It is the most unthinkable thing from a management/owner point of view.
Every prospect should be sold to.
There is never a time when a prospective customer should be allowed to walk away, let alone actually encouraged to walk away. Right?
I address the question that plagues a lot of new salespeople (or those thinking about getting into sales): “As a salesperson, have you ever talked someone out of buying your product or service because you knew it wasn’t a good fit?”
Episode 85 – Transcript
Welcome to episode 85 of the sales experience podcast. I am so glad that you’re here.
I know I say that all the time, but I truly am. I am so thankful. This is the first episode you’ve ever listened to and you saw something while you’re scrolling through iTunes or Stitcher, Sound cloud, Spotify, online, whatever it was, looking for something sales related, or maybe you’ve been listening to all the shows and you’ve listened end plus episodes so far.
I appreciate either one of you no matter who is listening to this. I’m so glad that you’re here. I take that as a sign that we are all gonna make an impact and change the way that sales is viewed in the world, seen as a profession and not just the slimy, terrible snake oil salesman kind of used car persona, which has plagued the sales industry for so long and unfortunately there’s enough bad actors that keep perpetuating that terrible stigma and my goal is to change that.
That is my mission. I’m so glad that you’re listening to this. Hopefully you take part in that mission and we can all change this together. For today’s question that I want to answer. I haven’t really gotten this question to many times up front.
Mostly because when I’m training or talking to salespeople or talking to companies, I bring this up as something that I view as super important. The question that I saw online recently was, as a sales person, have you ever talked to somebody and talk them out of buying your product or service because you knew it wasn’t a good fit?
Now this kind of goes into several of the different questions and answers that I’ve done this week. If you haven’t listened to them, you know yesterday’s episode talking about follow-up on leads and why follow-up is so important because you’re not going to close everybody in one call.
So you’re gonna have some follow ups and episode 83 I talked about, you know, what’s the one big thing that most people don’t realize that maybe they wouldn’t have gone into sales if they had known? And that’s the level of rejection, the level of not closing deals in all of that.
You’re never going to close 100% nobody should ever close 100% and the reason why is because it’s fundamentally not a good fit for everybody. No matter what you’re selling, no matter what. Right? Like I’ve been in so many different sales business to business, business to consumer, big ticket, you know, mortgage real estate down to small, helping people with little things.
It doesn’t matter no matter what. I can think of times where literally it’s not the best fit. Let’s take mortgage for example, is a lot of people, especially during the height of the mortgage craze in the early two thousands where everybody wanted to buy a house and there was so many times I saw people and it’s like this is not the right thing for you.
You should not buy. Know that you’re excited. I know you’re hyped up. I know everyone’s telling you should, but literally you shouldn’t. Now that’s the most important thing in my opinion, that separates a sales professional, which again is my goal with this show and everything I do with sales teams, consulting, whatever that looks like.
But that is the difference between a sales professional and just a sales person. In my opinion. It’s the ability to ask questions, diagnose somebody’s situation, really dive into what they need, what they want, what they’re qualified for, what will really help them, and then looking at what your solution does. Whatever your product is, whatever your service is, and fundamentally understanding if it is a good fit.
If you prequalify somebody and your product or service doesn’t make sense for them, that true sales professional will tell them that we’ll tell them that it’s not a good fit and hopefully make a recommendation of where they should go.
Instead, I will tell you, I have blown the mind of so many prospects over my whole sales career when I told them, hey, here’s what we offer. This isn’t a good fit for you. Here’s why, and here’s what I recommend. Instead, I recommend you go do this. Instead, I recommend you file bankruptcy.
Instead, go talk to a bankruptcy attorney and see what they think. You know, there’s so many different situations where it’s not a cookie cutter, one size fits all. If you’re trying to sell something to every single person you talk to and you’re trying to shoehorn that into your solution every single time, it won’t work.
Now, here’s what I’ll tell you. There’s some people who are really good at that. I know I could be really good at that if I wanted to and I could sell things to 100% of the people I talked to are pretty damn close.
