Selling Spoiler Alert … there is no “magic bullet” in sales. Ultra high performers understand this, but we all falter at some point (and sometimes more than once). Most of us have experienced sales slumps and have excuses for why. As a reminder, we have control over our actions, reactions and mindset even in the worst of times.
Why am I posting a common sense nugget of information? Because I’ve been there – in a place where I couldn’t see clearly and usually because many things out of my control happened at one time that detoured my success and sent me in a downward spiral.
On a recent call with a prospect for sales coaching, the prospect actually said “I’m looking for a magic bullet.” Prior to getting on the call, I felt slightly guilty about assuming (profiling) that she would be a “magic bullet seeker.” There were several red flags before our initial call that this would be the case, but I always stay open minded to prove myself wrong and remind myself to not judge in advance (“yes and” rule).
Her story was familiar. She went from top of her game to way below a livable wage. As a coach, I play part-time shrink. I was able to uncover what triggered her misfortunes in selling. It was all personal situations plus mindset.
She already had a coach and I asked her “why are you looking for another coach if you already have one?” We were both surprised by my gut reaction question. She said she wasn’t sure and that maybe she was looking for a “magic bullet.” My heart sank. Did I put this in the universe or am I just that good intuitively.
But now she was desperate and scared, she shared candidly, surprising herself that she was being so vulnerable with me.
I found common ground because I understood so much of what she had been through. I shared my 2020 story of struggle, resilience and return to success – my happy ending. Her eyes popped out and she proclaimed “I want that. I want what you got. You understand me. How can I work with you and how much does it cost?”
But before I told her what the financial investment would be, I told her that the investment is bigger than the cost and that there is no magic bullet. The answer is hard work, passion and determination to achieve and thrive. I needed her to understand that getting a new coach was not going to create instant results.
A coach is a journey guide, not a magician.
I told her the cost and shut up. Her immediate, “fight or flight” reaction was “There’s no way I can do that right now. Thanks for your time.” And I didn’t respond. I let her sit in her decision for a few seconds before I wished her good luck.
Could I have closed the sale? Probably. Did I want to? No. Experience has repeatedly proven that if you don’t accept the need to do what it takes to reach your goal, with my help, we will both fail. Experience as a coach has also proven that these types of prospects come back to me when they finally hit rock bottom and are willing to truly be vulnerable and humble for the process.