Sometimes, just step away – you’re making it worse

Todd SchnickAbout two weeks ago, a really amazing business opportunity crossed my path.

After connecting, I do what I usually do, and invited principals from the organization into my Atlanta studio to interview and showcase them on one of my business podcasts.

Much to my satisfaction, the interview went very well, and the post-show conversation about doing some future projects together went exceedingly well too.

They got right away how we could help and serve them. And right away, we understood exactly what they needed. It was one of those conversations where you had only met 60 minutes prior, but both sides acted as if they’d known each other for years.

Naturally, after the dust settled, and I had a chance to reflect on the interaction, I made a series of notes about what I wanted to do next, and orchestrated a plan with which I wanted to proceed.

And I marked such into my CRM and set the timelines on the game plan.

But then, life happened.

First, we suffered a death in the family, and then the Thanksgiving holiday happened. Thus, as a result, I was about a week behind my stated course of action and game plan.

But then, something amazing happened:

They called me. Out of blue. Unscheduled.

And asked a dozen questions about a future engagement: Price. Next steps. What we needed. What they needed. Timelines and timetables. Details. We talked a ton of details about a gig that hadn’t officially closed yet.

I hadn’t done a thing. Other than set a plan in my CRM system that was now completely useless.

Needless to say, the deal isn’t marked “Closed-Won” in the system yet, but fair to say, I am optimistic.

The lesson here? You don’t always have to be in sell mode. You don’t always have to be pushing. You don’t always have to execute the game plan precisely as stipulated according the sales process engraved on the plaque on the wall.

Trust that what you do, what you offer, and your initial steps (in my case, inviting them into my studio) can work their magic.

If you bond with your prospect, if both sides see (and sense) synergy, your offering will simply take care of itself.

Conversely, if there is no mutual bond, if there is no synergy, no precision-tuned and expertly-orchestrated sales process will turn the tide.

When I am the buyer, I can always identify the exact time and place I decide I am going to buy. And usually it has ZERO to do with the salesman I am working with.

You just know. It fits. It makes sense.

So apply this concept to YOUR buyer. The same phenomenon occurs.

If they see value, they will call you. They will ask all the questions. They will move the ball down the field.

Sometimes, you just need to step away, for any silly thing said out of your mouth can just make it worse. So shut the heck up.

Sometimes you are so damn worried about “selling” that you don’t pay attention and realize that you are in a good place, and instead, you are too much in a rush to say the next thing on the sales script.

A sales process sets a framework, no doubt. But you have to utilize instinct too. Sometimes you should just know when to let the thing play out.

If your prospect truly knows you can matter, you don’t have to sell.


Want to read more of my zany thoughts on sales? Check out my book, THE ZEN OF SALES (Click here).

  • Rayanne Thorn

    Great post, Todd – I have shared with my sales team!

  • Todd Schnick

    thanks Rayanne, hope it spurs some thinking. this experience sure did for me…