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Gerry Weinberg & Associates, Inc. | Southfield, Michigan

Harvard Business Review defines urgency as a combination of thoughts, feelings, and actual behavior. We have observed a lack of urgency with many salespeople who believe they have a long sales cycle. Because of their belief, we have noticed that many are uncomfortable asking tough questions to disqualify prospects earlier in the sales cycle.

Why do salespeople have a need to spend so much time with prospects they will never sell? What do prospects say to you to give you hope? Here are some of the most common sales issues that create long selling cycles and a lack of closing urgency:

• Non-Supportive Buy Cycle – our role in sales is to help other people make decisions. If we are not decisive ourselves, we will make it easy for others to behave similarly. The way we buy is the way we sell. The way we sell is the way we buy.
• They need to be liked - their need for approval is so strong they won’t do anything which might cause a prospect to dislike them.
• They fear rejection – they take a “NO” personally. Someone is rejecting them, so they avoid hearing “NO”.
• They are trusting of prospects – they believe a prospect who is thinking it over will eventually buy from them.
• They lack desire – their desire for sales success isn’t strong enough to get them to do what needs to be done.
• They are perfectionists – they don’t do anything until they are certain it will be done perfectly. In the meantime, they procrastinate.
• They have poor active listening skills – they are so busy talking that they miss all the verbal and nonverbal clues.
• They call on the wrong people – they get stuck with lower level people and fear being assertive to get to the right people.
• They get weak up-front contracts – they don’t get “buy in” for decisions and what happens next.
• Compensation – their comp plan is weighted heavily toward salary, so they are already being paid – whether or not they do what management needs and expects them to do.
• They did not help the prospect discover compelling reasons to buy now. What is it costing the prospect to not buy now?
• They lack a “killer instinct”
• They have low self esteem
• They are complacent and comfortable.

Which if any, of these situations apply to you? Pick one situation to work on for the next 30 days. What’s the worst that can happen?

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