Free Advice in the Sales Process Creates Bad Endings

Posted by Chris Mott on Mon, Feb 09, 2009 @ 11:02 AM

As a mentor and coach I work hard to teach and learn lessons everyday. Here one that applies to all of us but is magnified 10X in recessionary times.

You have expertise and knowledge and are motivated to help people, so it would seem that "offering" a little help or advice to demonstrate credibility is OK now and then. Right?

The answer is no, no and no unless you are getting paid well for it.  Here's why.

  • We don't have the time to offer free consulting
  • Prospects will gladly take it but advisors get paid for their advice, that's why they are advisors
  • If you are speaking to a real prospect you need to get them closed now
  • Talking about solutions minimizes their problem - it makes them hurt less
  • You show them that a little help can solve their problem
  • You are demonstrating that urgency isn't very important
  • You may improve the relationship but asking great questions to find compelling reasons for action works better
  • One of your jobs is to change their thinking process, not to validate it
  • If we don't have a personal sense of urgency they certainly won't
  • Delays kill all deals

I'm sure we can find rationalizations for why being helpful is necessary, but it's the wrong approach in economic times and if we do so we make excuses for ourselves.

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