The Most Difficult Prospect
The first time I took a sales personality test, I discovered something. I learned that I could sell to nearly every kind of customer—regardless of whether they were upbeat and positive or downtrodden and suicidal. I could connect and communicate.
Except for the living dead.
The living dead customer is the one who has no personality, stays very quiet, and gives very little information or emotion. That personality type was poisonous to me, and while I learned how to tolerate such a person if they ever became the client, I also learned that I need to use the escape hatch and bail a lot quicker than normal as a prospect.
What I did not discover until just recently while doing research on a prospect in the coaching call, is that the same can be true for entire companies.
I have long believed that the website is a window to the soul of the company. Who they are is right there on your computer and it has a www in front of it. Fun, outgoing companies have fun and outgoing people working there and are represented by a fun and outgoing website. Companies who are arrogant and have attitude display that message, too. Yep, I can sell to either one of those.
But the company whose bland website hasn't been updated since the day they hired that junior high school student to create it back in 2007—and has very little to say about their efforts to sell and market their products services, have no events coming up, and don’t even have much of a presence on LinkedIn—fall into my "living dead" category. As such, they should be treated with the same approach as the customer without a pulse.
The most difficult prospect to work with is the one who makes it hard to connect with on a personal level. The same can be said for entire companies.
Read it. Recognize it. And move on.
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Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.