I am not real proud of this one.
But this story needs to be told.
The prospect called the CEO and VP of Sales of my company he was so pissed off.
The customer’s offices were in Colorado Springs. I was living and working out of Seattle at the time.
I had committed to fly out and give a demonstration of our accounting software to this company. They had planned on bringing a few people in from their offices in other cities.
Plane flights were required for them, from where I can’t exactly remember.
In fact I can’t even remember the name of this prospect. I guess that’s selective memory loss.
But one week before I was to fly 3 states away and give my all afternoon sales presentation I made a decision.
I had this sinking feeling in my gut that this sale wasn’t for me.
I had been in sales for nearly 6 years, and one thing I had started to notice was that I was developing an intuition about my deals.
Every deal I had ever won felt right from the start. And similarly every deal I had lost felt bad from the start.
So a little late, I decided to trust my intuition.
I say a little late because I should’ve never committed to going out and visiting onsite. And I shouldn’t have waited till just a week before to cancel.
I should have said no right up-front when I did my qualifying, and I could see by the business requirements that were driving the deal that it wasn’t the best fit for me.
But I didn’t.
And I called and canceled my visit.
And this prospect chewed me out. He threatened me that he would call my company and tell them. Then he made good on his threat and called my VP of Sales and my CEO and told them how unprofessional I was.
At the time I felt both good and bad about my decision.
I felt good because I knew that I had made the right decision for me, and for my company.
I felt bad because I had broken a commitment and probably cost some other people some bux due to my inexperience and inability to be decisive up-front.
When I spoke to my VP of Sales, he wanted to know why I backed out of the deal.
I explained why this was not a good deal for us to be in, he agreed with me and said he would tell the CEO that and back me up. He just wished I hadn’t pissed off the prospect.
You gotta have a thick skin in sales. You gotta do the right thing for you and your company.
Sometimes that means breaking a commitment if it’s one you shouldn’t have made.
Sometimes that means disappointing or even angering someone.
Better to make the right decision the first time. But part of life is making mistakes and learning from them. The sooner you can recognize and correct a mistake the better.
You gotta be yourself if you’re gonna have a chance at connecting with people and doing well in sales. And to be yourself you gotta dump the baggage that we all got loaded up with before going into selling.
Get my Persuasive Selling Skills Audio Program and listen to it at least 3 times. That will help you drop the baggage and let the real you come alive.
Sell with Pride,