Govt-shutdownI have written a bit about the impact of losing emotional control in the sales process and I talk about it with sales teams, sales managers and CEOs whenever I get the chance.  But, I don’t always feel that everyone understands what I am talking about.  So I have a new illustration.  The recent debacle in Washington DC with the government shutdown and the subsequent panic regarding whether or not the U.S. would default on its debt obligations due to the debt ceiling limit illustrates my point perfectly.  Here’s how.

If you are a Democrat you likely believe that the House Republicans are all to blame for this near crisis we found ourselves in.  However, if you are a Republican then you probably believe that President Obama’s refusal to negotiate nearly sent our country over the brink.  It is also likely that you pay attention to pundits that speak your speak.  You agree with them.  They feed into your thought process.  You believe them.  You believe what you want to believe.
It is the same with salespeople.  They believe what they want to believe.  And what do they WANT to believe?  They want to believe that the prospect will buy from them.  They want to believe that the prospect is being honest with them when they say “this looks great” which is code in the salesperson’s mind for “I am going to buy from you”.  Just like in politics, salespeople believe what they want to believe.  And in the process they have lost emotional control.  And then the trouble begins.  They waste time with prospects that aren’t really going to buy from them.  The salesperson just believes what they want to believe (that they are going to buy).  They don’t ask enough disqualifying questions because their belief is that the prospect will buy.  They therefore waste time with the wrong prospects, cutting into their time to find the good prospects who will buy.

Get your salespeople to quit believing what they WANT to believe and help foster a mentality of truth seeking.  Help them become investigators rather than believers.  Maybe even skeptics.  To continue the political story, a more effective environment for increased closed business is where salespeople are more like skeptical Independents than Republicans or Democrats.