Reducing Friction and Creating Antifriction in Sales

If you don’t know who your dream clients are, if you haven’t identified the best prospects in your territory, you have a form of friction that prevents you from prospecting.

When you don’t know how to gain an appointment by trading enough value for the time you are asking for, the resistance you get when you ask for a meeting is unnecessary friction. The “no” you hear is friction.

Your dream client has concerns about meeting with you, and those concerns are real to them. When you decide to overcome their objections you create resistance than would have been more easily removed had you decided to resolve their concerns. Unresolved concerns are friction.

When you show up and begin a conversation by talking about your company, your products and services, your global footprint, and the big name logos you presently serve, you create the friction that comes with believing that you win sales by providing proof that your prospect should buy from you because your company and products are great instead of using that time to serve them. Self-orientation, in all its forms, creates resistance.

Sometimes things that create friction feel like progress. Your dream client asks you tells you how impressed they are and asks you for a proposal and pricing. But because you haven’t collaborated around the solution and haven’t done the work to really understand their challenges or their constraints, you have created friction by providing them with something to which they can easily refuse. Lack of an effective theory about how to control the process is friction.

In larger, complex, B2B sales, there are often more stakeholders than smaller, simpler sales. When you try to bypass including the people who are going to be effected by any decision to change, you create the friction that is their resistance to being excluded from the conversation. You also have likely created the additional friction that comes from losing the high ground that comes with dealing with friction.

The intention to speed up sales does not create friction when the tactics employed mean slowing down. When the tactics you use speed things up, you create the kind of friction that can bring the entire process to a crawl.

The remedy for friction is lubrication, making the surface smooth and even and easy for things to move from one side to the other. If there is a potential to create friction, then there is also the potential to create antifriction. If you want to make selling easier, then do the hard work of creating antifriction.

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Filed under: Sales 3.0

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