“Any fool can turn a blind eye but who knows what the ostrich sees in the sand.” Samuel Beckett.
In school I was taught that ostriches buried their heads in the sand to avoid danger.
It’s a great visual. But, 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. (Which seems counter-productive when there’s an imminent threat to your well-being.)
I see sellers do this all the time.
Rather than ask questions to determine exactly where they stand in their buyer’s estimation, they flop to the ground and play dead.
Lots of “No decisions?” Flop.
Low win rates? Flop. Flop.
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 company, your selling, your product. Everything having to do with buyer’s experience with you, the seller.
The buyer’s experience with a seller accounts for a significant portion of their decision-making about which vendor to choose. And it’s difficult to maintain the fiction of a healthy pipeline if supposedly qualified prospects aren’t excited by the experience of working with you.
Feigning ignorance of the looming danger won’t make it go away.
The solution is to develop the habit of simply asking how you’re doing.
Solicit reviews of your performance. At the end of every call. At the end of every email or text exchange.
“Was this call useful for you today?”
“Did we achieve your objectives for this call?”
“Did we completely answer all your questions?”
“What’s your biggest takeaway from this meeting?”
“Was there one topic you wish we’d covered in more detail?”
“How do we stack up, at this moment, compared to the competition?”
It’s as simple as asking:
1.How’d we do?
2.Did we meet your goals?
3.Where do we stand?
If your prospect doesn’t think you’re doing a good job, it’s best to know that as soon as possible.
If you need to course correct your account strategy or execution to stay in contention, you can’t wait until the 11th hour and 59th minute to find that out.