“Don’t step on your own bananas.” – Jack Wilson in today’s Tip 192
Do you step on your own bananas?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today Jack is self-introducing, so I’ll just let him take it away:
Jack Wilson: Hey everyone! Jack Wilson, Director of Business Development with Cinch IT. Most of the time sales feel like an uphill battle, so why do even the most seasons of us insist on making it harder for ourselves. As sellers we face obstacles and objections at almost every point in our sales cycles, whether it’s prospecting and an effort to book qualified appointments or it’s at the closing table asking for the business. There are key moments we need to successfully appease the resistance or outright overcome the rejection of our potential customers. It’s during these critical junctions that I find sales professionals tend to step on their own bananas. Yup, you heard it right. Don’t step on your own bananas. When’s the last time you played Mario Cart? If you haven’t, I’ve got bigger concerns, but now’s the time to try because that’s where I found the motivation for this memorable tip. When you’re racing around in Mario Cart, you can pick up different perks that either give you a boost or help slow down your opponent. The most frustrating of these has got to be the bananas. See, when you throw a banana, in your opponent drives over it. They spin out like crazy and lose control. But the worst part is when nobody drives over the banana. It stays there. Sure enough, the next lap around like clockwork, you run over your own damn banana and ended up spinning out of control. Think about it. When you’re making cold calls, you know the person answering the phone is busy. Heck, you know, there’s probably a hundred other things they’d rather be doing than try to figure out how to get you to go away. But what’s the first thing we do when they pick up the phone? You guessed it, we throw out a banana and then we stepped directly onto it. We say something like “Is now a bad time?” Well, what if it wasn’t? You just handed them a perfectly good excuse to seamlessly exit your conversation before it even started. Don’t give your prospects and easy out. Instead, lead with something they can answer positively that advances your call. So instead of is now a bad time stick with “Can I share with you why I called” or some other affirmative answer that will progress your conversation? The most slippery bananas though that I’ve stepped on, tend to get thrown out at the closing table. You’ve just spent one or maybe two calls gaining a deeper understanding of your prospect and truly building value. The case for doing business with one another seems apparent. You present the price, pause then quick throw it a banana. You follow your ass with some sort of guests as to what their objection might’ve been without giving them enough time to stew in their own thoughts and speak first. You’ve heard the age-old, he who speaks first loses well, that still rings true. The first words out of your prospect’s mouth after a long perhaps tense silence are the most important issues to them and the only thing standing between you in a successful client relationship. So why fill that space with more things, things that maybe they didn’t even care about. This happens a lot, especially with pricing and discounts. I helped a rep plan for a close early in his tenure with Cinch IT and during the prep, he told me that he had alluded to a discount during the discovery call, not a problem, I said. There’s enough value here. Just present your findings and be prepared to address it if they ask. Otherwise, don’t bring it up. Don’t throw out that banana. I shadowed him on the presentation and sure enough out came the banana. He led the conversation with the last meeting. I mentioned the discount, but blah, blah, blah. Well, the decision-maker said in response, what I think is the biggest reason you need to let your prospects make their own objections. He looked right at the rep and he said, “Honestly, I don’t even remember you saying that too late now though, you can’t step on that banana.” In summary, it’s critical to uncover objections throughout the entire sales process because if you’re selling the right way, then your product or your service solves for those, but you can’t make objections for them. Conduct effective discoveries. Keep asking thorough questions throughout to get your prospects to outline potential roadblocks. Then address those concerns that they’ve expressed directly. When you’re cold calling or closing, just remember; don’t step on your own bananas.
Scott Ingram: I’d love to know if you’ve got another example of how we as sellers might be tossing out bananas and tripping ourselves up. Join that conversation at DailySales.Tips/192 or call the Sales Success Hotline at 512-777-1442 and share your thoughts.
Thanks for listening and come back tomorrow for another great sales tip from Chris Orotano!