The number one cause of failure in sales is an empty pipeline. The number one reason for having an empty pipeline is not to drill every day, every day, every day.
this is the truth. A brutal and universal truth that cannot be denied. But, of course, the truth is as the saying goes, like poetry and everyone hates poetry.
A few weeks ago, my 24-year-old son was Son He was giving a prospecting workshop over the phone to a group of Sales Development Reps (SDRs) who were all his age. Early in training, a representative pointed out that my best-selling book fanatical prospectingIt was written some time ago. He asked, “Is it relevant anymore?”
Young people, always eager for the next bright, shiny thing and ready to divide any ideas that are perceived as “outdated”. This has always been true from one generation to the next.
Any excuse not to expect it
What is also true is that salespeople of all generations have, for at least 125 years, been willing to make any excuse, I mean any excuse, to avoid the brunt and pain of prospecting. This is exactly what this young man was striving for.
My son wanted to leave it off the hook. To say that prospecting was old school, the marketing department should present leads on a silver platter and that during the sales day it could send an asynchronous spam to prospects on their company’s sales sharing platform and connect to that prospecting.
Mostly, he wanted to check that the “phone no longer works” and could avoid this talk to people.
my son replied, “What has changed in your opinion in the past six years?”
Young SRD replied, “Okay, no one answers the phone anymore.”
At that, my son pulled out his excavation list for the day, showed it to the group, and said, “Okay, let’s test your hypothesis.” Then he started calling right in front of the SDR.
In the first fifteen contacts, he spoke to four decision makers and made two appointments. Then he turned to the group and asked, “Are there any other questions?”
closed closed. As Elvis Presley aptly said, “Truth is like the sun. You can shut it down for a while, but it will not go away.”
You can’t be delusional and successful at the same time
Of course, there are loud voices, mostly Social media, who shouts that cold calling is dead, phone is dead, sales are dead, and one form or another of prospecting is dead – depending on which way the wind is blowing that day.
Still others are loudly shouting from the top of their mountain “Holier than you” that robots and artificial intelligence should replace people in the sales digging business. They argue that allowing these bots to spam stupid people via email, text and direct messages is the secret to the success of all current and future sales.
it’s not like that. People hate bots and spammers. Put these two annoyances together and it will only turn off leads and teach them to ignore mindless generic bot messages.
Mark Homer, in Uncommon Sense, says, “Louder clamor does not increase the value or validity of their opinion. Indeed, often by the nature of being the loudest, these opinions are usually the furthest from reality.”
The young sales representative in the above story is among the many sales professionals exposed to these messages that cause them to become fearful and uncomfortable with outsiders interrupting their prospecting activity.
On a perennial trip to delusionville and burdened with confirmation bias, sales professionals who think they can avoid prospecting for any information or excuse that go against the truth and give them an easy way out.
But you can’t be delusional and successful at the same time.
The results are expected. Sales professionals who avoid prospecting spend their days in Feast or Famine Amusement Park riding a rollercoaster of desperation.
- Give up prospecting.
- Hide behind excuses.
- Complains about weak threads.
- Suffering with a thin pipeline.
- Selling from a place of desperation.
- Constantly miss class.
- get fired.
- Move on to the next sales job.
- Rinse and repeat the same losing behaviors.
Sales success is driven up front with expectation
The truth is:
- The more people you talk to, the bigger your pipeline and the more sales you will have. And talking to people means that you need to involve strangers and existing accounts in conversations.
- If you don’t constantly expect that you will secondarily improve your income, you will fail and be fired.
- Prospecting is hard work. They are long periods of pain and grinding, interrupted by a few short moments of exhilaration.
- Searching for potential clients is not a fun, interesting, easy activity or one that you are likely to look forward to. It sucks and nothing will make it suck less.
- There is no easy button to drill down.
In sales, the price for success is paid up front with prospecting, and rent is due every day.
Therefore, you must face the truth and choose success or failure. Superior performance or average. loss or win.
Some salespeople are offended when I confront them with such brutal binary options. Understood. The truth hurts and you feel attacked when you lie to yourself. Cognitive dissonance is a painful emotion. But lies will paralyze you.
Never forget that the number one cause of sales failure is an empty pipeline. The number one reason for having an empty pipeline is not to drill every day, every day, every day.
In the most comprehensive book ever written on sales prospecting, you will learn the real secret to improving sales productivity and increasing your income quickly. DOWNLOAD THE FANATICAL PROSPECTING BOOK CLUB GUIDE HERE.