It may seem completely counter-intuitive. I’m the sales rep. I’m supposedly the person who never met a deal he didn’t like. The one who will drag our company’s resources through any unqualified pursuit to the bitter end – all the while golfing, wining, dining and fretting away the company’s resources – or so legend has it.
So why did I do it? Why did I let this deal go?
1. It was the right thing to do for the prospect: Our stepping back was the most transparent and powerful message my firm could send the client. We know the right way to do this engagement, and we are not going to compromise your success or our reputation by short-cutting.
2. It was good for my business. Here’s a question: What is the WORST hand in poker? The SECOND best hand. That’s the player who stays in, doubles down, fattens up the pot (drives up their cost of sale)…and then loses.
3. It will free up precious time. Let’s face it, time is more valuable than money at this point in your life. You only have capacity for x number of deals per year. This client will take all the time and information that you offer, but they are not going to buy at your solution/scope/price. What is the opportunity cost to you for not spending that time on other opportunties?
4. It was good for my psyche. Training/re-training yourself that not every deal is a good deal is an important lesson to learn and reinforce. Nothing is more powerful than the will to walk away. It’s good for your sense of self as well as your ability to offer more objective counsel to your customers going forward.
So (never thought I’d say this…) what are you waiting for? Go out and fire a prospect today!
6 thoughts on “I Fired a Prospect Today. Yep.”
Great post, Tim.
Too many sales people waste valuable time, effort and energy chasing prospects who aren’t going to buy or who aren’t the right fit.
Good reminder to everyone in sales.
Thanks, Kelley. That means a lot coming from you. For my blog readers, please don’t miss Kelley at Fearless Selling – http://www.fearless-selling.ca/ Also, he’s one of my favorite follows on Twitter at http://twitter.com/fearlessselling. Great information for sales people.
Fantastic information and so true. Most folks have to experience this phenomenon before the realization hits but you’ve put in a great, succinct form which should be gold to those reading it.
Thanks for the kind words! I look forward to following you on twitter.
Thanks for concise, but so valuable advice…
95% of all Salespeople do not buy into your advice and will go on chasing every opportunity they can find.
A big reason that only 5% will be the best of the best.
Thanks, Bruce. I could not agree more. Glad the post reasonated.