Tim is an IT consultant. Every week enthusiastic potential customers seek him out with a range of problems he can solve and, of course, the money to help him solve it. Today’s meeting is no different, they finish and shake hands. Tim parts ways with a fervent, “I’ll start our process and get a proposal to you by the end of the week!”
He struts back to his cubicle and nonchalantly invests his employer’s precious resources into another opportunity. He fills his sales pipe and adds the details onto his whiteboard. The potential gross sales figure is then inserted into his nifty little spread sheet. Life is good.
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However there’s one catch… this is the twentieth proposal he’s written in the last six months and not one of them has dropped. Moreover, Tim’s spent so much time chasing these irresistible opportunities he’s neglected his own outbound sales and marketing activities. His sales pipe projects almost a six zero figure, however the real figure is closer to zero.
Tim’s now forced to chase hard, but he soon realises there’s a common theme beginning to fester: no one is returning his calls. His sales manager starts to apply the blowtorch!
Now Tim can’t seem to get a break and is forced to retreat. He concludes this isn’t the right company for him and with that thought he tenders his resignation. Ego intact but with his credibility cracked.
Tim’s story is a common tale of woe, especially for those who rely solely on inbound enquiries for their success. All of Tim’s “opportunities” were being facilitated by the client i.e. the client controlled the process. Despite this approach appearing easier than outbound marketing, in reality he had no way of replicating success even if he’d stumbled upon it.
What he needed was leverage. A balance of proven relationship development activities and methods for manoeuvring inbound leads would have been a smarter approach. He could have charged a fee for his IP at the front end of his sales process to filter out time wasters and likewise chunked his process down to ensure each step established buy-in and reduced risk.
Tim fell into the trap of treating all clients as equal, in doing so he failed to apply quick techniques to determine validity. He also responded to the client’s stated needs without first having imparted a new piece of critical information to move the process forward.
There are countless people within your market that genuinely need your help, right now! Don’t be like Tim and waste your precious time and energy concocting indecent proposals.
Protect your time and valuable IP and maximise your resources with a tested and structured sales process.
Trent Leyshan is the founder and CEO of BOOM Sales! a leading sales training and sales development specialist. He is also the creator of The NAKED Salesman, BOOMOLOGY! RetroService, and the Empathy Selling Process.