Monday, March 7, 2011
Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes
The quickest way to lose the battle is to engage the opposing forces before you are ready. You need to have your troops ready and prepared. You need to have your intelligence so you know what you are up against. You need to pick the spot to launch your attack with the best effect.
Try to have any kind of sales call without the same data, and you will be able to smell defeat in the air. Not to say that you won’t win some of these battles, but they will be much tougher and take far longer. We know there will always be times when we have to jump in and take our chances. Because we know these will happen, we should do everything we can to prevent these situations when we can.
Are you and your staff ready? Up to speed on the products and services you are pitching? Have you thought about what to say if they ask about pricing? Do you have a contract ready to go? They may just want to buy and boy will you feel silly if you can’t get the contract signed.
How is your knowledge of the prospect and their needs? Do you know what they need? No, not what products, what is the problem or issue? How many employees do they have? What do they do, how will they use the solution you are proposing? Are there any gaps in your solution? Better to know it now.
Sometimes the smartest attack is to retreat. When you have a very aggressive client who is pushing you when you are still early in the process, I want to see a demo today, do you have time now? A smart general knows when the odds are against them. They retreat, regroup, and live to fight another day, when they have the advantage. We want to win the battle and the war.