The challenges is that you’re going to then have a high cancel rate. People are literally going to wake up at two in the morning knowing what you should have told them and what you knew was the truth, but you didn’t want to tell them which is what they just bought doesn’t make sense, and so at two in the morning they’re going to wake up in a panic and then they’re going to do their best to cancel whatever that looks like.
That is why it’s so important to be honest, transparent and authentic. I covered this early on this week actually in answering the question on the first day on episode 81 but those three things will lead you to situations and scenarios where literally your telling that prospect that they shouldn’t buy from you, that it doesn’t make sense and a lot of owners, when I tell that to them, they kind of freak out because they think that everybody should buy and if they’re going to buy a lead, they’re going to pay for marketing whatever they’re going to do.
They think, hey, we need to sell that person because they’re looking at the top line. They’re looking at the bottom line, revenue, profitability, all of that. But fundamentally, when I explain it, the key is that it’s not always a good fit.
Whatever you’re selling, no matter what, I don’t care what it is, business to business, business to consumer, doesn’t matter. It’s not a perfect fit for 100% of the people out there. It doesn’t make sense for them and there’s going to be prospects that you come across who are going to inquire.
They’re going to fill out a form, they’re going to call into a number, they’re going to respond in some way, and you really, it’s not going to fit. Now, I’m not saying you want to go that route all the time. I’m not saying your goal is to find people who don’t qualify and kick them to the curb.
I’m also not saying, you know, goal is to find those people who don’t qualify and then twist their arm and move them forward. Your job is to uncover as much information as possible. Use questions, fact finding discovery, and figure out what their wants, needs, struggles, pain goals, whatever it is for them.
Figure that out in your sales process and then diagnose it like a doctor as a good doctor should do. It’s not about having the solution for everyone that looks the same. It’s about finding a customized solution to get that person out of pain or get that person to where they want to be instead of where they are now.
So that is your goal as a sales professionals to do that same thing for your prospects. Sometimes you may tell them that they’re fine, they’re doing great, they don’t need any help or they shouldn’t buy from you and they keep doing whatever they’re doing.
Sometimes you may say, Hey, I don’t have the right solution, but you know what? Go here. They have the better solution or this is what I think you should do instead of what we have.
If you come from that place, if you tell people the truth, whether it’s to buy from you or not buy from you, and you do that in an authentic, transparent way, you are going to have an amazing sales career. And the reason why I say that is for the people you say, yes, you need to buy, you know, mentally inside in your heart of hearts that you know that that’s the right thing to do. If you tell somebody, yes, you need to buy from me, it’s because that fundamentally is the truth.
If you tell somebody, no, you shouldn’t buy from me, you know that’s the truth and it will blow them away and they won’t know how to respond.
Sometimes they’ll still want to buy anyway because they appreciate that you’re so honest and authentic and if they don’t buy from you, that’s a great way to plant seeds for referrals because they will literally run around and tell all of their friends and family about the most honest salesperson they ever met, even that they didn’t buy from you.
That’s a great way to get referrals is from people who you say, don’t buy from me. Go do this instead, I’m looking out for your best interest. That’s a great way to plant seeds, to get referrals. Hopefully that helps. Always make sure no matter what, by default, honest, authentic, transparent, whether they should buy or not buy.
Always just find out enough information and treat them like you would want to be treated. In fact, even more than that, and I’ve heard this for years now, treat people like you would want a salesperson to treat your grandmother do to people what you would want somebody.
If your grandma were to call into a company, how would you want your grandma to be sold or your parents to be sold, right? Or your sister to be sold, whoever that is in your life that you would not want to be taken advantage of. Treat people in that same way. Play the long game long-term, you will win as a sales professional. I promise.
That’s it for this episode. Again, make sure to subscribe, rate, rank. Leave me a message. Send me something on LinkedIn. Keter consulting group.com I appreciate it. So great when people listen and then give me some feedback.
Always, remember that everything in life has sales and people remember the experience you gave them.