5 Words That Stall Sales Pipelines

5 Words that stall sales pipelines

There are five words that you should be wary of when leaving a Prospect/ Client meeting or call. Those five words are: “I think that went well!”

We want to be dealing with as much certainty in sales as possible (not false hope) and if you leave that conversation or meeting thinking “yeah I think that went well…” That means that potentially there are some questions that haven’t been answered.

It could potentially mean that the actions are one sided, in other words you’re doing more of the tasks and really what you want is mutual agreement -so there’s actions from each party.

This way everyone’s got a clear understanding of what happens next -what the next step is however big or small that might be.

If you find yourself saying: “I think that went well…” There’s definitely some further questions you can ask. Think about that before you make your next call or before you go into your next meeting: how are you going to establish what the mutual next actions are.

That will tell you how much buy-in there is and then you have a much healthier pipeline otherwise the risk is that 60% of it turns into a futile chasing situation…

If you find this is the response from your Sales team, it’s a signal to give them some help!


Closing Skills: Are You Alienating and Disengaging Your Prospect?

Boring Presentation Meeting

Do you ever wish you could hear what your Prospects or customers are saying to their colleagues when you’ve left the meeting? Recently I sat in with one of my customers -they had a potential supplier visit and after they left the first things that were said was “That went on a bit didn’t it!”

The trigger moment for that statement was when they pulled out some slides- the first few were relevant to what was being discussed but quickly lost impact as the salesperson kept clicking through them. You could feel the energy drop, the motives and curiosity from my customers who they were so keen to impress disappeared.

Now the only action that is going to happen after that meeting is that of my customer creatively avoiding the salesperson during a painful follow up process!

I bet that salesperson left the meeting thinking “yeah that went well I think we’ll get them on board” and telling their boss the odds are good! I’ve done it myself in the past too!

When you prepare for your next call or meeting: how are you going to engage and enthuse rather than disengage and alienate! If you’re using slides make sure they are targeted and leave the “About us” content on your website! And if you don’t enjoy being talked at through a load of slides you can guarantee your Prospect won’t!


Motivating Field Sales Staff

Motivating Quote

It was recently brought home to me how important it is to give regular feedback and support to salespeople out in the Field.  

It’s amazing what happens when you do! I was out for the day doing some accompanied visits with a Field Sales Representative. He has a fantastic work ethic, goes on lots of visits and isn’t afraid to source new businesses to Prospect while out and about.

He’s excellent at starting conversations and has good rapport with those he meets. The perception he creates for the business is very professional- just one problem: sales were drying up…

Just before we went in to see a Prospect together I asked him what he was expecting from the meeting and he looked a little surprised- it was a loose plan, he’d be striking up a conversation and seeing where it took us.

Planning Questions

Here are a few questions we ran through before we went in:

“OK we need to consider what the best outcome would be for the Prospects from this meeting: for example: what can they find out from you that they don’t already know that will help them with some of their business objectives? Plus what will be the best outcome for us? What actions are we going to take and what actions will they take? What will they want us to do next?”

“What other options are they considering?”

“What will they do if they don’t do this?”

“What other projects in the business might take priority over this?”

Now these were questions which were relevant to that Prospect’s situation and it’s vital to have some questions and objectives planned before any sales meeting, conversation or visit.

Staying Focussed & Motivated

On top of that we discussed how to stay focussed and motivated. If you spend a lot of time travelling as part of your job you have an amazing advantage over those who don’t. You can use your time twice! What I mean is you can attend training and update on industry developments at the same time as travelling. If you are driving you can listen to podcasts, audio books, MP3s of development material. If you are going by train you can add webinars and videos to that list too.   

Now I don’t mean you have to spend all your travelling time doing this because it’s great to give yourself thinking time, blare out your favourite music etc. The key is little and often. Even just 20 minutes will have a massive incremental effect on your mind set and skills. If you can do that twice a week, great! If you do it daily you will be unstoppable!

It doesn’t matter what you listen to as long as it helps inspire you or strengthens your skill set. You’ll soon work out what your favourite kind of material is.

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