Preparation and…Batting averages
So, is the secret to improving that new account batting average really just some garden variety common-sense idea? Turns out that’s exactly what it is because the most common reason for striking out is often a simple lack of good preparation.
And the most typical form of that basic prep error is walking into a cold call without an idea to proffer that has enough merit to win the buyers favorable attention. And for any newbies that means an idea that can trigger that little voice in the buyer’s head that says, “Maybe I’ll benefit if I listen to what this person has to say”.
But beyond that first contact, we have to develop a real program that addresses needs that the buyer either already knows that he or she has, or (more likely) you are unearthing that they didn’t know existed.
Ironically that step is one that will likely only come about if you’re given the chance to do a quick survey of the operation … and that takes us right back to the importance of gaining favorable attention. Because without that step you’ll have a tough time ever learning what those needs might be!
Preparation is everything in sales. Without adequate time and effort devoted to figuring out what to present, what words to use in capsuling it and especially how to present it in a way that’ll convince the buyer of its’ merits, it might be strike three. But with the right plan chances are a lot better that it’ll be a solid base hit.
Next up: Polishing up your elevator pitch.
Loss, acceptance and…eventual recovery
So, you just lost a nice account and you are seriously bummed. That’s perfectly understandable. Heck it’s even okay to cuss and yell a little when you get to the car. But guess what? It’s not really the end of the world. Good things happen and so do bad ones like this.
What matters now is what you do next… that is after you get over being really upset with either yourself for maybe having let things drift a little and creating an opening for the competition, or at the dumb buyer who was ill-informed and made a terrible decision. Either way, there’s a healing period and we all need to go through it. It’s exactly like those five stages with any deep personal loss. First, we experience denial, then anger, followed by bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.
But just as in a personal healing we do eventually come to acceptance. And that’s a place we need to get to sooner rather than later. And with it (and the clear mind it leads us to) we need to get to work replacing that loss asap.
On the positive side, for most of us history says that we’ll replace that loss faster than our normal new business “gestation” period between our first call and the install. And who knows, maybe that replacement account will be a lot bigger.