Ask the question: “Am I trying not to lose?”
If your sincere answer is YES, then you are not taking risks. If you are selling against an incumbent competitor, your prospect will go back to the incumbent 88% of the time. Even if they hate the incumbent. The prospect is remarrying their ex-spouse…not a brilliant choice but one that is made too often in business. If you offer incremental improvements when competing then you will lose 88% of the time. That’s not safe; it’s stupid. You keep doing the same things over and over and getting a result – 12% conversion means you fail 7/8 times. The companies that get better than a 12% conversion take risks in the sales process. There are plenty of examples of risk taking in business sales, and you can try out specific techniques to see which is the best fit for your company.
See some examples that have turned out quite positively below, and consider enacting similar scenarios within your own company:
- A salesperson told a prospect that they had 30 days to buy or she would take the solution to the prospect’s competitor and give that competitor the market advantage. The prospect walked and that prospect’s competitor is about to be the market-taker.
- A sales rep cold-called the CEO office of a Fortune 50 company to get an appointment…and scored it.
- A company fired a client that represented over 10% of its revenue because of unreasonable demands. The client backed down and re-signed under favorable terms.
Is this a risky move?
My favorite is recent. A high-value technology company’s sales rep was selling to a Fortune 100 company. He had two calls with the prospect, but the salesperson knew that the person he was talking to was not able to buy. The prospect wanted to schedule another call. The salesperson said, “Listen, we’ve had two calls and we both know that you cannot buy what I’m selling. I’m giving away a lot of what we sell – ideas, strategy and intellectual property. I need you to bring your boss to the next meeting, or agree to a $5000 charge for our next conversation.” The sales rep did not hear from the contact for two weeks. When the contact called, he said, “I have my boss on board; let’s schedule the meeting.” Was this risky? Of course it was! Who charges a prospect $5000 for the privilege to buy from him? Someone who knows their value and is willing to take risks.
Sometimes, we think we are not worth a certain mega sale or stick to the sales courses we know. That’s not how companies grow, and we know this—it is the risk-takers, the Steve Jobs, Karen Lynch, and Bill Gates of an industry who transform it and turn business growth strategies into massive successes.
Not every risk needs to be tremendous.
Think of your risks as you would rank college admission: safety, match, and reach schools. Your safety deals are those that might not be the most rewarding but you know you can score, while the match ones are deals you feel competent in landing. But how many of your deals are stretches? Those stretches are the opportunities that are not ‘’same old, same old’’. What if you put more effort into those, knowing the outcome will be all the bigger?
Strong strategies reward big risks.
Map out your plans, and look ahead. What is your big risk for this week? Month? Year? Are you pushing the limits of what you think is possible, or are you staying in your comfort zone? Growth happens past the limit of what you thought was possible. Don’t be afraid to step beyond your comfort zone and grow!
Our consultants are senior-level executives that have been in your shoes, solving the problems you are facing by using the Hunt Big Sales system to land big accounts. Book a free consultation with us today to learn how we can help you land those ‘’reach’’ deals.