Your Suicide Squad
by Tabitha Upton
With the release of the movie Suicide Squad, the world was yet again reminded that you have to think outside the box and use unexpected resources (i.e. your own Suicide Squad) to save the day. While the world of sales might not take place in Midway City and your coworkers might not be the infamous Harley Quinn or Deadshot, the same rules still apply.
You may have been trained on your project and after weeks, months, and maybe even years, you know your product like the back of your hand. You can be the Batman of your force, navigating every opposition, nailing down every prospect that appears, and act as the go-to hero for your team. However, every hero has that one account that they can’t crack, that one contact who keeps giving you the brush-off, or that objection you can’t seem to overcome. In these instances, you need to start thinking outside the box, and utilizing those around you to add a new element to your prospecting that you wouldn’t have previously considered. Here’s where your suicide squad can step in to help you get over that hump.
Knowing a product and understanding how it compares to the competition is only half the battle. The majority of people that pick up their phone during the day do not want to be pitched. Breaking through the “I’m going into a meeting” or “Now isn’t a good time” is challenging. Understanding that there is a line between being a pushover and too pushy is something that takes practice.
Some prospects are willing to listen, but not commit to a meeting — they’ll ask for an email with more info and you’ll probably never hear from them again. In other cases a prospect might not want to be contacted over the phone at all. Listening to your coworker’s responses to these prospects can transform a call in a way that you might not have previously considered. For example, a unique response to “I’m about to go into a meeting” is “Oh yes I’m about to as well, this will just take a minute...” This type of response throws off the prospect and forces them to hang on a few more minutes so you can pitch your product. In other cases sending a “challenger” email, or an email that pitches the product and calls out the prospect for not engaging, is the best way to follow up. Listening to and asking your coworkers questions is the best way to see how other people have handled situations like these, and ultimately how to overcome them yourself.
One of the most successful Sales Development Representatives with whom I work requested that his senior coworkers listen in on his calls and “rip them apart.” This coworker already knew his product and how to pitch it, but felt that there were always new ways to combat objections and questions to make him more successful. By accepting suggestions and constructive criticism from a variety of sources, he revamped stale messaging that wasn’t exciting or enticing to his prospects. He has met or exceeded his lead goal each month since, an example that utilizing unexpected resources can transform you from Batman Begins, to The Dark Knight Rises.
Suicide Squad popularized the concept of heroes coming from unexpected backgrounds, showing that unique skill sets and strategies aren’t exclusive to one team or project. It’s important to embrace change and accept the idea that how you’re currently prospecting may need a quick face-lift. Look around your office and identify the people with completely different strategies and sit with them for an hour. It may not be super comfortable to have your style critiqued, but you’ll do well to learn from others as you develop your own personal Suicide Squad.
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