Imagine you are driving at 50 mph and you suddenly put the car in the wrong gear. The engine spits out an ungodly sound, like a possessed hairdryer on steroids, and you think your car going to explode.
In the best case scenario, using the wrong gear will prevent your car from moving. In the worst case scenario you’ll blow the car up.
Selling to prospects is the same.
It’s a fallacy to think each prospect moves at the same speed. Or that you don’t need to adjust your sales process according to the person in front of you.
You must change your gear based on their speed.
Here are some examples of poor speed/gear management:
- Asking for a 30 minute meeting on the first cold email
- Demoing a solution before a problem is identified
- Sharing pricing before you’ve demonstrated any value
- Elongating the sales cycle when the customer is ready to buy today
Sometimes you go too fast. Sometimes you go too slow.
Both are deadly.
Being in the right gear at the right time is what counts.
Sell the problem, not the solution.
Perhaps the biggest perpetrator of the speed and gear fallacy is selling a solution to a problem someone does not think they have.
‘People don’t care about solving problems they don’t think they have’
You have to be sure they understand the consequence of their pain point before you switch up gears and focus on selling the solution.
That’s why asking for a 30 minute meeting on your first cold email doesn’t work.
Top tip: Use cold outreach to validate the presence of a problem and gauge interest in solving it, not to sell the solution.