Your results begin in your mind. What you believe impacts the choices you make, positive or negative. If you hold unhealthy beliefs, beliefs that conflict with reality, you will not produce the results you want. In a contest between your beliefs and reality, reality remains undefeated. The following unhealthy beliefs about your prospects and clients will cause you no end of problems. If you want better results than you produce now, you start by changing your beliefs.
- They Are Never Going to Change Partners: If you believe your dream client is never going to change partners, you are not going to continue to pursue their business. Without persisting as long as is necessary to win their business, you will give up too soon, looking elsewhere for easier targets. Because you give up and go away, you will miss the opportunity to compete for your dream client’s business when they have the inevitable problems, challenges, or circumstances that give rise to change. Given a long enough timeline, every dream client who is locked in with a partner will change partners. You determine whether or not you are going to be there when they decide to look.
- They Won’t Meet with Salespeople: You might want to believe that your dream client contacts won’t meet with salespeople. In some ways, you are correct; they won’t meet with some salespeople. Mostly you are incorrect, and the contacts that refuse a meeting with you meet with other salespeople. Believing you are not the variable disempowers you, as is generally true when you look for external factors as the root cause of your problems. You increase your chances of acquiring a meeting when you improve the value proposition for the meeting and persist in your pursuit.
- They Won’t Pay More: It might be true that your prospective client won’t pay you more, but when that is true, it says nothing about their willingness to pay someone else more. No potential client is going to pay more if they don’t perceive an increase in value that would justify a more considerable investment. If you want them to make a more significant investment, you have to connect the dots for them, convincing them that the larger investment produces a result worthy of the additional money they spend. Just because price is always a factor doesn’t mean it is always the deciding factor. In most cases, it is not.
- They Know More Than You: The contacts inside your dream client companies certainly know more about their business than you do, but that does not evidence that they know more about the intersection of your industry vertical and their business than you. It is highly unlikely. Your contacts buy what you sell infrequently, and you sell it every day and to many different clients. Your situational knowledge and experience provide you with a deeper, more nuanced understanding of why they might change, how they need to change, and the choices and trade-offs they need to consider. The decision to be a subject matter expert is personal; you can decide to do the work to become one whenever you want.
- They Can Make the Decision by Themselves: In a small business, maybe. In a larger, more complex sale, doubtful. Your contacts to want to make decisions they can execute. They seek consensus internally because they want to make the right decision—and that they can and will execute. Your contact may not want to bring in other people from their team, and they may tell you as much, but that is no indication that other people aren’t going to weigh in on the decision—or stop the initiative in its tracks.
- They Can Resolve Their Own Concerns: At some point after providing your dream client with a presentation and a proposal, they will thank you for your time, tell you how much they valued your discussion and will get back with you after they discuss your plan with their team. They are sincere, and they have good intentions. However, once they are in a room, people start asking questions, some of which turn into concerns. You are not only the best person to resolve their concerns; you are also responsible for doing so. The problem is that you are not in the room.
- They Are Ready to Change: The fact that your dream client is finally choosing a new partner doesn’t mean they are ready to make the changes they need to on their side. Our strong desire to uncover our prospective client’s dissatisfaction with our competitor often prevents us from seeing how much of their challenge stems from their unwillingness to make the necessary changes on their side. Maybe they don’t want to change their processes, or perhaps they don’t want to make the required investment the better results require. They may be changing partners without changing what needs to change.
If you want better results, you first have to change your beliefs. Once your beliefs change, your actions will follow. It takes time for new ideas, and new actions produce new and better results. Like anything else, you will be uncomfortable until you gain the experience and the competency required to create a better result.
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"In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall."
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