August 23, 2017 by
Photography by contributed

Stop begging for business. Stop running around doing everything the prospect asks you and sending thank you cards and trinkets because you think all of that extra-mile activity will get you sales. Stop sending out proposals and offering presentations to anybody and everybody. Stop cutting your prices or increasing the offering at the same price. You simply don’t have the time or the money to do all that extra work for every prospect that winks at you.

Establish for yourself a “salesperson’s bill of rights.” Come up with a list of rules that the prospect must follow—or you will get up and walk out on the sale. You heard me right. Not everybody deserves to have the privilege of buying your product or service and it is better to identify the bad prospects early in the sales dance. The salesperson’s bill of rights will help you in sorting out the prospects who are likely buyers from those who are just
window shopping.

To help you with this, I will share with you my salesperson’s bill of rights:

  1. Have trust. It is not difficult to see when there is no trust in the call. The body language and tonality of the prospect will give them away.
  2. Get qualifications. Unless prospects can prove they have a real need for what I sell, have money to pay for it, and can make a decision about buying it, I start ending the call.
  3. Don’t waste time. If the prospect won’t give me the time needed to rightfully assess the fit of my product, then what’s the point? I ask to reschedule or end it all together.
  4. No free consulting. Prospects want to know what you know because it has real value, but they don’t want to pay for it. If you are going to present your intellectual property to a prospect, make sure they commit to buying it if they like what you have and can afford it.
  5. No chasing. Prospects need to give me clear next steps at the end of the sales call if they are going to remain in my pipeline. They will agree to schedule another meeting to continue the evaluation of my service, they will tell me they want to buy it, or they will tell me they don’t want it. But they can’t tell me to “call me in a week after I have thought about it.”

I have other rules in my bill of rights, but hopefully what you have read will help you build your own bill of rights. If you make good rules that prospects must follow in order to have your product or service, and then be disciplined in adhering to those rules, you will have made a big step toward professional selling. You will be facing your prospects eye to eye, which is how professionals do business.

Karl Schaphorst is a 27-year veteran of sales who now specializes in training other sales professionals. He is the president of Sandler Training.