So scientists have been keeping themselves busy by studying boredom.
Who ever knew there were officially different types? Let alone that a new, fifth type has just got unmasked.
The news of this was of only mild downtime interest, until I saw the definitions of all this tedium;
Indifferent boredom – being relaxed and withdrawn
Calibrating boredom – being uncertain and easily receptive to change
Searching boredom – being restless and in active pursuit of change
Reactant boredom – being motivated to seek out alternatives to a situation
Apathetic boredom – being helpless
It struck me straight away that, you take out the word boredom and these states also apply when you are gauging the extent to which your buyside personalities are in a position to make something happen. Let’s look at each.
Indifference. The status quo is hard and fast in place. The world may well be about to blow up, but your prospect isn’t budging from where they’re at now, nor anywhere remotely towards you.
Calibrating. A-ha, they sense something needs to change, but aren’t quite sure what. Promising. But still possibly a fair few hurdles for us here.
Searching. Excellent, they’re looking for a plan. But whether this is one person as a lone wolf, and so you still need to gain traction, may be a sticking point.
Reactant. Whoa. Bullseye. The status quo not only has to go, but permission to get cracking on replacing it is all given. Here we’re not necessarily having to sell ‘change’, but how we shall uniquely make it beautifully happen.
Apathetic. This is the new one. Ouch. Sounds too late. All parties appear out of luck on this one. Characterised by “a high level of aversion to the situation in which it occurs”.
As an aside, this also reminds me of the famous stages of competence. I love to do a slot on this at the end of a workshop programme. Interestingly, the original four stages of renown have also acquired a new, fifth stage recently. Although in that case, it shows more a fork in the road. For after you’ve nailed your particular skill, do you then become either result-sappingly complacent, or improvement-seekingly self-aware?
I fancy that each particular solution sale has a preferred state in which to initially pitch. Where do you have the most success? The classic distinction would be where you yourself create the need, or where the prospect goes out to find a fulfillment to a need they already recognise. (Although the obvious alarm bell blares out if in the latter case an alternative vendor triggered the need).
Whichever sees you personally enjoy the more receptive of prospect, then you have a new qualification parameter. And a critical one at that.
This would be a neat exercise to run in an internal sales meeting. Two different mini-sessions occur to me.
You could ask each salesperson to assess their done deals, and assign a particular type to each win. Any trends or themes emerging could be invaluable in moulding your winning process. Or you could go down the forecast assessment route. At which stage was each live ongoing deal at when first approached?
If I was rather selling on my own, I’d do both. It’d probably only take an hour or so. And once done, could make re-evaluation of the present forecast trigger some simple questions to go back to some prospects with, and also free up lots of your precious time by showing where you ought really be focusing.