Examples of How Salespeople Lose Credibility with Their Prospects

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Sun, Oct 28, 2018 @ 23:10 PM

credibility

You probably thought I would write a world series article but there wasn't much tension or anxiety in this series as the Sox dominated.  So instead of an epic baseball related article, you're going to read about trust and credibility.

Most salespeople know the importance of establishing trust and sometimes overcompensate to achieve it.  However, when salespeople lose credibility, the most likely scenario is for their prospects to buy from someone else and this happens much more often than you might think.  Data from Objective Management Group's (OMG) evaluations and assessments of 1.8 million salespeople tell us that only 38% of all salespeople establish trust and even the top 5% are only able to bump that number to 54%. 

trust-1

That could explain a lot of lost sales, but why? 

It is very easy to demonstrate this by using the current political atmosphere as an example.

Before we begin, I am a registered independent and have voted for both democrat and republican candidates in the past 3 presidential elections, There is no need to read between the lines, twist my words, or turn this into a political platform.  I shared ugliness from both sides of the political spectrum proportionately.

Do you remember the 2016 presidential campaign when a 2005 video of Trump emerged with him saying that he could grab women's genitals?  Most politicians and pundits condemned him, his words and his actions.  At the time, CNN had a couple of Trump surrogates fighting an uphill battle each night as the panels were usually stacked with pro-Hillary voices.   On that night, rather than joining the crowd and condemning Trump's actions, they defended him and lost ALL credibility.  Nobody would listen to them again and they were eventually fired.  All they had to do was say that they agreed with everyone else on the panel and shut up. They could go back to fighting the good fight on another night and they might have even garnered some additional support for being so realistic and honest.  But that's not the path they chose to take.

Things were equally mind-blowing this past week after the serial package bomber and synagogue shooter were both apprehended.  FOX had a couple of democrat strategists who, rather than blaming the bomber and the shooter, put the blame squarely on Trump, as if he had recruited them to act on his behalf.  As with the previous example, they lost all credibility when, if they had only chosen common sense over party, they would have maintained credibility and the opportunity to get viewers to listen to their other opinions.  It was a completely different story over at CNN and MSNBC where their viewers would have surely applauded any guest who blamed Trump for the evil that took place last week.

Which finally brings us to selling.

Your prospects will usually be on one side of your argument or the other.  There's not really any such thing as down the middle because everyone has an opinion.  Whether it's your approach to solutions, product design, services, technology, pricing, timing, delivery or customer service, you won't be credible If you take the view that is opposite of what they believe.  Period.  CNN is the most trusted name in news - as long as you agree with their 24x7 anti-Trump narrative.  FOX is fair and balanced - as long as you only watch the three shows that are actually fair and balanced; because the others definitely lean to the right of center.

So how do you appear credible to a prospect who:

Loves one of your competitors? You need to love them too.

Loves a different product?  You need to love it too.

Loves a different technology?  You need to love it too.

Loves a different price?  You need to love it too.

Love it - at least initially.  At least long enough to lower their resistance.  At least long enough for them to find you credible.  At least until they are willing to listen to an alternate message.

Go Red Sox.

Image Copyright iStock Photos

Topics: Donald Trump, kavanagh, cnn, fox news, Dave Kurlan, trust, credibility

Veteran's Great Quote Makes News and Has Terrific Lessons for the Sales Profession

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 @ 14:02 PM

dead-horse.jpg

Disclaimer:  This is not a political post even though I quoted someone with a political opinion.  The entire article is about sales.

On my way to the office, I was listening to FOX News when they cut to a diner in Jacksonville, Florida to interview some of the patrons there.  One of the people interviewed was Stanley, a Veteran who said he had two messages he wanted to share.  He said, "To the media, don't make in-depth assumptions from shallow observations.  And to the obstructionist democrats, we have a saying in the military.  When the horse dies, dismount and quit riding that dead horse."  

I might not have nailed his quote word for word, but I'm sure I captured the gist of it. Just think of the sales lessons that can be taken from this!  The short video below is from the FOX interview and below that I will share some lessons for the sales profession.

Don't Make In-Depth Assumptions of Shallow Observations.  Salespeople make more assumptions of a prospect's buying potential and readiness than you can imagine.  They observe what appears to be interest and then, instead of uncovering their compelling reasons to buy, thoroughly qualifying and building a case, they assume the prospect is "good" and will "probably" do business, hastily create a proposal, forecast the business to close, and then spend most of their time in the act of futile and ineffective follow-up.  Result?  Dead opportunity.

When The Horse Dies, Dismount.  Salespeople with nothing but dead opportunities in their pipeline are pretty much dead themselves.  We are seeing inadequate pipelines in many companies and there are multiples reasons for it.  They include, but aren't limited to: 

  • Lack of accountability
  • Lack of clear expectations
  • Confusion over whose job it is to find new opportunities
  • Unwillingness to make cold calls
  • Over-reliance on social selling

Salespeople who include their dead opportunities in the pipeline are reluctant to archive them for several reasons.  They include, but aren't limited to:

  • Fear of letting go
  • Repurcussions of an empty pipeline
  • The reality that without those opportunities they will have to prospect
  • Fear of rejection
  • Alternate facts
  • Lack of Commitment
  • Poor Outlook
  • Ineffective Hunting skills

I believe that Stanley shared two great, shallow quotes that deserve more in-depth analysis!

Speaking of News, here are some other things you should be aware of.

My thoughts and a fantastic Wharton School of Business video on why sales leaders fear predictive assessments appear on LinkedIn Pulse. Read and watch it here.

My Annual Sales Leadership Intensive - the best two days of training on the planet on how to be an elite sales coach - is coming up on May 17-18.  Learn more here. If you would like to attend, use discount code DK-Blog-Subscriber.

Earlier today, I presented a 30-minute session on how OMG's Tailored Fit is not only different from benchmarking, but makes benchmarking silly and unnecessary.  It was very fast-moving, had lots of data, a good story line and a sneak peak at the magic of the OMG sales selection tool.  

Topics: sales pipeline, lost sales opportunities, selling tips, sales leadership, Dave Kurlan, fox news

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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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