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Anvil or Feather? 

by Scott Messer, Sales Evolution

Anvil or Feather?
Which is lighter and easier to pick up, an anvil or a feather?  Of course, the answer is "feather" but in sales, given a choice between the two most salespeople pick up the anvil?  Why?  Because it is easier to find anvils than feathers and most folks won't slow down enough to find the feathers.
Anvils come in a couple of different versions and sizes:

The Cold Call Anvil
This anvil is very easy to find, so easy many salespeople pick them up and drop them in their knapsack that before too long they can't move.  Rather than get introduced to good prospects through existing relationships, or develop strategic or even non-strategic referral relationships and channels some reps figure if they just work hard forcing their way into accounts where there may be no or low levels of interest they can do well enough.  This is a technique anvil and very large and heavy.  Use Referral Magic to turn the anvil into a very light feather.

The Refusal to Take Acknowledge the Truth Anvil
"The prospect is always right, just not right for you."  You've heard these words before but sometimes the need to make a sale is so great or the opportunity so large that an irresistible force is at work that keeps sane person act crazy.  Despite showing low or no interest, not meeting commitments, a refusal to share necessary information and not returning phone calls, the salesperson keeps chasing, thereby getting frustrated and stressed.  Stick enough of these in your knapsack and you can't move.  The Feather is to dispassionately and unemotionally accept the Realty and Truth in every sales situation.  Make them audition and qualify for you, not vice versa, and the determination of whether or not they qualify become clear.  The remaining prospects, those that qualified, are light as a feather.

Trying to Sell What You Want to Sell, Not What They Want to Buy Anvil
Few of your Customers and Prospects are lonely.  They have to buy what you are selling from someone and they hope you are the person to buy from.  That is why they talk to you.  Let them buy what they want, not what you want to sell.  Questions like:

- "What have you got on your desk today you'd like to take off?"
- "My guess is we couldn't find a way to double our sales with you this year, or is there?"
- "What are you buying from someone else that you don't care whether or not you got it from them that you could buy from me"?

And other like questions can turn that pushy sales person into a feather plucker quite easily.

The Monday Morning Drill:
- What are the names of the Anvil Accounts you're carrying around?
- What are the strategies and tactics you can use to turn them into feathers?
- What success traps can you set for yourself to make sure you don't pick up any more anvils?

Good Selling! Contact Scott Messer at (610)353-8686 or e-mail at scott@salesevolution.com


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