In December I took delivery on my all-time favorite new car and I’ve been driving my Genesis GV80 for four months now. You probably saw video of the GV80 that Tiger Woods’ destroyed and there wasn’t a thing the car could have done to prevent him from crashing it because he had probably disabled the driver assist features and he may have been “disabled” when he got behind the wheel.
Last week, a crazy driver pulled out right in front of me and despite the fact that I anticipated his stupidity and would have been able to stop before smashing into this moron, my car wasn’t as certain as I was. My Genesis took matters into its own hands and went into all out protection mode – making sure nothing happened to it or me.
As advertised, it took over the braking and steering to protect itself, sounded all the alarms to alert me to its strategy and then did two things that really surprised me. All at once, the seat enveloped me in a cocoon and the seat belt tightened around my shoulders so that there was no chance that I was leaving that seat. Going through the windshield? Not a chance unless the whole seat was coming with me!
And it got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be cool if salespeople had a sales version of an early warning system/driver assist like my car has?
The car uses cameras and sensors to factor in conditions that would require emergency tactics. Salespeople have eyes and ears as well as wisdom that can all be used for emergency tactics. Let’s start with the ears.
Prospects say things that are tell-tale signs that something is amiss. Anytime a salesperson hears any of these comments they could be swaying out of their lane or their opportunity might be about to crash. They include but aren’t limited to:
- Send me a proposal or get me a quote; both are bad if it happens earlier in the sales process than it should
- We still have to meet with others
- I’ve been tasked to gather information
- We don’t have a budget for this
- We’ll have to find the money
- We’re going with the best price
- I need to bring this to [the decision maker] for approval
- This is a future project
- We’re happy with who we’re using
- You don’t need to know that
- I need to get consensus
- We don’t have any real urgency on this
- Our contract/agreement doesn’t expire until [date]
There are things you don’t hear but wisdom (experience plus lessons learned) communicates them through your inner voice:
- They don’t seem to have a compelling reason to do anything
- They are withholding information
- You think they’re lying about something
- It seems that this is only “nice to have” but you haven’t gotten them to “must have”
- The decision maker is not engaged
- They are hesitant about spending the necessary money
- You don’t seem to have their ear because they aren’t talking in terms working together
- They have transitioned to a pricing conversation which suggests you haven’t cemented your value
- They see you a vendor or supplier; not a partner or trusted advisor
- They have an existing relationship that they don’t seem willing to blow up
- They are not allowing you to follow your sales process
- They are not allowing you to ask questions and you find yourself in show and tell mode
Then, there are the things you observe:
- They aren’t making eye contact
- They are distracted
- They are giving you short answers and not explaining themselves
- They are in a hurry
- They’re looking at their watch
- Their RFI/RFQ/RFP reads like it was written by a competitor