internal resources can’t, or won’t. If the prospect doesn’t have a reason for changing their current situation they won’t buy. Ask: Where is their passion for this project?
It’s not enough that the prospect has some vague notion they want to change, or achieve, something. They need a compelling reason to take immediate action. Otherwise they’re just gathering information. Perhaps window shopping for a project they’d like to propose to their board of directors, or preparing for something that might come up on their CEOs radar. Ask: Where is the pressure for this project?
Even if they have something to achieve, and urgency to get started, you’re still not there. Unless you are exceptional and meet the prospect’s criteria you’re not the clear choice. You’ll be comparison shopped. Ask: Where do I out-perform expectations and match the buyers preferences?
So, that deal that seemed a sure thing … that’s stalled. What is unresolved in your prospect’s mind? Passion. Pressure. Out-Perform. Preferences.
The problem … with asking yourself this question … is that you’re already committed to the deal. You’ve put in precious time, effort, and emotions. So your answer is likely to be bias and skewed toward the positive.
Of course the prospect needs to change (from your perspective), of course the prospect needs to do it now (from your perspective), and of course you’re the best choice (from your perspective).
This bias is the very thing that gets in your way. It prevents you from qualifying hard, from challenging the prospect, from disqualifying, and from selling professionally … rather than order taking.
That may sound harsh. But it’s the reality of many stalled deals.
That’s why Sales Managers constantly provoke and challenge staff. It’s to prevent stalled deals, to focus and optimise the time, effort, and emotion that is key to success in business development.
So, what are you going to do about that?