Watch Sales Gal Unplugged
Don’t Be Held Hostage
By Mark Trinkle
- Have a pipeline full of qualified opportunities
- Have the courage to walk away from an opportunity that doesn’t qualify
By Mark Trinkle, President, Anthony Cole Training Group
You know, as I travel the country, one of the things that we keep hearing more and more about are salespeople who are held hostage by opportunities in their pipeline. The reason they are held hostages is because, at the end of the day, those opportunities simply aren’t qualified. Which makes you wonder – why does a salesperson keep chasing them down? Isn’t that a rabbit that they’ll never be able to catch?
Well, it is, but of course our salesperson is no fool. They realize that they don’t have anything else in their pipeline, so they think to themselves, “I’m going to go ahead and work on that.” And, because it is the only thing they have going – and they don’t want to come into a sales meeting and show a big zero on the board – they tend to work on that unqualified opportunity. So, in reality, they are held hostage by that and/or other unqualified opportunities.
And, well, that is a problem. But, what can you do about it?
Here’s what you can do about it – you can embrace the mantra that we teach our clients, “I would like the business, but I really don’t have to have it.”
I know for some of you, you might be screaming and saying, “But, wait a minute… I gotta have it! I gotta have it!”
No, you don’t gotta have it. There is no law that says you have to have any one piece of business. You’d like to have it and you’re open to it… IF it’s a good fit. In my opinion, that is one of the greatest attributes that great salespeople have – the ability to walk away from an opportunity. The thought that “I’d like the chance to have their business. I’d like having them as a customer. But, you know what? If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out.”
Now to get THERE, what is required? Two things:
Number 1: It’s helpful to have a stuffed pipeline of opportunities so you can be choosy with regard to any one single opportunity. It’s easier to move on if you have something else to move on to.
Number 2: It takes a lot of courage to walk away. I know of some salespeople who, quite frankly, absolutely do need to have the business. But, they wouldn’t dare let the prospect believe that that was the case. Even when they desperately need it – have to have it – they don’t act like they do. It’s like being dateless and desperate – why would you want to advertise it?