Give to your pipeline; don’t take from it
The sweet spot of sales growth lies in building your portfolio, which means always looking forward instead of looking back. Looking forward creates a contagious pull versus a repulsive push on the customer. Being confident in your service or product and choosing a mentality of abundance allows customers to sense confidence without pushy vibes. Instead, they push you to close them. Let me say that again: They’ll push you to close them. That’s right, you don’t close the customer. In fact, at LIME we call it the no-close close.
All too often I train a new sales rep who has a mentality of scarcity versus abundance. “There is more and will always be more” is a tough statement to live by. It’s much safer to expect the worst case scenario. Although it is smart to understand and hedge against the worst case scenario, this can sometimes override the more productive alternative of focusing on the opportunities before you. This state of mind has everything to do with how you approach your sales portfolio.
Focus on increasing the odds; it’s a numbers game
Have you ever seen an excited child with a bar of wet soap? The more the child squeezes the bar of soap with the intent to grip it, the further the bar of soap squirts away. For a sales rep, his portfolio is often treated like that bar of soap. Instead of moving forward with a mentality of abundance, his focus turns backward to whom can be called and closed within the pending pipeline. This trail of thinking continues day after day, and the implication is that customers are bombarded by an inadequate follow-up process.
The key is to focus on creating the next opportunity. By doing so, you look forward versus backward as well as increase the odds of closing deals. Yes, you will close more often by doing so. We can all relate to that one special opportunity that should have closed but got away. I know I can relate to that. It’s a reality that will remain constant into eternity. It is simply the law of averages. But it's important to recognize that your pipeline is just that--numbers. No matter the quality of the sales presentation and the relationship established, until an account is closed it is only a number. It’s not personal; it’s business.
Let go: Not all of the seeds will take root and grow, no matter the fertilizer
It always gives me a lot of joy to see a sales rep under my wing recognize that he has been focused on controlling what he cannot control--a customer’s decision. It’s a great transformation to see the “aha” moment when the sales rep recognizes how focused he's been on taking from his pending portfolio versus giving to it. It’s a liberating feeling to let go and expect the close. In fact, it’s relieving for a customer when a sales rep is not needy and pushy. I’ve been a buyer in that situation and all I wanted to do was run.
The foundation of “MOJO” or the “Yes Train,” as we call it at LIME, is based on a mentality of abundance. People in general gravitate toward something great. You don’t want to ruin it by being needy. If you are representing a great organization, the service or product that you offer will speak for itself. Just as you fell in love with the organization, so too will the customer. Take the customer on a journey that helps him understand how you fell in love with the organization. By doing so, you will create a pull versus a push toward the customer choosing to do business with you.
Life is about the quality of problems that you create; create a big problem of yeses!
The goal is to create so many opportunities that the law of averages produces customers who close immediately. By doing so, you will become busy managing those yeses. In time, your portfolio will begin to close as well. Again, it’s the law of averages, as some close immediately, some drag their feet for months on end, and everything in between. However, you’re not riddled by a mentality of scarcity by controlling and pushing the customer's buying behavior. This combination will create a quality problem: How do you manage your time with all of the yeses that you’ve learned to attract and create?
Do you find that you are too focused on your pendings instead of creating more opportunities? What do you think about looking for the next opportunity and letting the opportunities behind you close themselves?