Selling Entitlement

Dave Kurlan commented to this post–selling.aspx and in the process reminded me that I intended to answer my own questions after you all gave your answers. Frankly, I was pretty surprised that you all had so little to say. Nonetheless, my thoughts:

Do you believe that prospects are telling them the truth? Are you sure? I think that prospects tell the truth when it suits them. They may not care that you think that you’re entitled to the truth. They care only about what they’re after. If you’re a crappy salesperson, they’ll compare you to the competition. They’ll get your price to see if it’s the lowest or if they can get you to lower it. They’ll want you to give them samples. They’ll give you 20 minutes even though they agreed to a 90 minute appointment. They’ll tell you that they’re the decisionmaker even though there are two partners, a committee, or a board that’s actually gonna make the decision. They are not inclined to believe that you actually know what you’re talking about. They’re not inclined to give you information that they believe that you’ll use against them. They are not inclined to cooperate until you give them a reason and once you do, it will look a lot more like they are cooperating with you.

Compelling Reason….Compelling Reason….Compelling Reason. Read Baseline Selling. Until you have uncovered your prospect’s Compelling Reason, there will be no cooperation, no meeting of the minds, nothing! Here’s the rest of the story. You’re not entitled to know what the prospect’s Compelling Reason is. You must earn it. You have to understand your prospect, sometimes better than they understand themselves and they’re typically NOT going to say, “Here’s my compelling reason….” You need to be a double expert. You have to understand your stuff, industry, competition, etc. You also have to be an expert at asking the right questions and that is the hard part. Until you get that right, they’ll have neither the time nor the inclination to explain themselves to your and they won’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to.

Next question:

If the truth doesn’t involve you.

If you are not the right solution.

Will you be able to handle the truth?

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