Think back to your last debrief session with your sales reps: the conversation started with “how did the meeting go?” (advice: avoid asking 'how did it go?', instead ask a simple question like where are you in the process now or what happened in the end to avoid a 20 minute story). After asking, you now get a response like “we had a really good conversation or they seemed really interested/excited!”
UH OH!! Sounds like a case of happy ears, and happy ears kill sales. Period.
Happy ears are when the sales rep only listens for the positives in their sales calls.
Lets play a little game of what they say vs. what they mean.
What they say:[enthusiastic voice] We think this might be a really good fit. Follow up with me next week!
What they mean: There is a tiny chance we will actually buy from you Mr/Mrs sales rep, but I don’t know how to politely tell you “no.” This way I can avoid you by letting your calls go to my voicemail and you will waste a ton of your time trying to track me down.
Happy ears happen for various reasons. When pipelines are thin? Happy ears. When it is a large opportunity? Happy ears. When the sales rep is an optimistic person? Happy ears.
As the leader of your people do you notice happy ears? What are you doing to neutralize them? Are you helping your people be genuinely curious and skeptical in nature? Are you coaching them with the strategy and tactics to confirm a prospect's statements rather than taking it at face value?
A strong sales person stays neutral and has their prospective customers convince them why things are the truth rather than the sales rep doing the “convincing.” Eliminate happy ears and watch sales increase. It will help everyone in the end.
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