“If something is realistic, that simply means that it is in fact possible and it can happen.” – Jack Wilson in today’s Tip 741
Are you being reasonable?
Join the conversation below and check out the links!
Have feedback? Want to share a sales tip? Call or text the Sales Success Hotline: 512-777-1442 or Email: [email protected]
Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today Jack Wilson is back to continue his series on GREAT Expectations. Here he is:
Jack Wilson: Hey there Sales Success fam I’m back with tip two of the five-part series on setting GREAT Expectations. And the first tip we talked about the G, which is being Granular and today’s tip let’s discuss how important it is that the expectations you set for your prospects are reasonable. It’s important not to make sure our words here, although it’s important for your expectations to be realistic. It’s far more important that they’re reasonable and I’m not just parsing words. If something is realistic, that simply means that it is in fact possible and it can happen. But when something is reasonable, it’s a more moderate and fair expectation, meaning that it’s more likely to happen.
There are a few common times. I see sales professionals set unreasonable expectations for their prospects. One of those times is when setting next steps. Many reps have a convenient go-to like same time next week, or they have a set number of days in which they prefer to schedule a follow-up. Too often this timing doesn’t match the reality of your prospects though.
For example, you just finished presenting pricing to your prospect, and they’ve told you the dreaded, we’re going to need some time to review this. After pushing back and asking some probing questions about what exactly is left to review you waved the white flag and agreed to schedule a follow-up. Is a week enough time you ask? of course, they say, and you quickly send out the invite. How often do your prospects come back with a decision at that next meeting? Throughout the sales process, you should have been ascertaining the who’s, what’s, and hows of exactly how decisions are made within the company. But then all of a sudden, when it came time to ask for the business, you forgot everything they told you. It’s likely that they’ve outlined each of the steps that they take internally. And that by doing some quick math and sprinkling in some common sense, it’s obvious that there’s no chance that’s going to happen in a week.
Instead of making assumptions or shooting from the hip, ask better questions so that you can set a more reasonable expectation. Even when your prospect agrees to the timeframe, walk through it with them to assess just how reasonable it is. It might sound something like this. So it sounds like we all agree that a follow-up next week will work. What do we each need to do between now and then in order to make sure we’ll both be ready to move forward at that meeting. If judging by their answer, it sounds like a week is going to cut it close, then do the right thing and propose something more reasonable. It sounds like there’s quite a bit to do. Would it make more sense for our follow-up to be longer than a week? If so, what do you feel like is the most reasonable timeframe?
This approach has a few benefits for starters, it’s like a big fat tick tack for your commission breath. It gives your prospect a sense that you’re on their side. Not only are you on their side, but you’re working hand in hand with them toward a positive outcome. For you, this minimizes the number of reschedules non-decisions, and the time you spend impending hell, this is just one example of how being more reasonable can help you set great expectations. I’m sure you can think of plenty more.
Scott Ingram: For more from Jack Wilson. Connect with him on LinkedIn. He’s a consistent daily poster and as always we’ll have a link for you at DailySales.Tips/741.
Once you’ve done that, be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip and next Friday for the next tip in Jack’s series. Does that sound reasonable? Great. I’ll talk to you then. Thanks for listening!