To sell desperate is to lose the sale before it even begins. When the seller reads something into the process that doesn’t exist, they tend to find out the wrong way by the prospective client, who turns them down abruptly.
Think of a needy person. Someone who reads things into a situation that does not jive with reality.
It’s exactly like when a desperate high school kid is trying to sell his buddy on why a beautiful girl is really his girlfriend. Used to be a girl hidden far away in Canada, who no one actually saw. Now, it’s a little tougher to make the sale, especially with the Internet.
The Desperate Girlfriend Sale
Guy: “I’m telling you she’s my girlfriend.”
Buddy: “Really? What makes you think that?”
Guy: “Well, look what she wrote in my yearbook.” Stay the way you are and you’ll go far, and please keep in touch over the summer
Buddy: “Well I’m not sure that means she wants to be your girlfriend.”
Guy: “Well, I’m going over there right now to prove you wrong.”
The anxious guy and his buddy travel over to the poor, unsuspecting girl’s house. The guy runs up to the door, eager, and rings the doorbell. He can sense the sales process moving in the right direction. After all, this was meant to be.
The Harsh Reality
When the girl, Janet, arrives at the door, her perception of sales process is completely different from the guy standing on the porch.
Guy: “Hi, Janet. It’s me.”
Janet (confused): “Who? What are you doing here?”
Guy: “Well you told me not to change and to keep in touch this summer, so I haven’t changed. And here I am.”
Janet: “That’s not what I meant.”
Guy: “What did you mean?”
Janet: “I meant please change for the love of all that’s good. And don’t ever, under any circumstances, keep in touch.”
When Perception Meets Reality
Janet slams the door in the guy’s face. Both had different perceptions of what was going on. Janet was being nice, but not committal. And the guy, he thought he was down the road during the sales process. In reality, he was being delusional.
As the guy walks slowly back to his car, his buddy is trying to suppress a laugh.
Buddy: “So, how’d that go?”
Guy: “I can’t believe it. She wrote the exact opposite in here of what she really felt.”
Buddy: “Dude, I told you, she’s not your girlfriend.”
Sales Pipeline Excitement
Sellers become just as delusion as the guy in the above scenario. Because they see so many opportunities within a sales pipeline. It doesn’t mean, in reality, that most of those actual sales exist. Most aren’t even close to being even more than prospects, let alone confirmed sales relationships.
The desperate seller may be very excited to have the meeting with the prospect. Just like the desperate guy thinking that he’s getting Janet to sign his yearbook. Much like offering up proposals that are dead on arrival, such as the guy looking up Janet later this summer. And much like the guy with Janet, sellers tend to buy any of the BS that the client spewed about being interested in the sale.
The truth hurts, especially when a seller has to realize that they are wrong about a client’s intentions.
The Sales Career Killer
Sellers tend to believe that 70 percent of what’s in their sales pipeline is real. That’s desperate because is way beyond the reality of the situation. Reality tends to prove out that it’s almost closer to 30 percent. That means there is a 40 percent gap between the fiction that the seller believes, and the reality of the situation, with the prospective client.
The gap is a sales career killer. Not only for the seller, but for their manager, who bought into the original spin, and the manager’s supervisor, who also bought into the spin. And maybe the whole organization that everyone works for, especially if they went out and borrowed heavily on the idea of the spin being actual and tangible.
This is a lesson for all of the killer closers out there. Just because a prospective client says that they are “interested” doesn’t mean that they are interested in buying. It may mean that they are interested in not being sold by the seller, and interested in the seller leaving them alone.
Poor Janet. She tried to be nice to the guy. He just couldn’t take a hint. So, she had to be forceful and mean. And it probably wasn’t what she wanted either in their relationship.