Reinforcing behavior that we actually want people to end is called enabling. The salesperson has several strategies s/he can employ to stop enabling prospects to abuse the selling relationship. Try these methods to get the respect you deserve as a selling professional:
- DON'T give buyers free consulting. Your role as the salesperson is to help prospects discover how you can help them solve their problems and cure their pains. Providing too much information on solutions can put you in the role of unpaid consultant.
- DON'T prepare detailed, costly proposals without assurance that the proposals will receive some serious consideration. Some buyers request proposals after they have selected suppliers just to meet their business or political requirements of getting multiple bids. Don't play the game. Get a guarantee that your proposal will be viewed in fair and open competition.
- DON'T allow you and your proposal to travel up and down the buyer's organizational hierarchy. Although decision makers at several levels may be involved in the buying decision, you shouldn't be expected to make several presentations over an extended period of time. Make an up-front contract with your buyer on the conditions under which you will make a presentation, and what action will be taken at the end of the presentation.
- DON'T tolerate open-ended indecisiveness. If a buyer believes you'll hang around indefinitely, s/he will be in no hurry to make a decision. Make sure your up-front contract includes just how long you will wait for a decision. And, be prepared to stick to it.
- DON'T let your products or services be demeaned. If you don't show respect for your profession, your product and your company, who will?
- DON'T let your company or coworkers be demeaned. Be open in accepting responsibility for any past failures to satisfy customers. At the same time, stand up for the integrity, competence and commitment of your team. Your loyalty will not be lost on buyers.
- DON'T enable buyers to put you in ethical or legal dilemmas. Should you marshal all the resources at your disposal to make the buyer happy? You bet. But don't ever let that mean you compromise your integrity.