Horsemen of Bad Prospect Apocalypse

This short viral video clip seems a repackage of content from eight years prior (alongside antidotes too).

Nothing wrong with that, provided the concept remains strong.

In selling repetition is a tool often shied away from.

Yet that is all part of our name. Sales Representation as Sales Re-presentation.

Still, with even MSM catching up, we can make a timely mapping of our own of these quartet of relationship killers. Ones “statistically proven to be the initial predictors of divorces or breakups”.

I noted the internet meme favourite of those apocalypse riders earlier in 2021.

Prospect relations can also experience the unseemly visit of a Four Horsemen too.

Where criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling can tear you and your significant other apart, there are parallels for realising your prospect is not on our page either.

Let’s take the same taxonomy for personal conflict alerts into our sales arena.

Prospect Reveal Horseman Sales Counter
Goes beyond serial objections, product digs or company dismissals. The gravest danger is when it becomes personal. About how you conduct yourself and discharge your duties. CRITICISM Suggested as the one that paves the way for the more deadly to follow, the counsellors suggest starting phrases with “I feel” and “I need”. So adapting their wording, switch around a template such as, “I’m feeling some distance away from getting to what you want and I need to understand certain issues to properly help you. Can we please talk about …?”. Move away from blame and escalation into a mutual forward momentum.
In a business sense, can emanate from never exhibiting faith in your abilities. Or from more micro-contempts. Such as cancelling meetings at the last moment, being late for calls, and being a continual low-responder on your mail trails and message threads. CONTEMPT The Big One. When appearing can render failure inescapable. ‘Small Things Often’ is recommended, along with the ‘magic ratio’ of positive to negative comments being 5:1. This takes the ‘praise sandwich’ to another level and feels in peril of being overly ‘nice’. Yet how often do we tell a prospect how well an email, doc or argument of theirs was constructed? Apparently here we should not fear reliance upon a behaviour-breeds-behaviour format.
On a major level, would be akin to not admitting the scale of issue they face for which you pitch an improvement. Everyday manifestations would include ensuring all contact goes through them alone, keeping information close to their chest, not explaining why they want a piece of intel off you, failing to introduce you to colleagues or key data and leaving the real drivers hidden from you. DEFENSIVENESS Removing things from the personal can lighten the weight of personal damage. Understanding the process your prospect organisation uses can help keep individual culpability shielded one step away. If tricky, then turn the process into what they deliver, and how their clients see what they do. Political Mapping can also find alternate routes. Who else might be feeling pain? Note too that Level Selling is always a winner here.
An unresponsive prospect is one thing, but worse is one whom constantly says ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I’m not sure’. Also pausing instead of answering or at the other end, saying plenty yet revealing nothing. STONEWALLING The researchers suggest taking a break to lower anxiety when this strikes. It can be said that (as for many a horseman) not knowing what’s in it for them – personally and professionally – is core to progress barriers. Emotional chaos can be soothed by focus on the end-goals. I also like the concept of asking them to do something for you. Specifically a request which feels simple, benign, almost inconsequential. Yet re-builds expectations of give-and-take and a balanced transaction-exchange..

This feels a most useful extra wringer to turn the rolls over your potential deal personalities. So you can ensure that they don’t mangle your ambitions. Any possible wasted time left high and dry.

Even a simple field on your deal tracking system labelled ‘4 Horsemen’ with a Y/N flag can help determine even more effective forecasting.

It stands to reason that if such apocalyptic horsemen remain hanging around, then you must leave the scene. Qualify out. It’ll be best in the long run. Your precious selling time no longer stolen away. And energies now applied elsewhere in much more likely to succeed situations.

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