“The more truthful you are with yourself and with leadership, the better your forecast will be” – Jeff Bajorek in today’s Tip 644
How about you? Do you invent conspiracy theories?
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Jeff’Bajorek on LinkedIn
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today is Saturday, so Jeff Bajorek must be back to impart some wisdom. Here he is:
Jeff Bajorek: So where are we right now? In the middle of COVID right in the United States, we’ve got an election cycle, which can have some impact on your customer’s decision making. There are a lot of reasons, and certainly, there’s a ton of uncertainty in the marketplace right now, in what we know, for sure, is that in most cases, sales cycles are being extended. Certainly, my customers are taking longer to make decisions because, with so much uncertainty, they want to make sure that they’re making the best decision possible. Look, you do the same thing, but those sales cycles are taking probably 20 to 30% longer. And when they start taking longer like that, and in some cases that could mean you’re off by an entire quarter. Well, management and leadership start to ask questions, right? In those questions, demand answers. You’re not just allowed to ignore those phone calls and those emails.
So what happens? You start to ponder, you start to think about, well, if I was in my customer’s shoes, maybe this is the reason that I’m not buying right now, or maybe look, you know the deal. Well, what are these really amount to, the amount of conspiracy theories? And while I think conspiracy theories are fun and maybe a little bit exciting, and maybe they get your wheels grinding or your gears grinding anyway, and your wheels turning and kind of a creative fashion that, Hey, maybe if I paint this picture, I can make it look like I’m still doing my job. Even though I haven’t gotten the deal across the line. Those conspiracy theories make you think a little bit differently. They’re fun to kind of go down those rabbit holes for just a little bit. But at the end of the day, they’re almost always inaccurate, which almost always means that they’re unproductive.
What value does painting a picture or creating a false narrative serve? Does it help you close that deal any faster or is it much more likely for you to start creating excuses for your prospects? And then give yourself a reason not to ask for the next steps. Now, I almost said not to force things, but you never want to force things, but all of a sudden, when you create a reason for your prospects, the lack of urgency you take away your own.
So what you need to do is you need to remove your expectations. Now, this is tough because again, management leadership, they have expectations and they want real results. So you can’t just pull things out of thin air, but at the same time, you have to level with them. Give your management, give your leadership a true version, an accurate version of the ground truth, right now. Tell them what your current state is.
Look, I don’t have information on that deal right now. What I know is that we have another meeting scheduled for next week with this prospect. That means they’re still engaged. They’re still interested. Now. Obviously, there’s a lot of uncertainty, but I know they’re still interested because we’re still moving forward. Mr. Manager, Mrs. VP, that’s gotta be enough. And then you take that battle kind of internally. It’s not always fun, but you need to be able to have a Frank conversation with the people who know what’s really going on if you’re in leadership. And if you are one of those people who knows what’s really going on, it is your responsibility to give them the truth. Not just something that you hope they want to hear.
Stop with the conspiracy theories. Stop making excuses for your prospects. Instead, take that energy and make sure that you are always moving forward even a little bit at a time. Make sure that there’s at least some momentum going forward because deals always close as fast as they can never any faster. Although sometimes they’re a little slower than they could be because you’re making those kinds of excuses.
Think about your current situation. Be brutally honest with yourself. Be even, you know, bearish on how quickly things could, could come through, like to pick up a worst-case scenario in terms of your forecast so that you can manage expectations appropriately, but you have to be truthful instead of having your head in the clouds, trying to think of what could be possible when it ends up being the furthest thing from the truth.
The more truthful you are with yourself and with leadership, the better your forecast will be because there’ll be much more accurate. You’ll also get some buy in from your team about what the next steps are to move forward. So resist the urge to create and spread conspiracy theories. And I think you’ll find you’ll be a whole lot more successful moving those deals forward.
Scott Ingram: For more about Jeff Bajorek including links to the incredible series of hallway conversations he hosted during the Sales Success Summit. Just click over to DailySales.Tips/644
Then, be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!