if They Were Your Own
resources are anything that cost your company money that you allocate
to prospects. Most salespeoples’ behavior reflects the belief that
their company has infinite resources. One resource that is constantly
abused by salespeople is manpower. Ask yourself how often do you use
flimsy quotes and proposals that are prepared by estimating or by the
technical department without any considerations for the cost? If you
were the owner of your own company and you had to pay all those direct
costs out of your pocket, you would probably think long and hard about
resources are your leverage. Allocate them according to when you can
optimize your position. Look at your resources as an investment. Would
I invest in this account if I knew I was vulnerable to a low probability
of return? One of my machine tool distributors built a $500,000 state
of the art demo room to demonstrate their equipment. The first month
they were ecstatic with the activity it generated. Unfortunately, they
soon realized that the salespeople booked the room with tire kickers
and their two top producing salespeople could not schedule their two
best accounts in for that month. Granted, they sold them the next month,
but it did increase their cost of sales because their salespeople were
not wisely utilizing their leverage.
should guard their resources not because they are good corporate citizens
who are concerned with costing the company money; they should guard
their resources because it is their control and leverage point in the
sale. Salespeople should adopt an owner mentality because if they allocate
their resources wisely and accordingly, it will personally make them
more productive and efficient. Ironically, what is good for the goose
is good for the gander.
resource that is very subtle but widely misused is references. References
in theory cost you nothing in money and little in time. But they cost
you tremendously in control if you allocate them at the wrong time.
Use your references as a closing tool. Agree to give out references
only at the optimal time when it will be the last thing prospects have
to decide on and check on before they make their final decision. For
example: “Bill, I’d be happy to provide you with references.
Since my customer’s time is valuable, I have promised them that I
won’t misuse their time with prospects who aren’t serious or who
are still in the initial stages of checking us out. I have assured them
that I won’t use it as a prospecting tool but only as a closing tool.
Does that sound fair to you?” The beauty of this strategy is when
I get resistance, I know I have a poorly qualified prospect.
should have a desirability matrix to use on all prospects who are tapping
your company’s resources. Do they qualify for our resources and what
is the likelihood of a positive return on the investment?