Interruptions and …Reclaiming the moment
So, there you are right in the sweet spot of your pitch and the prospects’ phone rings. She naturally answers and there you are wondering how on earth to regain the momentum that existed just two seconds ago!
As you listen to her side of the conversation it becomes clear that call is delivering bad news from a subordinate and that it’s clearly irritating her. The typical reaction is to wait until the call’s over and then offer some supportive comment that refers to it. It’s only natural to believe that’ll engender you to her by acknowledging the frustration she’s feeling.
Great move, right? Wrong! Do that and you’ll amplify the negatives of that call and you’ll likely never recapture the mood that had existed just a half minute ago.
Nope, what you do when she answers that phone is to absolutely freeze in your tracks, pick out some object across the room and give it your very best “thousand-yard stare. That action effectively removes you from her private conversation and allows you to be prepared to do what might just return that call to its’ pre-interruption condition.
Assuming it’s not so pressing a matter that she excuses herself when that call ends, you take your eyes off whatever you were staring at and repeat (exactly) the last phrase that preceded that interruption. Do that and there’s a fair chance that you’ll recapture the tempo and mood that was interrupted.
Next up: Addressing other unscripted issues.
Old adages and…One to believe
There are a lot of adages that sound great but fail to pass the reality test. One absolute exception to that is this one: “The sale isn’t complete until the bill’s been paid”. Truth is unless we get paid, we just effectively lent money to a financial miscreant and took a total write off for both our time and products.
We know that the time to address the payment subject is sooner rather than later, but given the sensitivity of the issue, we rarely do that. Instead we hope for the best and when that doesn’t happen we delay until the financial pain exceeds the personal discomfort of addressing it.
By then the die’s been cast. The buyer’s gotten used to being out 90 days and may even have assumed that you’re good with that situation. Addressing it at this late date might get it paid down to 60 days but getting all the way to 30 may never happen – if for no other reason that the buyer may not have the cash available to do so.
In our hearts we know the time to address the payment timing we expect is at the beginning of our relationship. We also know that the time to address a failure to meet that expectation is the very first time the first invoice passes that threshold. After that point it only gets worse and more difficult to address.