Do You Expect To Lose?

Posted by Robin Robins On May 7th, 2010

Years ago when I was selling high end technical training to IT professionals for a living, the biggest sales objection I heard all day long was, “If my employer isn’t going to pay for it, I’m not going.”

As the owner of an IT services company who employs these folks, this may not come as a shock to you. In fact, many of my clients relay the same problems with their techs – not only do they want you, the employer, to pay for the training, but they expect time off from work to go so it doesn’t interfere with their personal lives. Incredible.

When I started selling coaching and training materials to managed services business owners I often found the same resistance – which didn’t surprise me all that much. But what DID surprise me was the reason why.

It wasn’t because they couldn’t afford it (which is what they would give as a cheap, easy excuse in an effort to make me go away). It wasn’t because they couldn’t find the time – again, a poor excuse fired offhand. (What sane person would say they don’t have the time to make more money…really?) And, believe it or not, it wasn’t because they didn’t think my program would work; they often were convinced it would. The REAL underlying reason in almost every case was that they didn’t believe in themselves. They didn’t believe that they could implement the strategies successfully. They expected to lose.

How incredibly sad is that?

When selling to clients, I’m further surprised at how many MSPs go into sales situations expecting NOT to close the deal. They’re expecting the client to fight them on price, take months to mull over the proposal, not see the value, etc. My feeling is this: if you are going into a sales situation that you honestly don’t think you can close, why are you wasting any time on it?

If that’s how YOU feel, my guess is that you are either ill prepared (and know it) or you are going into a low-probability prospect you have no business messing with in the first place. But what really baffles me is this: If you KNOW your system is flawed, if you KNOW you lack the skills to close the sale, if you KNOW you will continue to lose unless something changes, why aren’t you DOING something about it? Skills can be learned and improved – there’s no magic in it.

Yet again, it comes back to a core belief held by so many: they expect to lose. And given all the tools, training, coaching and marketing materials – no matter how great — won’t change that noose around their neck.