The Choice


alt text image of a fork a path through the woods

As you work through deals, there are certain points where you have to make a decision. You have to make a choice. Your decision can determine whether or not you win the deal. Your decision can impact how your dream client thinks about you, and how they view all of their interactions with you leading up to the choice.

There is a lot at stake. You must decide, and you must choose wisely.

Don’t Take Action

If you make the choice not to act, you remove the risk of offending your dream client. You eliminate any risk that you are being too aggressive or too much like a salesperson.

By not taking any action to influence the deal towards a favorable decision for you, you believe that you are being respectful, that you are giving your client the space they need to make a decision. But your decision not to act is the result of a failure to exercise your resourcefulness or an unwillingness to work to generate value-creating activities for your dream client that also move you closer to a deal.

Your decision not to act rests on the false assumption that your competitors are not acting, and that they cannot obtain commitments for interactions that your dream clients find valuable.

Your decision not to act is irreversible; you cannot go back and change the outcome after your dream client has made their choice. The opportunity to act and to influence the deal is over once they have decided. It is out of your hands. But you have to live with the consequences of their decision, and you have to live with your choice not to act—even when doing so could have made a difference.

Take Action

If you act in a way that confirms that you intend to make the commitment you are asking your dream client for valuable to them, then you remove and eliminate the risk of wasting their time or offending them.

Your dream client knows you are in sales, and they are not offended by your strong desire to serve them. Continuing to take action is a demonstration of your commitment to working with them. It is also the best evidence as to whether or not you have the dogged determination it will take to help them make the necessary change that they need.

Truly respecting your dream client doesn’t mean living with the false assumption that you are gaining their trust by ignoring them. Being respectful means working towards a deal that gets your dream clients the results they need, and there are always actions that you can take to ensure you can get those results—and taking those actions can help to influence the deal your direction.

Taking action, especially towards the end of the buying process, can give you the opportunity to address unresolved concerns, as well as the new concerns that have sprouted up since you left their conference room table.

Taking action can differentiate you, and it can help you to stand apart from your competitors who have decided that they cannot or should not take any action. It puts you in a different category from the salespeople and salespeople-in-name-only who believe that it is their job to present what their company does and to let their dream client decide for themselves.

Your decision to act is also irreversible. Does it mean you will absolutely win the deal? Unfortunately, it doesn’t. But it does ensure that you have done everything in your power, and that you have brought all of your resources to bear on winning the deal. Your dream client will still make their decision, and you will have to live with that decision (at least for a little while). But you won’t have to live with the regret of having not acted.

Conclusion

It is your duty as a salesperson to do everything in your power in order to ensure that you win deals. This means that you have to take action—even when taking action is difficult or uncomfortable.

Questions

  1. What stops you taking from action on a deal? What do you have to believe in order to feel comfortable making the decision not to act?

  2. What action could you take that would create value for your client and influence the deal in your direction? What stops you from taking this action, if it could create value for your client?

  3. Do you believe that your competitors are not acting because you are not acting? What if you are wrong?

  4. Have you ever regretted not acting after losing a deal?

  5. What are the benefits of taking action? What do you have to do to ensure that your actions are perceived as valuable for your client and move you towards a deal?

  6. What does your continuing to take actions say about you? What does it say about your company? What does it say about your future performance should you be chosen?


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Comments

comments

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  • http://lookingtobusiness.com Daniel M. Wood

    All to many salesmen fall into the traps you write about.
    They don’t want to offend the customer and they feel that if they provide enough reasons the customer will ask to buy and that they won’t have to.

    Everyone has a problem with taking action.
    It means having to change your routines and change parts of your life.

    Your customers don’t want to take action and even when they know they should, they will try to avoid it.
    Therefore you have to make the decision for them. Show them that this is positive change that will make their lives easier and that you will help them make the change so that they don’t have to do it alone.

    What I usually say to my sales staff:
    What good is a relationship if no-one gains anything from it?

    If you spend 5 hours identifying, educating and selling to a client and then fail to make them take action, you just wasted 5 hours. You might have just sat back in your office and taken an extra cup of coffee.

    Great article Anthony, thank you for discussing such an important point.
    It cannot be said to many times.
    Take action!

    • http://www.santhonyiannarino.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks for your thoughts, Daniel. I agree . . . except I want the extra cup of coffee, too!

  • http://www.themarketingmojo.com Tewks

    Sounds like the Prisoner’s Dilemma, no?

    I totally agree action is the only course. In a sales capacity its our job to create a value vision for a client. That’s not going to happen by itself. (or not often enough to be a success!)

    Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time in the marketing automation / inbound marketing space. I think firms like LoopFuse and Hubspot can do a lot to help fill in context for conversation with customers. Not all the touches will always come directly through the salesperson, and these tools can help report back what the customer is communicating via other channels.

    Either way though, it still falls to us to create the visions – and take action!

    Nice piece.

    - Tewks
    http://www.themarketingmojo.com

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