4 Ways to Avoid Being Black Holed in Sales
By Jonathan Raney
Founder and CEO, hubPitch
Anyone who has worked in sales, or any customer facing role, knows what the black hole is. At some point, your contact will go completely dark. Whether it is while you are negotiating a deal, scheduling meetings, or waiting for information… inevitably it’s going to happen to you.
The black hole is an extremely frustrating part of the sales process, and can even derail an entire deal by killing momentum. Whether it is intentional, or not, there are ways to avoid falling into a black hole with your clients.
Limiting the Exchange of Information
In sales, the person who has the most information will have the most control.
If a sales rep shares every detail of the product, the partnership, and then the contract all within a 60 minute presentation they have essentially just eliminated themselves from the process. Why would they need to talk to a sales rep anymore?
Not only is over-sharing detrimental to your role in a partnership, but it will most likely confuse your buyer. Almost every product purchase is made to simplify and solve a pain that the buyer has. They are shopping for a solution, not a complication. By sharing too much information at once you can over complicate the sale and create confusion.
To avoid being black holed, separate the information that you share into categories, which will then be divided into multiple calls and/or meetings.
To piggyback on the above strategy, sales teams must be more strategic around their meeting structure. The average person retains around 10% of what they read, and 20% of what they hear. Meaning, the majority of your sales presentation is going to be forgotten.
By packing everything into a single meeting, you will set yourself up for failure. But what about a one-call-close?? A recent study by Zoom Info states that 92% of buyers require at least 4 calls before saying yes. Translation: stop banking on a one-call-close…you are more likely to push a prospect away than close the deal.
By scheduling multiple (shorter) meetings, sales reps can spend more time focusing on areas of your product that are specific to the prospects actual needs… rather than rushing to squeeze everything in to one call.
Additionally, by breaking your “sales pitch” into multiple meetings you will keep your prospects wanting more. You will create a buzz and anticipation around each meeting.
Avoiding the Nice-to-Haves
In theory, this is a no brainer. But in reality, sales reps love to feature dump.
What is feature dumping? Rather than showing features that align with the specific pain points and needs of your prospects… sales reps tend to show features that they think are great. Feature dumping is an easy way to get yourself ignored.
Try to structure your product demos in the below format:
Pain Point 1 → Product Feature (Solution) 1
Pain Point 2 → Product Feature (Solution) 2
Pain Point 3 → Product Feature (Solution) 3
…you get the point.
It’s hard to ignore someone who holds the keys to a product that seems to solve your exact need.
Sales Follow Up
Again, this should be a no brainer… but unfortunately sales follow up seems to be an area that teams lack in.
Who loves a good PowerPoint deck? No one.
As discussed before, your product solves specific needs for each prospect. Although many of your prospects will have the same needs, your sales follow up should be specific to their pain points. A combination of video, PPT, case studies, etc. should all be bundled into a central location where it is easy to access.
Over 80% of your prospects will never allow you to meet with a true decision maker. Meaning, the content you send in your follow up is just as important as your meetings. If the buying team is forced to bounce around between attachments, hyperlinks, and youtube pages they will most likely misunderstand some area of your product.
If you create an easy-to-understand and value driven follow up, you will avoid being ignored or black holed by a prospect and their team.
Learn more about how hubPitch can help your sales team at www.hubpitch.com.