Stop selling like an ostrich

Chances are you sell like an ostrich.

“Any fool can turn a blind eye but who knows what the ostrich sees in the sand.” - Samuel Beckett

In school we were taught that ostriches buried their heads in the sand to avoid danger.

It’s a great visual. But, it’s completely untrue...

When ostriches encounter danger they can’t escape, they don’t bury their heads in the sand.

They flop to the ground and play dead. (This seems like counter-intuitive behavior when you’re being hotly pursued by a predator…)

Flopping is a common sales behavior too.

Rather than ask direct questions of their buyers to determine exactly how their decision-making process is going and where they stand with them, many sellers flop to the ground and play dead.

A willful ignorance of what your prospects think about you is a primary symptom of poor pipeline management.

By you, I mean you (personally), your selling and whether you are helping them make progress toward making a decision. Everything having to do with buyer’s experience with you, the seller.

The buyer’s experience with a seller accounts for a majority of the factors they take into account in their decision-making about which vendor to choose.

And it’s difficult to maintain the fiction of a healthy pipeline if you don’t truly understand whether supposedly qualified prospects are deriving value from the experience of working with you. And therefore, whether you are increasing or decreasing your probability of winning the deal.

You can’t afford to play dead rather than ask your buyer how you’re doing.

Feigning ignorance of looming danger won’t make it go away.

There are no fancy sales techniques involved. The fix is simple.

Here it goes…Just ask your buyer how you’re doing. And what you could do better to help them with their decision making.

It’s as simple as asking:

  1. How’d we do?
  2. Did we meet your expectations for this call?
  3. If not, what did we miss?
  4. At this moment, in your opinion, where do we stand relative to the competition?

I’ve never once had a buyer refuse to answer.

If your prospect doesn’t think you’re doing a good job in helping them complete the work they need to make an informed decision, then it’s best to know that as soon as possible.

You can’t course correct your account strategy or sales execution if you wait until the 11th hour and 59th minute to find out you’re off track.

The symptoms of ostrich selling are everywhere.

Wasting time on deals that never close? Flop.

Experiencing too many “No decisions?” Flop. Flop.

Losing too many deals you thought you were winning? Flop. Flop. Flop.