Each week we scrutinize the analytics for the blogs we publish for our clients and carefully compare the organizations that visit the site with prospects in the sales pipeline.
That’s because in a business-to-business and business-to-government sales/marketing environment people tell you what they think by how they spend their time, rather than what they say. We want to identify the prospects who are actively seeking information, understand what they are reading and then share this intelligence with our client.
Why is this so important?
It’s because prospects lie. No one likes being sold to. And people abhor having to tell a salesperson “no.” So, they duck calls. They refuse to respond to Emails. They provide weak excuses when cornered into explaining the reason for a decision.
As a professional services firm, my all-time favorite is the “you are not a culture fit” rationale.
I found this blog post from Seth Godin painfully humorous as he rationalizes prospect lying. Neustar’s corporate marketing lead Mark Pilipczuk adds his insight in this post. Pilipczuk acknowledges his lying ways, yet, like Godin, throws the blame back on the sales person.
Prospect dishonesty is a reality of sales and its source is the simple fact that the rep has failed to establish a relationship. If a connection does exist, then it should be an absolute expectation that a prospect should subscribe to a policy of honesty, even if his or her decision is challenged.
Let me share an example. Last week I spoke with Paul Duning, publisher of the Capitol Communicator, about a sponsorship opportunity with a marketing conference that he has organized.
I was candid with Paul about my decision to pass on a sponsorship. It’s the first time they’ve organized this conference and I am concerned about their ability to attract corporate marketers to the event, rather than primarily service providers.
I could have BS’d my reason, chalking it up to not having budget or poor timing. I didn’t because I respect what Paul has built with Capitol Communicator and want to find an opportunity to work with him on the right project.
As a sales professional, I’m all about building relationships with prospects based on a mutual value and respect. If I do my part, I expect responsiveness and honesty in return.