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Neediness and Desperation are Foul Smelling Colognes

Overly persistent (pest) sales people thrive on delaying the day of reckoning. If one is going to be persistent in their follow-up, it should be driven by sound economic fundamentals; good return on investment of time and energy. Yet too often conventional sales people exhibit unchecked, enthusiastic persistence that knows no limits, and ends up sapping energy and future initiative, resulting in the deals you win subsidizing the deals you lose; which dragged on indefinitely.

The question of should you stay or should you go (old song from the Clash) rarely enters the mind of dyed-in-the-wool, persistent sellers. Rather, "Your wish is my command," is frequently the battle cry for these sales people who go on crusades chasing phantom deals. These sellers have never perfected the elegant strategy of catch and release.

A lot of supercharged follow-up is simply avoidance activity. There is a reluctance to trade in old lost causes for the new undiscovered and untapped opportunities in the market. The common thinking is when you have nothing solid in your pipeline anyone that can fog a mirror is attractive considering the alternatives; new business prospecting. Keep in mind Parkinson's Law, "Work expands to fill the time available for its completion."

The greatest enemy of selling is the illusion of it, and self-deception is its favorite twin sister. Pesky, conventional sales people stay in deals way beyond their expiration and shelf life because of their unwillingness to admit to their mistakes. It is tough on their ego. Their desire to feel worthy and valuable trumps anything else. This irrational behavior causes lots of disenfranchisement in the profession.

Overly persistent sales people's hope is an article of faith wrung from the history of old selling ways. They need to redirect their optimistic persistence to be optimistic and dogged in their pursuit of the truth and reality, and finding new opportunities after they have released bad deals that they have been hopelessly chasing.

Trust defects are at the core of wasted time for sales people and customers, resulting in prolonged sales cycles. If customers really respected you and trusted you, they would have given you answers much sooner than later; good or bad. In many cases it is the sales person's style of selling that forces customer's hand in giving them flimflam and non-decisions.

Supercharged sales people let their imagination run far ahead of the facts that are staring them straight in the face. This is the anatomy of a lost cause; sales people struggle arbitrarily against unknown and unpredictable odds because they do not qualify opportunities for probability, they only qualify it if it is a good fit from their self-serving perspective. They foolishly chase customers with stoic resiliency and near saintly patience. They are very good with what I call after-the-fact selling, post-morteum selling. They try to resuscitate and revive bad deals that were essentially DOA. They abuse the Hippocratic Oath; never operate (sell) on a patient (customer) on the day of their death (when they have no interest).

Richard Farrell is President of Tangent Knowledge Systems, a national sales development and training firm based in Chicago. He is the author of the upcoming book Selling has Nothing to do with Selling. He trains and speaks around the world and has authored many articles on his unique non-selling sales posture.

Phone: 773-404-7915
EMail: rfarrell@tangentknowledge.com
Web: http://www.tangentknowledge.com