Meeting sales goals can be emotional and stressful, especially when the company is counting on you to drive revenue (and make payroll). Often times salespeople will chase prospects because those potential clients gave the slightest indication of interest. That slight interest, or glimmer of hope, can seem like a sure thing to even the most experienced seller when they’re hungry (or feeling desperate to close a deal).
Have you ever chased that deal because you were absolutely convinced the prospect was an ideal client? Kind of like becoming infatuated with someone because they appeared to give you subtle hints that you perceived as “playing hard to get”. In your mind, you start playing out the scenarios of how this opportunity will turn into the most satisfying relationship that will turn things around for you. And no matter how much they play hard to get, you become determined to win them over. You “know” that what you have is exactly what they need. And when they realize it, they will fall in love with you!
Am I the only one who has experienced this? C’mon, be honest.
Guess what? They might not be that into you after all. You may have misperceived their interest because they didn’t give you a flat out “No”. They led you on because they still wanted you to like them … and got your hopes up that a beautiful relationship was inevitable. You became blinded by the cues of “maybe there’s a chance”. These prospects are just teasing you, even if they don’t realize it.
Click on this podcast episode about the power of getting beyond “maybe” and getting to a “no” faster to stop wasting your time.
This is why it’s so important to know who your ideal client is and to even have a client avatar so that you can instantly recognize the right customer.
In the world of improv comedy, performers can instantly read an audience to know who doesn’t want to be at the show. Some audience members are only there because someone made them attend. Experienced performers have learned over time, by studying body language, who is an ideal audience member. From there, the performer caters to the patrons who are the most engaged and participatory. We don’t disrespect the “wrong” audience members because they are most likely attending with the right audience members. We just don’t invest in the wrong ones as much.
Sometimes we’re wrong, though. Sometimes we have audience members that just don’t know how to emote or communicate clearly. They look completely uninterested during the show. When they meet up with us in the lobby after the show and say “That was so funny. Thank you.”, our gut reaction is to respond with “I wish you would have told your face that” because they didn’t crack a smile once.
Thus, you need to be careful with reading your audience as well. Sometimes they’re just having a bad day.
The bottom line is that you need to create your ideal client avatars so that you can quickly recognize them during your prospecting efforts. Let me know if you need help with this. I have a great exercise for it.
OR, if you want to try something crazy, find a single friend with a Tinder account and watch how quickly he or she swipes left (for “nope”) or right (for a “match”). I’ve seen some friends do this in a rapid fire style, literally being able to identify ideal mates in seconds. Maybe we need a “Tinder” for prospecting???
Moral of the story: don’t fall in love with every prospect just because they “winked” at you, “poked” you or “swiped right” in the moment because they were bored and you were lonely. I’m not sure I’m getting my metaphors right, but you know what I mean, right? Outline for yourself the characteristics of what Mr. or Ms. “Right” Client looks like for you. Determine what your “must haves” and non-negotiables are for a fruitful partnership and a happy ending.
For another cheeky article Gina wrote about “Selling Is Like Dating”, check out this Forbes article.