Updated March 22 at 8:22pm

Salespeople have questions, Jeffrey answers


I get a ton of emails from people seeking insight or asking me to solve sales dilemmas. Here are a few that may relate to your job, your life and, most important, your sales thought process right now:

Jeffrey, I’m interested in your insight and guidance. I think selling is the best job in the world, but there’s one aspect I’m struggling with. It’s the feeling of being out of control, and being the master of my own destiny. I tend to work on more complex deals that have large decision-making groups, and therefore can be quite a long cycle. I used to sell smaller deals where I could track progress more meaningfully, but now I find myself doing one $1 million deal rather than 10 $100,000 deals where the risk was spread. Any tips on how to stay sane while waiting for big decisions? How do I regain and maintain a feeling that I’m in control of my results?

Managing your time is not the answer. Prioritizing your accounts in the order that they are likely to close is a better way to view the process. But there are several elements involved, and several decisions you have to make:

1. Why would you give up your bread and butter and just shoot for the moon?

Instead, allocate half your time to sure money and half your time to the big prize. This will leave you in control of your short-term destiny, and allow you to mark a clearer path toward the bigger deal.

2. All committees have a daddy. The person that leads the committee, or even the person that he or she reports to, are the two people that you should be establishing relationships with because they control the outcome. If you simply go in and make a presentation to a committee, they’ll be forever lost in the shuffle of indecision, proposals, and fighting price with competitors (three of the worst, if not dumbest, elements in making a large sale).

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