Playing catch-up is not usually fun. And being perpetually “late to the party” is a common reason salespeople fail at winning new pieces of business.
I’m a fan of having a strategically selected, focused, finite list of Target Prospects. Proactive is one of my favorite sales words, and I am all for doing whatever necessary to get in front of the right people at those target accounts. I am not a fan of over-qualifying prospects (assuming they’re strategically chosen) and here’s why:
Winners are in the deal early.
Successful hunters proactively work their target prospects. They learn the account. They conduct great discovery meetings. They gain keen insight – firsthand. They build relationships. They uncover pain, problems and initiatives within the target company. They position themselves. They share their story. They set themselves up to lead the prospect to a solution. Their solution.
Reactive hunters have to play catch-up. They’re stuck reacting to, rather than leading the prospect. Being late to the party forces them to play a competitor’s already in-progress game. They arrive after the prospect has already decided to go shopping. On a really fun day, they even get to respond to the RFP that the uber-proactive competitor’s salesperson helped write!
Top-performers are in the office early (especially today), they’re in the account early, and therefore, are in the deal early. The reality is that it’s your choice. You get to decide which game you want to play. Many will argue the other side and extol the virtues of hyper-qualifying. Not me. My money is on the laser-focused hunter who is in front of his wisely selected target accounts…and way out in front of the competition.