Chapter 1

The Great Sales Disconnect

Suppose that you wrote the following goal on your office whiteboard: “I want to make as much money as possible.” Now suppose your clients saw it. How would they feel? How would you feel knowing that they’d seen it? Would you feel proud or embarrassed?

What if you went over your prospect list, and the only thing written next to each prospect’s name was a dollar figure and a projected close date? Would your prospects be happy if they saw that? Would they want to do business with you?

Probably not; it reduces them to nothing more than a number. Yet, that’s exactly how most organizations talk about their customers on a daily basis.

Think about the typical conversation a sales manager has with his or her sales rep. It usually goes something like this:

“When are you going to close this? How much revenue will it be? Are all the key decision makers involved? Who’s the competition? What do you need to close this deal?”

All of the questions are about when and how we’re going to collect revenue from the customer. Very few managers ask about the impact the sale will have on the customer’s business or life.

This is a big problem.

Imagine a salesperson walking into a customer’s office and opening the sales call by plopping a revenue forecast down on the customer’s desk, announcing, “I have you projected for $50,000 this month. Give me an order now!”

That rep would be thrown out in a second. Yet that’s the kind of language most organizations use when they ...

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