What Salespeople Can Learn from Josh McDaniels Gutsy Reversal

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Feb 09, 2018 @ 06:02 AM

change-mind.jpg

If you follow American football even a little, then you were paying attention this week when the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl VII.  You might have been paying attention when a day later the Patriots offensive coordinator agreed to take the head coaching position of the Indianapolis Colts.  The press conference was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, but 3 hours before Josh McDaniels would be introduced as the Colts new head coach he changed his mind, left the Colts in the lurch, and decided to remain with the Patriots.  Wow!  Good for Josh and the Patriots.  Bad for the Colts.  Bad for his reputation.  Interestingly, the thing that excited me most was that we now have a well-known, high profile example of someone  changing their mind AFTER the 11th hour.  And boy oh boy does this relate to sales!

Win rates are all over the place - from as low as 10% in technology sales to 75% for elite salespeople across most industries.  So let's average it out and suggest an average win rate of 42 percent.  For most salespeople, and for all of the bottom 50% who are just plain crappy, they are on the wrong side of success more than half the time.  I'm not going to suggest that crappy salespeople can change anything but good salespeople can...

The truth is that in some cases, people change their minds. 

But most salespeople hear that they aren't getting the business and can't wait for their prospect to hang up so that they can feel the pain of losing.  Fuck that!

The question is, what compelling reason might your prospect have for changing their mind?  Let's assume that they won't reverse their decision if they were happy with the incumbent vendor and decided to remain with them.  But they could change their mind if you were in the mix the entire way and on this opportunity they decided to go with your primary competitor.   How would you do it?

You could start by asking, "Have you ever changed your mind about anything?"  You need precedent.  If they're being honest, they'll say yes. Everyone has changed their mind.  Then you can ask, "For the right reason, could this be one of those times?"  The worst they can say is, "No."  But what if they say, "Yes?"  What if you could get just one in ten to say yes to that question?

Your challenge would then be what might constitute the right reason?  You can ask your them.  I'm sure they know what would get them to reconsider buying from you, assuming that you were being seriously considered right down to the wire.

Give it a try.  If Josh McDaniels can change his mind in public, take an absolute mass attack on his reputation and be OK with it, your prospects can change their minds in private.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, closing strategies, win rates

Getting Deals Closed - End of Quarter Sales Gone Mad

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Mar 02, 2011 @ 21:03 PM

In the 26 years that I've been helping companies grow and develop sales and revenue, I have rarely met with an executive for the first time and not heard about ---it.

It all begins around week 11 of the quarter.  A frenzy of calls, increased activity, sales management and sometimes C-Level intervention, discounts, offers that can't be refused, and more.  For 3 weeks every quarter, the entire sales force - hell, the entire company - takes on a do whatever it takes attitude to bring those deals in house.

Is this necessary?  It is when your sales force can't bring in the business in a logical, optimized, predictable fashion.

Can it be stopped?  Of course.  But you're the only one who can stop it.  And if you stopped it, what would have to change so that the revenue still came in?

Can you make things normal?  if the 3 week frenzy occurs at your company each quarter, then that IS normal - for you.  You can't change that until you agree that it shouldn't be that way, doesn't need to be that way, and it isn't healthy, scalable or even desirable for your company's long-term future.

Do you have to give it away to get people to buy it?  If you're selling a product or service that sucks in comparison to your competition, then yes, you'll probably have to offer heavy discounts or improve your quality.  But if you provide something of value, then you should be able to get value for it.

Stopping the madness, getting the business closed when it is forecast to close, getting your asking price, and doing without end of quarter interventions requires having the right salespeople, having a customized, optimized, formal, structured sales process, great sales management, and the belief that normal doesn't look like weeks 11-13 of every quarter.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales, sales process, sales management, selling, Sales Coaching, closing strategies

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About Dave

Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016 and this one for 2017. Read more about Dave.

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