“The Cardinal Sin:” Sales Challenges

Maybe you have heard the term.  Maybe you have used the term.  I’m hoping you haven’t been accused of committing one.  Most people have trouble recovering from committing the cardinal sin…a phrase used for years and years to talk about someone making a really significant mistake.  You don’t want to be the guy or gal who commits a cardinal sin. But don’t fall victim to one when faced with sales challenges.

And of course, as we have written many times before there are a ton of parallels between life and selling. Afterall, we all probably know a salesperson who has committed the cardinal sin – of not making sure their prospect has a problem that they have to fix…before the salesperson decides to unload the proposal.

I have maintained for quite some time that salespeople do not mind having to work really hard.  Most enter the industry knowing they are going to have to hustle and face sales challenges.  And I also maintain that most salespeople do in fact understand that rejection will be part of the equation for them.  But while they don’t mind working hard…and they even understand that they are going to lose (at least from time to time) the one thing that salespeople should mind is finding out they just spent a significant amount of time chasing a prospect that could never be caught.

One of my clients in South Texas calls prospects like that “parked cars” as they were never going to move in the first place.  And in some respects, the salesperson does get what they deserve when they chase a parked car.  But the reality is that there is something that you can do about it.  How so?  By making sure you do two things:

  1. Know the difference between issues (think of these as irritants) and compelling reasons (things that must be addressed or fixed).
  2. Ask your prospect which one they are dealing with – think of the difference between a twisted ankle and an ACL tear.

Finally, remember that it is not a sin to lose a sale.  But it is a sin…a cardinal sin…to lose a sale for a reason you should have known about earlier.

Go sell like a champion today!

From Chief Growth Officer & Sales Development Expert, Mark Trinkle

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