Dream V goal – how do you know if your prospect is ready for change?

The ActionCoach formula for change is a brilliant insight, it says,

(D+V)x F > R

You don’t need to be a mathematical genius to crack it, just read this Blog. So, what do the letters stand for?

D is for desatisfaction

V is for vision

F is for first steps 

R is for resistance 

The formula basically says that, in order to achieve change, or a sale, your prospect needs to have taken three steps already:

  1. Identified what they want
  2. Realised that things must change
  3. Taken some first steps, such as allocating a budget

In addition, all of the above must be greater than the resistance to change, which will naturally exist in their organisation.

I have written before about the Status Quo Bias, which so often stands between you and completing a sale. Well, this formula explains the key reasons for this phenomenon very well.

It also highlights the two key ingredients to take into account in the sales process: identifying the right time and building a strong relationship. Here is why:

Identifying the right time: How many times have you met with a prospect and came out feeling you have nailed it, only to end up with the opportunity being stuck in your pipeline? This happens because in your meeting, you did identify some buying signals, most probably around desire, and maybe even vision. However, you have missed some key information which would have explained the stagnation. 

The reason the opportunity did not progress is that it was most likely not the right time because there was no budget or perhaps there was too much resistance to change in the organisation.

Building a strong relationship: Many sales people mistakenly think that building rapport is the most important step in building a relationship. Over the years, I have discovered that most decision makers are surrounded by people who are trying to please them. If that’s all you do as a sales person, you will not win their trust or get to the bottom of what is really troubling them.

If this is how you build prospect relationships, you probably came away feeling positive because the two of you had a laugh, or talked about things you both find annoying which you took to be buying signals. In fact, what you came away with is most probably their desire and not much else which, as we are discovering, is not enough to make a sale.

Hopefully, by now, you are starting to understand that most sales opportunities never mature because they should have never been described as such. Some key ingredients that make a sale were missing as you did not get all the pieces in the puzzle.

How do you make sure this does not happen again? You train yourself to ask hard questions and make sure you know the answers to the next four questions before you forecast a win:

  1. What has your prospect got in place at the moment?
  2. What is the key issue with it?
  3. How problematic is the issue for their organisation’s survival or growth?
  4. What is their plan of action for change?

If you can’t get the answer to the any of the questions above, you are not likely to make a quick sale. That does not mean you walk away from it, it just means you have to keep in touch, keep building that relationship and your knowledge, until the time is right.

Interested in finding out more? Why not take advantage of our one hour sales process gap analysis meeting. Offered free of charge for the month of August. Get in touch here.

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