Line in the Sand


There is a line in the sand for sales professionals as well as non-selling professionals that need to develop business.  That line is the imaginary line that if crossed, takes someone from being a professional “sales” person to that unprofessional, pushy “used car salesman” type individual.    So many business developers are so afraid of people viewing them as too pushy that they are not persistent enough…they stop way before the line.  The most successful business developers are the ones that know exactly where that line is and stop right before that line…not 10 steps behind.This phenomenon manifests itself in many ways.  From the sales person that never actually asks for the business to the one that never handles any objections.  It also plays out when sales people neglect to ask for introductions or referrals.  They constantly feel that they don’t want to cross over any imaginary boundaries (the line) so they don’t do the necessary steps.

I rarely let a telemarketer into my home but I remember this one woman who was phenomenal on the phone I accepted an appointment with her.  She came in to my house with her manager and within 15 minutes into the appointment I decided that I was buying what they were offering.   One and ½ hours later they walked out without our business nor did she ever get our business.  Not only did they not ask for the business, but they never even followed up with me afterwards.  Why didn’t they ask?  Why did they even bother to schedule the meeting with us?

In the same vein, I meet the networker that goes out to networking events constantly, only to realize that at the end of the year, very little if any business came from their networking efforts.  In fact, when they factor in all of the hours and hours of attending early morning and evening events…their return on investment was poor.  How many of us spend countless hours at early morning or evening functions only to realize that very little business has come from these efforts?  Why?  One of the reasons is that some people are so afraid of coming off to aggressive or pushy, they never even ask for referrals or introductions.

And then there is the professional sales person that is cold calls to set up prospect appointments.  They have a legitimate reason to call, a well-crafted benefit statement and feel comfortable asking for the appointment.  But, as soon as they hear an objection, they give up.  They don’t even bother to try to overcome the objection.  And if they do, they give up after handling just one objection.  The fact of the matter is…it often takes handling 2 or 3 objections before you can secure the appointment.  The sales superstars will not stop after just one objection for fear that they are being too pushy and aggressive.  They will do what non-superstars will not do…again…go up to the line without crossing it.  There is a big difference between being pushy and being tenacious.  One is over the line…the other is right up to it. Where are you in relationship to the line?