A quick Google search of “Seven Great Lies” will return lists about marketing, parenting, politicians, and much more. I wanted to present my version – sales style. It’s my way of encouraging you to keep selling!
So often, salespeople quickly accept that everything said by prospects and customers is good and true. Of course! We are optimists by trade and respect a good pitch; it’s in our nature to believe what we hear, primarily when it supports our plan. The opportunity is fantastic! The client loves me! The deal is cruising to a close.
I’m here to interject a little reality and test whether you have previously heard these great lies about selling. Read my paraphrase of Revenue Storm’s blog, The Seven Great Lies of Selling, carefully, consider the content, and be honest with yourself. Your deal depends on it. Will you keep selling once you’ve discovered these? I hope you do!
Keep selling, but don’t believe the lies!
Lie #1: Decision Makers
“I am the decision maker.” – This is the classic of all lies. If you were unfortunate, this would have been followed with, “So, therefore, there is no need to talk to anyone else.” Here is the weird thing – some people who tell you this often believe it to be true. They, too, are fooling themselves.
The Truth: There is no single decision maker in a complex B2B sales cycle. You are dealing with myriad influences and opinions; this blend will always decide influences and persuasions.
The Action: Seek out all the decision-makers and influencers to create a complete approach.
Send me a proposal?
Lie #2: Passing off gently (or cowardly, you decide)
“I am very interested; please send me a proposal” – This is the classic pass-off and is how a person will end a meeting when they have no intention of moving forward. It’s a lot like, “I’ll call you.”
The Truth: You didn’t grab this person’s attention, and he doesn’t want to deliver the hard truth. Most likely, your proposal could be lost in his inbox.
The Action: Submit a proposal only once you commit the prospect to collaborate.
All about the cost
Lie #3: “The decision is going to be made on price” – Unless you are in a product-to-product comparison with no feature variance, this is not true.
The Truth: B2B sales bring many influences that affect decisions in addition to your product pricing.
The Action: Go back to your pitch and work on your value proposition and demonstrate to the prospect that your solution delivers value beyond that of the competitors.
Maybe another day, but keep selling!
Lie #4: “I will come back to you on this next week” -Usually, this means they are not interested but don’t want to be unkind to you, the poor salesperson.
The Truth: People in sales settings usually don’t want to engage in what might feel negative if they can avoid it.
The Action: Increase your engagement with other decision-makers in the organization to gain buy-in.
Lie #5: “The procurement process will be easy” – Maybe no one believes this one very often, but hope can be a trap. Understand that procurement is a political animal in its own right.
The Truth: Although they are necessary, procurement process within companies have their own graveyards. Don’t let there be a stone with your name on it.
The Action: Learn their procurement processes first. Afterward, build relationships and create a strategy for walking your deal through this critical gauntlet.
They have no time. Will you keep selling?
Lie #6: “She isn’t available for at least a couple of weeks” – This one is easy to believe. They’re telling you you don’t rate on their top list of things to get done, therefore move on.
The Truth: Yes, your target executive is busy. If your deal were strategic, it would have her full attention. Figure out her company’s pain points ahead of time and address them early in the conversation. Accordingly, they’ll make the time to hear more.
The Action: Reposition your offering to sync with the strategic priorities of her organization.
Lie #7: “Everything is good” – Reread the other lies and subsequently remind yourself that we are all vulnerable to them at every sale.
The Truth: B2B selling is complex, with many moving parts, agendas, and political landmines. In other words, there is a lot that can go wrong. As this article from sales30conf.com says, “In a recession, for example, we adjust our sales strategy and selling style.”
The Action: Don’t get lulled into a false sense of security – keep selling!
Finally, I agree with this great advice from Revenue Storm: “Take the time by yourself or with your manager. Go through your deals and honestly evaluate if any have been subjected to one or more of the seven great lies of selling. If so, evaluate how you can turn the deal in your favor.”