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S W 3 / N

Some Will ~ Some Won't ~ So What. / Next!

By Terry M. Sullivan

Several years ago while conducting a sales and marketing workshop geared to building an accounting practice, I wanted to find a quick way for the accountants in the class to gain an understanding of the essence of the sales process. In a sales setting, this formula relates to prospects. Some people will need your product or service, some won't. Some will like you as a person, some won't. Some people will recognize the value you believe you offer; some won't. Some will be great clients, and some won't.

Most everyone understands the concept up to this point; yet never get to the so what/next part of the formula. This is where the combination of insight, experience, and maturity become important aspects of the process.

So What ~ While at first glance this phrase seems to imply a cavalier attitude toward the prospect, in reality, it represents a shift of mindset. It's not about what the prospect says or does, rather it is all about what you do, how you react. The sales process, like life itself, is all about how you manage yourself.manage your reactions to changing circumstances. After all, it has never been possible to control events, let alone control the behavior of others.

It is frequently said that the sales process is a numbers game. The more people you contact, the more appointments you will set. The more appointments set, the more people you actually get to present to. The more people you present to, the more sales you can close. The more often you ask for referrals, the more quantity and better quality of referral opportunities become available. Does it matter which call of the day becomes the opportunity?

The key to success is understanding that each contact must be delivered with the same high standard of enthusiasm, preparation, and commitment to identifying and satisfying the needs and wants of the prospect. To this end, one must be aware that objections are a request for more information, and that the ability to communicate with clarity is essential. Most sales are lost from fear of rejection.from not wanting to hear why someone doesn't want what we have to offer. This is true not only in the arena of professional selling, but in the arena of daily living as well.

When is it time to say NEXT? How many people have a pipeline of wannabes... of if only's. They haven't closed the sale and they haven't closed the file. They are unable to move ahead effectively because they are anchored by the weight of possibilities that have no means of being achieved. The time that could be invested in new growth is squandered. People get trapped in the maze. They "wish, want, hope, and pray" that things will change. Instead of cultivating their garden wisely, pulling out the weeds, feeding the plants, pruning the dead wood, they allow the new growth to get choked. It cannot flourish without access to the light and space for roots to reach out and take hold.

Let today be the day of evaluation. Take stock of who is in your pipeline, personally as well as professionally. When is the last time you took action to further the relationship? Can you meet the needs and satisfy the wants of the prospective client? Clear away the deadwood and you may find that time and resources are now more available. Gain a fresh new perspective by asking clearly "Are the services I provide the answer to his/her problems? Do I want to do business with this person? Do I want to build a long-term relationship this individual?

Sort the issues, be honest with your answers, and you'll be ready to take the next step.

Terry M. Sullivan, has an extensive sales and marketing background and has developed and implemented a wide range of training programs.For more information about T M S Consulting, call 770-448-2117 or visit her website at