This is not an article about COVID but I will begin by asking which COVID policy you believe is the most stupid.
My vote is for the mask requirement in restaurants because the premise is so moronic. While you're alone with your group at the front door and until you reach your table you must wear your mask. Then, when you're seated at your table, among all the other diners, you can remove your mask. The most literal conclusion is that the virus isn't contagious while you are sitting and eating your food, only when standing and walking. The same can be extended to the airlines where the virus won't spread if you are unmasked with your mouth open to eat or drink, but will most certainly spread if you are sitting with your mouth closed without a mask.
Like I said, this is not a COVID article because if it was, I could write a book about the data, science, policies and hypocrisies. However, there is a sales equivalent to the stupid restaurant masking requirement and that is what we will discuss in today's article.
Have you or your salespeople ever been told by a prospect that they can't:
- Share who the decision maker is
- Allow you to speak with the decision maker
- Allow you to meet the decision maker
- Share the actual budget
- Divulge who you are competing with
- Provide feedback about how you compare with the competition
- Answer your questions because they don't know the answers
- Explain the problem your product/service will solve because they were simply tasked to gather information
- Meet because they only need a quote or proposal
- Share the criteria for what constitutes a winning partner/proposal/quote etc.
There are two interesting takeaways from this list of 10 prospect rules.
- Most salespeople aren't even asking most of these questions or alternate questions. I teach salespeople to ask alternate questions because let's face it - these questions suck like a vacuum cleaner.
- The salespeople who do manage to ask questions like these and don't get them answered wouldn't dare push back and/or try again to get the questions answered
There are two reasons for salespeople not being able to push back.
- They don't know how to push back because they haven't been trained and coached to push through these challenges.
- They need to be liked. According to the data from Objective Management Group (OMG) and their assessments of more than 2,177,025 salespeople, 59% have Need for Approval or the need to be liked. Salespeople who need to be liked are uncomfortable asking questions, more uncomfortable asking lots of questions, and find it impossible to ask good, tough timely questions. There is no chance they would ever have the difficult conversation that would differentiate them from their competition.
It's a powerful weakness found in the area of Sales DNA. It is so powerful that when salespeople finally overcome the weakness, using OMG's Sales DNA Modifier, that their sales increase by 35%!
Not needing to be liked is one of the 21 Sales Core Competencies measured by OMG. You can see all 21 here and if you're up to it, sort by industry and even by company.
Image copyright 123RF