But there were two business opportunities I’ve been chasing for quite a while, two specific organizations who just haven’t been engaging back with me…not responding to my communications.
And Friday, I decided to let them know I was moving on.
I said something very much along the lines of: “Well, clearly this isn’t a priority for you. I am tired of wasting my time (and yours), so I am throwing in the towel. I sincerely wish you the best of luck, but I am going to focus on some organizations who see value in what I can do for them, and are actively exploring possibilities with me. Do let me know down the road if there is ever any way I can serve you…”
Immediately following those notes, I deleted both records from my CRM. Boom. Gone. Removed from existence.
[Frankly, it was surprisingly therapeutic...]
So, took a deep breath, reorganized the notes on my desk, and set about to tackle the next action item…
You already know what happens next…
I immediately received messages from both (one email, one phone call), asking to set a call for next week to discuss the project.
Ok. So there’s that…
I guess that’s a good thing, right?
Trust me when I tell you, I didn’t pull that stunt move hoping to achieve this very outcome. I am not that smart.
No, frankly, I was exasperated, and fed up. And decided my time was better spent on opportunities that were legitimately interested in learning more about my services, and more importantly, working (and communicating) with me to explore said possibilities.
Full disclosure here: I am not suggesting you send exasperated notes to all the people in your funnel with whom you are, well, exasperated with.
But if you are a instinctual salesman, you just know when someone is legitimately interested, interested but busy and distracted (most), or not interested.
But I have two important questions here:
1. Why do we treat prospects with kit gloves, why are we so afraid of them, why do we gently dance around how they treat us? And why are we so afraid to let them go, especially when they act like they don’t care? [ok, that's several questions]
Which leads to the next question:
2. When did it become ok to treat people who are attempting to sell you something as scum of the earth?
We are rude, we don’t respond to their emails, we don’t return their phone calls, we are annoyed by them and delete their communications with malice…
Let me be clear, with the two opportunities mentioned above, they weren’t ugly to me, they had just stopped acknowledging my communications.
As a salesman, I don’t deserve that. I don’t have to accept that. And most important, it does me no good to keep opportunities like this in my funnel, just so I can tout to my sales manager that I have “thousands and thousands” of opps in the funnel.
Look, my media company is growing, and I am busier than I have ever been. I have more opportunities to manage than ever before. I have more “scope of work” documents in play than ever before.
I don’t have time to manage the ones who are not acting professional.
It is ok to let them go. Spend your found time working with those who are interested. Spend your found time identifying new opportunities.
Many complain that sales is a hard slog.
That’s because you are trying to work with prospects who don’t want to hear from you.
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