Sales squirrels are hot new opportunities. Sales squirrels distract us with the promise of how easy it will be to catch them and close the sale. That sale looks like it is going to fall right into our lap.
It is easy to be enticed by sales squirrels when your focus is linear. You are busy chasing Squirrel 1 down your sales cycle pathway. Oops, there’s another sales squirrel 2!
Sales squirrels are too tempting not to pursue, aren’t they? You land one of those squirrels and they can yield your big catch for the quarter.
Sales squirrels have their own agendas, which are not about helping you make your numbers.
What happens when you decide to pursue that sales squirrel 2?
Your customer changes their mindset and moves on in their buying cycle. You lose your focus on their needs. You miss out on this insight due to your linear sales cycle focus. Your sales cycle is all about you: meeting quota, making your numbers.
Those squirrels (buyers) have their own agendas: sustainability. Their focus is all about doing business with partners who are invested in their longevity in the marketplace.
The prospects you chase like sales squirrels have been chased by sales people like you before. These prospects learn from experience. It’s their survival technique.
Savvy buyers have no desire to languish from lack of follow-through and follow-up after the sale chase is consummated.
Is your sales vision continuously re-prioritized by the latest lead that’s delivered to you?
Once you demonstrate the ease with which you are distracted by other opportunities, sales squirrels stop feeding on the acorns you drop for them. These buyers have better things to do with other vendor-partners who are not so easily distracted.
Buyers and decision-makers differentiate sales folks who are squirrel-chasers from the folks who have peripheral business vision and breadth and depth of experience. There are commodity sales people and there are expert sales people.
My advice: Take a good look at your sales track record over the past year. Are you like Dug the Talking Dog from the Disney® Pixar® movie “UP” ?
If you lack credibility with your buyers, change your focus. Develop peripheral sales vision. Pay attention to the needs of multiple opportunities, simultaneously. Become invested in your buyers and decision makers over the long haul.
Stop being distracted by the thrill of the short chase.
Babette N. Ten Haken is a management strategist and team-building leadership coach. She helps teams, startups and businesses who wrestle with unpredictable revenue streams. Her Workshops and Playbooks create more productive and profitable teams in healthier organizations. Top Sales World recognizes her as a Top 50 Marketing and Sales Influencer and Blogger.