The following six factors influence your preoccupation with a sales outcome and can leave you and your prospect frustrated and exhausted. All of them shift your focus away from what’s important to your prospect to what matters to you.

  1. You haven’t had a win in a while. You feel the innate pressure to validate your efforts, quantify your commitments, and reinforce your ego about your sales acumen. You desperately need a sign (success) to tell you the struggle and work are worth it.
  2. Your pipeline isn’t healthy and won’t enable you to hit your quota or goals. “If” you can get this prospect to agree to a second meeting, then you will have the setting to deliver your expertise in a very compelling fashion. “If” you get a face-to-face, the prospect will experience your best. “If” you can persuade the prospect to change, the win buys you time to complete your pipeline.
  3. You love to compete, but haven’t learned to manage your innate drive effectively. Not all competitions are worth doing. There will always be a certain number of prospects that have no intention of making a change, but will still follow your sales game in order to learn new ideas and check all the boxes. For those addicted to competition, you will deplete a lot of energy chasing the wrong things in the wrong places.
  4. You are convinced that your solution is best. You become so preoccupied with your position that you lose your ability to think, listen and ask questions objectively. You stay on the “need to be right” path and communicate your opinions as to why the prospect should change versus listening to understand their views about why change might be very difficult.
  5. Your intent to pursue and make the sale is about you and what you gain. There’s always the financial incentive in sales. You’ve learned that when a prospect asks you to review their agreements, data, or requests another conversation, it is a sign that you are moving closer to a sale. These are much easier outcomes to identify versus going deeper and assessing the level of thinking and debating that actually occurred during the prospect conversation. The latter is what the prospect needs to do in order to advance their decision process toward change. This process can only be observed when you are not distracted by your own pursuit of the sale.
  6. You look for the prospect to validate you and your efforts. You feel anxiety, hesitation and uncertainty when you sense that the person sitting across the table or on the phone is judging you and the interaction. Gaining a favorable next step eases your insecurities, and provides you with short-lived validation. Unfortunately, your prospect picks up on it and feels it as annoying pressure. Depending on their mood and demeanor, they may either choose to avoid perceived conflict and agree to a next step, or choose not to pursue further interaction.

All of these factors impact your prospect conversations in a profound way. They limit what you hear, what you ask, what you learn, and everything you say to your prospect. If you want to differentiate from your competition, and if you want to advance your skills, you must learn how to compartmentalize your preoccupations with the outcome. Learn to do this and everything about your prospect conversations will change for the better.