Last week I was coaching George, a good salesperson who has no trouble selling pilots and trials. Despite that success, he has a very difficult time converting those test runs to long-term contracts. His sales manager suspected it had something to do with a self-limiting belief around money, considering that the price of long-term contracts were 20 to 30 times more than that of the pilot.
What's George’s problem? He’s frugal!
As I talked to George, I found out that while he has plenty of money, he doesn’t want to spend it. He buys the things he needs but doesn’t enjoy shopping. He delays buying things for himself because of his frugality and denies himself the joy most people get when they reward themselves with a purchase. And impulse buys? Fagetaboutit. For example, George recently bit the bullet and upgraded his wardrobe, but it wasn’t to feel better about how he looked; it was to please his wife, who thought his wardrobe was in need of an update.
I’m not here to judge anyone’s personal lifestyle, but I do strive to help people sell better. And George’s personal spending habits were taking a toll on his selling ability.
As closing time approached, his frugality would kick in. Instead of getting his prospect excited about what they were about to buy, he radiated stress, anxiety, and practicality, preventing them from signing the contract, and denying them the joy of buying something they needed and wanted. More importantly, he was dissuading them from solving a real problem.
It took about 30 minutes of explaining this to George before he finally understood the impact his behavior was having on sales revenue. How did we fix the problem? I advised George to go out and buy something that would make him happy and gave him permission to experience joy about his purchase. Then I offered the most important piece of advice I could -- I urged him to make that behavior his default, and expect it from his prospects.
If your own personal spending habits are getting in the way of your sales success, it pays to update your beliefs about spending money and behaviors related to how you buy things. In my experience, when salespeople solve this problem, their sales increase by around 50%! And that’s more cash in your pocket, either to save or spend.
Originally published Mar 10, 2015 9:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017