When you learn a new sales technique or strategy that you know will work, chances are pretty good you don't start applying it right away. And even when you do start applying it, often the other person in the interaction is working against you!
Wimp junction is what we in Sandler call that moment where you either wimp out and abandon what you know is a best practice, or you stick to your plan.
In Sandler, we like to say that you only have to be gutsy five seconds at a time to avoid wimping out!
Let's take a look at some examples of wimp junction and what you can do to avoid it.
Disqualifying bad leads
When we start working with new clients, often they're talking to prospects that are actually a waste of time. When you spend time with the wrong person you're robbing the right person of your time!
A few years back we were working with a client that sold commercial roofing. While working with them, we discovered that they tended to have the longest sales cycle when a property was owned by multiple people spread across multiple states. Then we discovered that those prospects also had the lowest close ratio!
They made the decision that if a building has multiple owners in multiple states, they were not going to do business with them. They wouldn't even pursue those prospects once they found out.
Those properties made up a tiny percentage of their business, but took up tons of their prospecting time! So once they took that type of business out, they saw their business go up overall.
It takes guts to turn down a prospect that isn't the best fit for your business.
Scheduling a meeting
Maybe meetings are pretty common in your world or maybe they aren't. But if you're in a prospecting role and meetings are a key part of the process, you've probably heard a prospect say something like this:
"Hey, why don't you call me next week and we'll set up some time to meet?"
In a situation like that, it's pretty easy to reply with something like, "Sure, I'll do that."
But that's wimping out!
The more courageous and gutsy thing to do would be to say, "I appreciate that, but I find that sometimes leads to phone tag that may get frustrating for both of us and consume a lot of time. How about we just pull out our calendars right now and get the meeting scheduled?
It only takes a few seconds of guts and can help you avoid tons of frustration and wasted time.
Sending information or a proposal
Think about when someone says, "Hey, can you send me over some more information on what you guys do?" Or maybe they even ask, "Can you send me a bid or a proposal?"
Tons of people waste tons of time wimping out in that situation! It's easy for you to respond with, "Sure, I'd be happy to."
If they're asking for information, it just takes a few seconds to respond this way instead: "What would you want to see in that information? We do so much, it would be easy for me to accidentally pick the wrong thing to send you."
Or if they're asking for a proposal, you can respond with, "I'd love to send you a proposal, but unfortunately I don't have enough information. We find that most proposals that don't have enough information get thrown straight into the garbage."
"What if instead of me sending you a proposal you'd probably throw away, we schedule a ten minute phone call first to make sure the proposal has the information you actually need?"
Just a few seconds of guts can help you avoid wasted time and make it more likely you'll end up getting the business!
Determining your wimp junction
So how do you know ahead of time where your wimp junction might be?
Determine what your prospect's journey with you looks like. How do they get from some interest to a secured, closed client? Where are the points in there that the interaction can get derailed?
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Will you need to schedule a meeting?
- Will they ask you to send information?
- Will they ask for a proposal?
- Will they tell you something like, "I've already got a guy."
Determine the points in there where you may run into some difficulty. Where will you need to have guts to make sure you don't abandon your plan and get sucked into their's?
Don't give into F.E.A.R.! That's an acronym for False Expectations Feeling Real. When you give into your F.E.A.R., you're really making an assumption about what will happen.
And if you have given into F.E.A.R., you're definitely not alone. But learn from your mistake. Remember Sandler Training Rule #1: You Have to Learn to Fail, To Win.
Ask yourself these questions if you've failed at wimp junction:
- What was I worried would happen?
- Why did I feel that way?
- What about my past experiences or the experiences of others led me to make that assumption?
- What was the actual worst thing that could have happened?
Uncovering your head trash around wimp junction will help you learn from your mistake and avoid wimp junction in the future.