Sales Force Productivity Declines when Control Shifts to Consensus

Posted by Chris Mott on Thu, Aug 26, 2010 @ 08:08 AM


In a recent conversation I heard the phrase “socialize the idea”. The premise being that more frequently prospects are saying this is necessary.

For simplicity let call this consensus building. The question is why do prospects believe it's necessary? Obviously, it will depend on where they are in the decision making hierarchy, the more senior their role the less you’ll hear about the need to socialize.

The standard answer about why this must happen is it’s a necessary part of, sometimes mandated, the buying process. This sounds rational and it may be true, but what is the motive behind the motive? It’s usually because they are afraid of something.

Here are a couple possible motives. I suggest you make your own list.

  • This is new territory for them; they don’t have experience with it
  • They have a new manager or peer in their group
  • There are uncomfortable with risk
  • They don’t like making decisions
  • Confrontation (directness) is outside their comfort zone
  • They are under the microscope

In today’s business climate people want security and socializing an idea makes them feel safer. It also means that projects get delayed, change doesn’t happen and status quo rules. Start with this premise; opportunities usually disappear when prospects start the consensus building process.

To overcome the fear you need to do the following:

  • Remind them of the compelling reasons for action
  • Increase their understanding of what they gain from acting
  • Identify the specific fear or discomfort
  • Get them to vocalize this to you
  • Show them how their fear is the real problem

Have you noticed that prospects want to socialize your ideas more lately?

What are you doing to overcome this challenge?

Topics: Overcoming Obstacles, sales tips, improve sales performance, Under achievers

Ted Kennedy – Life, Leadership, Management and Sales Lessons

Posted by Chris Mott on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 @ 09:08 AM


If you listen to the stories being told about the Kennedy family you'll frequently hear, John's picture was proudly hung in my living room. Almost certainly, Ted who was the youngest of nine was very proud of this. Imagine yourself though following that example.

I believe life is often about desire and commitment. By this I mean passion for success in all its aspects and a willingness to "do whatever it takes" to live that passion. Whether its work, marriage, raising children or health these elements are crucial.

Maybe a month after Ted Kennedy began treatment for brain cancer he made the trip to Washington to cast a decisive vote. He continued to work the phones and run committee meetings from his bed in Hyannis Port until the very end.

Business this year has a common theme, survival. Whether you revered Ted Kennedy or disagreed with him; his life was an example of moving forward and getting up to live and fight another day. Somehow he found the courage to walk through overwhelming tragedy and adversity, keep smiling and grow personally from the experience.

What challenges do you need to walk through?

  • Dealing with a messy employee situation
  • Telling a customer, prospect or employee no
  • Raising prices
  • Cutting costs
  • Changing yourself
  • Moving a non-performer out of the company
  • Being tougher and more demanding
  • Doing what you don't want to do

Whatever the history books say about Senator Kennedy; he was always committed to his cause, unabashed in his beliefs, tenacious, incredible hard working, willing to speak his mind, passionate and very resilient. So if you find yourself thinking about him ask yourself, what lesson can I learn from his life?

Topics: Management, leadership, Motivation, failure, Overcoming Obstacles, winning

Subscribe to Email Updates

Scan the QR Code with your smartphone for immediate access to Chris Mott.

Chris Mott LinkedIn

Sales Leadership Intensive

hiring mistake calc