I am new to sales and of course I know, value and love the product I sell. So, I figure that everyone else should fall in love and sign on the dotted line instantly. I have come out of meetings, demos and conversations thinking I had the sale in the bag, that they love me and they love the product, only to later find out that the “timing isn’t right” or “we don’t have the budget for this.”
I have added prospects who seemed interested to my “guaranteed to sign” list only to continue chasing them, listening to and challenging various objections. This is when my ‘Happy Ears Syndrome’ was confirmed and I realized I needed an antidote. Our team was fortunate to receive some sales coaching which led to later discussions on how to overcome this issue. Happy Ears seemed to impact all of us at some point in our sales journey.
Listen. I have learned to listen attentively to hear the whole story and not just what I want to hear. Those who have been guilty of having happy ears will hear all of the positive in a sales call and assume a customer who says “Great presentation, this might be a good fit, follow up next week” is an automatic sale. Needless to say, there can possibly be many hoops to jump through before a sale is closed; therefore, it is important to ask those specific questions.
Ask questions. Asking questions will eliminate any misunderstandings, verify interest and the prospects’ intentions. Asking these questions will ensure only qualified prospects are in my pipeline and I am not projecting false commitments. Those prospects I thought were a definite were a hit to the confidence; although, I have also learned too that my role in sales requires me to grow some thick skin (that’s a blog topic for another time).
Remove the rose-coloured glasses. I am a positive person with an optimistic outlook. However, there have been times that those rosy glasses have altered my perception. I have since learned that being overly positive can lead me from seeing potential road blocks or obstacles. Instead, I have traded in my shades for a little bit of doubt and skepticism, which has guided me to ask more, inquire more and prepare for possible obstacles. Which, in turn, will help me ensure my pipeline is filled with prospects who will become closed sales.
To keep my pipeline in control and my confidence in check, I have learned to watch out for those ‘happy ears’ and look beyond face value of what is being said. It’s easy to fall into this trap, however, it is essential to stay focused and confident until you see that ‘happy signature.’