You’re too attached

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

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On Tap Today: You’re too attached to your prospects.


Good Morning!

One week from today, on April 16, I’ll be speaking at the T-Rex event (The Revenue Exchange) in Raleigh, NC. T-Rex is a great educational event for sellers and sales leaders put on by Vince Beese and Eric Boggs.

I’m going to be talking about How to Fix B2B Sales”. Big topic. Should be lots of fun.

If you’re in the Southeast, you definitely should plan to attend. Click here to register. (Use friendofAndy20 at check-out to get 20% off your T-REX ticket.)


Today in TSH:

Live Sales Growth Coaching. 2pm PT/5pm ET. Sales House members, click here to get your login link.


Sales Growth Quote of the Day:

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” Benjamin Franklin


You’re Too Attached To Your Prospects

Here’s a common sales situation. JOHN is working on a big, complex deal.

The prospect is well qualified. It’s taken a lot of company resources to work the account.

All signs indicate a good chance of winning the order. However, numerous decision dates have come and gone with no action.

Now, John’s boss, PAULA, wants to know why he thinks the company should continue spending time on the prospect.

John reassures her that it’s still looking promising. In fact, his chief internal advocate at the prospect, RACHEL, keeps encouraging him, with vague hints of future action, to stay engaged.

I see this all the time.

Sellers justify sticking with fading sales opportunities because they’ve invested so much time, energy and resources in them. They believe that with just a touch more investment they’ll make the whole thing pay off.

It’s the classic Sunk Cost Trap.

You hate admitting to yourself, or anyone else, that your investment of time, energy and resources on an opportunity that you were sure was going to close, isn’t going to pay off.

You invoke the Denial Response . “Well, we’ve already invested so much in this deal. Just a bit more, and I’m confident that we’ll win the order.”

Which rarely happens.

Every pipeline contains these time-wasting sunk-cost deals. Someone has to step-up to make an objective, unemotional decision about whether to continue fishing or cut bait.

Here are a few steps to make that happen:

  1. Take the decision out of the hands of the seller and/or sales manager. If they could have made the decision, they already would have.
  2. Bring in a manager from another part of the company, someone not directly invested in the outcome, to make the decision.
  3. Bring in an objective 3rd-party, such as an executive coach or consultant, to help you reach a dispassionate decision about the next step to take.

Sunk-cost opportunities are a big drain on performance and productivity.

If you’ve fallen into that trap, ask for help to make the decision about what to do next.

Are You Getting Better?
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– Andy Paul