Imagine walking into a prospect's office and having him or her say, "I have a problem. There is a monkey on my back and I want to make it yours." Any normal person would know better than to say, "Great, toss that over here and let me add that to the monkeys I am already working with."
As a sales coach, I spend time with quite a few people who have big monkey collections. They have accepted their prospects' and clients' problems as their own. Unfortunately, these monkey collections have some predictable consequences.
-First, a large collection of monkeys generates a higher level of stress. You can't control the constant chatter and yet, it is often all that you can hear.
-Second, a loud, noisy troop of monkeys will keep any salesperson from focusing on high-priority tasks.
-Finally, because of the constant chatter and the lower level of productivity, a large monkey collection will create a perception that the salesperson is ineffective.
To get out of the monkey-wrangling business, salespeople need to follow this simple process with their prospects:
1. Help them name the monkey. Sometimes prospects try to hide what is actually happening in their world. As a salesperson, it is important to hang in there and work on defining what the prospect is asking you to do.
2. Help them find the monkey's real owner. You need to get your prospects to acknowledge who actually owns the problem (it's not you) and understand that all you can offer is a possible solution.
3. Help them decide if they are looking at a good monkey or a bad monkey. Some monkeys are good (like Curious George). These monkeys are called "pets." Some monkeys are bad (think winged monkeys from The Wizard of Oz).
4. Help them decide whether they need to feed the monkey or shoot the monkey. If your prospect would rather feed his pet monkey than shoot the bad monkey, there really is no sale to be made.
Want to learn how to tame the sales monkeys you are dealing with?
Contact Matt Nettleton, Sandler Training, DTB at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-695-8549.