In this article, we discuss the similarities between Super Mario World and life in sales. After playing, I realized that I had an opportunity to make it through to the next level but I wasn’t doing what was necessary to convert that opportunity into a win. I rushed through. I took risks that weren’t worth it, but I made them anyway, because it was the only play I had.
Salespeople tend to rush through the sales process after hearing the littlest pain indicator or buying signal. They feel the quicker they move, the more likely the prospect is to say “yes” at time of close. However, that’s rarely how it works out.
A couple of years ago, my fiancé and I were gifted a new Super Nintendo Classic with all the originals preloaded- Donkey Kong Country, Street Fighter, Zelda and of course, Super Mario World. Now I realize only a certain group reading this will know the exact system I am referring to, but my theory still applies to Atari lovers, Gameboy enthusiasts, and even those of you who know nothing about gaming and gaming consoles.
The first night we picked up the retro remotes, we discovered something—these games are hard! (looking at you Super Mario World) Being someone who grew up with this technology, I thought getting back into it would be simple. I was wrong. I was so excited to be playing again I found myself running the course, taking risky jumps, trying to collect all the coins I could and would end up falling to my virtual death or getting hit in the head by a turtle shell.
I realized that I had an opportunity to make it through to the next level but I wasn’t doing what was necessary to convert that opportunity into a win. I rushed through. I took risks that weren’t worth it, but I made them anyway, because it was the only play I had.
And then I had an epiphany- the same thing happens in sales.
One of the problems we hear our clients talk most about is, their ability to grow sales and its direct correlation to their salespeople’s ability to create and convert opportunities. Lead generation and conversion requires two things: effort and effective execution. Majority of the time, we find that the effort is there, but the execution could use work. If you were to ask your salespeople to show you their pipeline for the next 30 or 60 days, what would it look like? There are probably enough opportunities, but are they properly vetted? Does the lead or prospect qualify to do business with your organization?
Does your company qualify to do business with them? Or, are they just in there to make it look like your salesperson has a full dance card for the next month? Weak, unqualified pipelines make cowards of us all- we don’t want to throw the unqualified ones out because if we did, what would we have left?
Salespeople tend to rush through the sales process after hearing the littlest pain indicator or buying signal. They feel the quicker they move, the more likely the prospect is to say “yes” at time of close. However, that’s rarely how it works out. Usually when we rush, we are left with “think it over”, stalls and objections or the prospect decides not to answer calls or emails at all. So, what can your salespeople do TODAY to help fix the problem?
- Slow down! Don’t rush the sales process. When we rush, we get inconsistent results and are likely to face more problems on the back end.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the difficult questions. The #1 reasons salespeople struggle with creating and converting leads, is because they think they need to be liked in order to get the business. This will keep them from asking great, robust questions that allow them to properly qualify for the opportunity. It will also help your salespeople stand apart from their competitors.
- Use our free tool “Qualify Your Prospects” to help your salespeople better qualify. Then, have them remove prospects from their pipeline as soon as they realize there isn’t anywhere to go. They don’t need to continue wasting their time with another “discovery call” or follow-up email. Put them in your tickler system and move on to the next lead.
There are many other techniques to help your salespeople keep from getting hit in the head with “think it over” turtle shells, but this is a great place to start.