I am a pretty straight forward person. I tell it like it is and I see it like it is and I don't fluff or hype. Plain and simple. I will call out BS, Challenge the status quo and always ask why.
Now I really like Keenan because he tells it like it is. Which is great But I had a different viewpoint/disagreement on one of his posts regarding the use of CRM and sales people being successful (go find it if you would like to see it).
So Keenan asked me to hop on a call. So I decided I would (and never ever be too proud to learn more). I was intrigued.
He wanted to talk about CRM and my current pipeline. I told him, I would actually like to talk about one prospect that was driving me nuts. Because I had all the information and given them all the information I could possibly give.
So I thought.
I started telling him about how this prospect knew of me in a past life. And knows I have been running my company for several years now. And for the last 3yrs, he has contacted me, asked me the same thing, quoted the same thing, same challenge, same solution and then ghosts me.
Repeat over the course of 3yrs, and here we are again.
So Keenan just goes into what he does best. He starts asking me questions. But before that I told Keenan, I gave this prospect all I can give. I literally cannot give him anymore information.
And Keenan said, 'but he hasn't given you everything'.
Keenan starts asking me more questions.
Come to find out, I was being way to passive in the details I truly needed to best service this prospect. I have not shown the value of NOT working with me yet. Sure he knows OF me and my success in the past but he hasn't seen the value in what he is missing by NOT working with me.
Boom! A lightbulb went off. More like an explosion!
I told Keenan, "Holy crap, I am being way too passive with this guy!"
Keenan just shook his head and grinned.
We went over some more things. Then we wrapped up our call. Then he said, "I'll send you my book "Gap Selling" as a gift for taking this call. SUPER COOL.
But he also said that many leaders WON'T take a call like this or are open to having a discussion because they are in fear of what they will really see. He commended me for being open.
For a guy that has been killing it for his WHOLE sales career and shows others over the last 10yrs, ya, I'd be an idiot NOT to take advantage of a call with him! Fuck pride people! Fuck what you THINK you know!
To be nice, you don't know shit. Be open. Listen. Change. Simple.
So how did the prospect turn out? I mean there is MORE to this story!
After my call with Keenan, I immediately sent an email to the prospect. It contained what they were missing in the subject line and then in the body was nothing more than my signature.
I forgot to tell you, this prospect ghosted me over a month ago after saying, I will get back to you "next week."
Within literally, two seconds, I get a reply. Can we please see a demo as soon as possible.
So I checked with my demo guy and we could do a demo within 2 days. So we did.
The prospect LOVED it. But he also gave every sales excuse in the world as to why they are so down trodden.
We have long sales cycles
We are in a competitive space
We aren't very known in the industry
Oops, I'm sorry, was that a sob fest? A whoa is me? Yup, it sure was! How do I know?
Our solution cuts sales cycles almost in half (47%) I lived in your industry. I know the sales cycles are between 12-18 months. 6 months is a fast win. I get it. I lived it.
And so? Everyone is in a competitive space
Liar. They are in almost every publication and advertised all over the place "in their industry." They have one of the largest booths at the largest tradeshow events "in their industry." So they ARE known.
So after the demo and call, I called him and asked him if he had any other questions. He said he had to discuss things over with the powers that be, he'd want to know cost and things like that. I said, "ok, that's fine." But first I needed some answers.
I asked him (multiple times over 3yrs), "How many sales people do you have?"
"A few", he said, then started to quickly ramble on to the next subject. BUT............I interrupted him. After all, I needed to know details. Not "kind of" answers or ball park ranges.
I said, "What does a few mean? 3, 1, 17, 6?"
Then the excuses came again, "Well it's hard to say because this guy does sales but he also wear this hat."
So I let him blow me off with the answers and then ended the call for his "next steps." But I already knew what my next steps were. I WASN'T GOING TO WORK WITH THEM.
I didn't care if it would have been a nice chunk of change. Would have been locked in for 12 months. The wishy washy attitude would come with other wish list expectations. And there were obvious internal issues that weren't being addressed to me.
And that always spells problems.
And run spike run is what was in my head.
Of course he sends me an email about an hour later:
"I need 30 day free subscription to test it out and see how it will work for us. Before I can commit. Of course I need to know price and then I will decide if this will be worth it."
I have no problems giving people freebies but we proved to you LIVE that there were 25 companies seeking your solution RIGHT NOW. So every week he delayed, was another 25 account he was missing out on. I know exactly what he wanted..............FREE pipeline of buyers.
He knew the value. He saw it live. And I know for a fact, they don't get 25 qualified leads a quarter, nonetheless, 25 that are actual buyers!
Oh and I forgot to mention, they don't do any outbound work. They only wait for inbound inquiries. Our solution to find buyers is awesome and hands down the best in the industry to find buyers but you still have to reach out.
I mean, what would your message be like or how would you change your marketing messaging KNOWING you are starting from KNOWING the prospect wants to buy what you sell?
Sales people do this all the time. After months and months of having a BDR or SDR spends qualifying leads to finally get someone interested to get on a call (still not knowing they are buyers or not yet), this changes the game.
So I sent a message back to him expressing my concerns. Although, I did not reply back for a whole day. Giving him a taste of his own medicine. But also because I seriously wanted to think if I wanted to work with him.
After I slept on it, I decided, I don't want to work with them. I mean, if they cannot give me details and clear numbers, inner workings on how things are (whether good or bad) then I'd be doing them a disservice trying to move forward.
So I sent a message the next day to him saying it was great to catch up but at this time I did not think they were a good fit. Explaining my concerns. How I wasn't giving them a freebie. And called him out on his "whoa is me" speech from prior.
He quickly came back. Back peddled. Said he would how they would use it. They were hiring more people. Specifically inbound and outbound people.
But I remembered I hadn't given him pricing yet. So I let the email rant go on. Then at then end, there it was: I'll need to know pricing."
So I gave it to him and told him he has one week to get back to me.
Normally I am not this pushy but remember, this was 3yrs of going back and forth. Ghosting. Then coming back. Same questions. Same issues. Same problems.
Tick tock, the clock is ticking....................so as of right now, I am waiting his answer. But the answer comes with all the answers I need to my questions. Not just approval to getting budget (Because honestly, our solution is very cost effective. More companies spend more per month on Zoom info or Pardot or a call center that won't deliver results than what they would spend with us getting them in front of buyers every week).
So I will update this blog in a week, letting you know.................did he come back with our answers? Or not?
Dan Marx is the CEO and Founder of ReShift, an all-things Sales, Marketing & Operations firm. With over 25yrs experience in Supply Chain, Sales & Marketing, Dan built his company based on these principles: Companies need to look at the company as a whole to be successful. Not just a few areas separately.
If you are interested in Dan being a guest speaker, key-note speaker, panelists, podcast guest, trainer, consultant, contributor to your blog, articles or simply interested in interviewing contact him direct at firstname.lastname@example.org