No one likes laundry, so don’t give your prospects a Laundry List. While it’s important to set the right expectations and put your prospect’s mind at ease about your sales process, fight the temptation to break it down to every detail. In this episode, I cover why it can be a deal killer and how to know if you lost your deal because of your Laundry List.
Episode 3 – Transcript
Welcome to Episode 3 of The Sales Experience Podcast. My name is Jason Cutter and I am here to help talk you on a functional journey focused on the experience that you or your company is giving to prospects and how best to build that experience in a way that they are more likely to buy from you in order to improve their life in some way.
Think of this as the sales version of how Disneyland creates a magical experience for its visitors at the happiest place on earth. My goal is to help you build a sales experience where your customers are so excited after buying from you that they cannot wait to tell all their friends and family. It’s not about satisfied clients, its about producing raving fans.
Alright, in the last episode I talked about setting expectations. As a sales person you should be an extension of the marketing message. And then in the beginning of your sales conversation you want to set the framework for what your process will be and what you will need from them. “I am going to do ABC….and I just need XYZ from you.”
Sounds easy enough, right? Well it can be – when it’s done right. And it can go terrible wrong when done poorly. When done bad I call it the Laundry List. The Laundry List seems innocent on the surface, even helpful, but it can be a deal killer. And it happens with experienced reps as well as newbies.
So what is the Laundry List? It is when a sales person gives the prospect a long list of steps that will occur through the sales process that triggers the prospect to feel overwhelmed. And when most people overwhelmed or confused their internal response is to shut down.
What if I had started this episode with: First I want to recap last week’s episode. Then I am going to give you 10 tips for how to set expectation. Then I will tell you three stories. After that I want you to write down 25 ways to set expectations. From there we will set up a call and go over them all. Then I will have you write 2 pages for each of those 25 things. Lastly, we will edit down those 50 pages into 40 easy to read pages and set up your sales goals for each month over the next 10 years.
I feel exhausted just saying all of that…and even thinking about walking someone through all of that makes me want to shut down. I can only imagine how you are feeling hearing that big project list.
Now…if you really wanted the help with your sales career and you are in the right frame of mind – then you might have actually got excited about those steps. If you are craving solutions to your selling problems and have big goals you want to achieve, my laundry list would have actually excited you. But for most everyone else, it probably made you want to shut down.
And this is what reps do to their prospects all the time when they lay out all the steps that will occur on that 30-minute call, or that three hour car buying process, or for the next two months when buying a home.
There is a fine balance in setting a good expectation but not pushing the person towards shutting down. As I said, when your prospect shuts down then they will end the interaction. You will hear things like ‘I don’t have time for this right now, I will call you back when I am ready.’ Or ‘Let me think about it.’ If you get the dreaded ‘I need to think about it’ after setting expectations, you killed your deal via the Laundry List.
And there are prospects who will be okay with the Laundry List. The ones that really want the help or really want to buy what you are selling. A percentage of the time a Laundry Listing rep could still sell that car even if they told the prospect everything that needed to happen over the next two hours – if that prospect really wants to buy a car and who they buy from and what it takes doesn’t really matter.
If you are unsure of how much of an expectation to set, keep it simple and short term. Most people’s attention spans are getting shorter. I know mine is. Like they say – how do you eat an elephant? You don’t – that’s gross.
How do you climb a mountain? If you had to, you take it one step at a time. If most people stand at the bottom of the mountain and look up and where they need to go, it will feel too overwhelming. Help your prospects make it to the first part of the mountain, then set new expectations from there.
And always remember – no one likes doing Laundry!
That’s it for this episode. Make sure and check out the website and subscribe. I am so glad you are on this journey with me. Hope you are having fun so far and learning some things you can apply in the sales experience you or your team is creating for your prospects.
Until next time, always remember that everything in life is sales and people will remember the experience you gave them.