The Opportunity: Is It Real Or Imagined?

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February 24, 2014
The Opportunity: Is It Real Or Imagined?


Thank you for the huge amount of people that logged onto my blog last week. Wow, I was overwhelmed and touched.

Now that you have had a look at the blogs, I hope you will stay and travel the road of social media and sales enablement with me. If these blogs can provide guidance to help you on your journey to sales nirvana then we have achieved our goals together.

maximize-sales-opportunityThe Opportunity: Is It Real Or Imagined?

The list of things that a sales professional does in a typical day can be enormous. Monday can find a sales rep focused on forecasting (good pipeline leads to a great forecasting session). Tuesday will probably find him/her prospecting (to expand that pipeline). Wednesday, attending customer meetings, designing proposals and the list goes on.

With so many things that need to be done in the course of a business day, it is no wonder sales professionals can get caught up in the daily grind, lose focus, lose sales and under deliver on quota.

The ability to identify and qualify a real sales opportunity early on in the piece, allows a sales person to manage the sales cycle much more efficiently and bring the sales to a close more swiftly, which is, all in all, a great outcome for everyone.

So how do you ensure you are not running around after an opportunity that is not real? Firstly, you need to understand that your prospect is NOT buying, he/she is feeling pain from a problem, which is driving him/her to find a solution.

The sooner you establish trust and subsequently rapport, with your prospect, the sooner he/she will candidly answer your questions and enable you to understand the nuances of their current business situation.  The more you know, the more you can provide.

Many sales reps have been taught that building rapport with their prospects means finding ‘common ground’. Unfortunately, too many sales reps fail to understand the connection between trust and rapport. How many times have you seen a new sales rep jump in way too early with questions such as, “Oh, what a beautiful family. How old is your daughter?” After seeing a family snap on the prospects desk, yes it can work but what if there has been an accident or a divorce!

trustInitially you should show empathy for your prospects current business situation once you have started to build the bridge of communications then you can start to build rapport, from that point on you can build trust, however you must be sincere. Prospects do not like to be sold, but are open to a sales rep who sincerely wants to help them.

If your position is to “sell something/anything” to your prospect, then it shows and will hinder your ability to develop trust. If you want to develop trust, then, your position should be more one of a sincere “Helpful Advisor” than of “salesman”. That assumes, of course, that you sincerely do want to help.

Developing your credibility does not end with the sale. Developing the relationship helps to continue the sales process and allows you to create another sales cycle for another opportunity. Do it well and they will refer you to other businesses in their network.  I have many former business associates that have turned out to be good personal friends:

empathy21.     Earn your prospect’s trust first by being the “Helpful Advisor”.

2.     Develop interpersonal trust through empathy to his business situation this will establish your right to be heard.

3.     Develop business credibility.

4.     Develop rapport by working together to resolve business problems.

Are you seen as a “Trusted Advisor” or a “Salesman/Saleswoman”

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