If you are unaware of the relationship between ambiguity, anxiety and fear, then you are probably lengthening your sales cycle and reducing your close rate.
When you sit across from a prospect, no matter how long or personal your relationship, you are still a salesperson who your prospect fears will sell them something instead of allowing them to buy.
Your prospect’s fear of salespeople isn’t enough to dramatically affect a sales call; after all your prospect agreed to meet with you and will buy from someone. Your prospect’s biggest issue with you, and potentially every other salesperson they meet, is they have no idea what you will ask them to do at the end of this meeting.
Traditionally trained salespeople don’t share their sales process with their prospects, partly because they rarely have a sales process written down, but also because they think prospects “don’t need to know what’s next.”
Ambiguity turns to anxiety the longer ambiguity exists. If you have a 60-minute appointment with your prospect they will start to get anxious as soon as they sense you wrapping up your presentation or long list of “consultative” questions.
When a prospect gets anxious and fears the unknown, a salesperson usually hears “this looks good, how about you put together a proposal and we’ll get back to you.”
To erase ambiguity from your sales calls, reduce your prospect’s anxiety and eliminate their fear, share your sales process with them at the beginning of your first call. Be different than every other salesperson, right off the bat. Be disarmingly honest and they’ll realize you’re there to solve their pain.
Take it one step further and publish your sales process on your website for all to see. You’ll make potential clients feel more at ease about working with you, which should shorten your sales cycle and increase your close rate.
Hamish Knox is a Sandler Trainer in Calgary, Alberta.