Sales Stoplights


By Neal Glatt

If you offer snow removal services, then your sales are probably in full swing by now.  I recently read one of the most profound sales insights I’ve ever heard and knew I needed to share it here on this blog.  It all has to do with what you do when you see a yellow light.

Everyone knows that yellow lights means the light will soon turn red and we’re supposed to slow down.  But if you’re anything like me, often when you see yellow lights you’ll actually speed up!  In the book Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play, Mahan Khalasa argues that most salespeople do the same thing when they encounter yellow lights in their sales process.  Instead of slowing down the sale and dealing with an issue head on, these sales reps rush to a presentation and close as quickly as possible.

Let’s pause and understand why this is a problem.  Instinctively, we assume that if we push hard past warning signs in sales we won’t win the contract and that obviously means wasted time and effort.  But this isn’t always true: sometimes when we push past warning signs we can win the sale.  Unfortunately, it’s an even bigger problem than not winning the sale.  When we push past yellow lights and win the sale, we end up with customers who aren’t really a fit for our company.  This means servicing the contract will be difficult, costing extra resources that eat our profitability, and ultimately leading to a negative customer experience.  The end result will be lots of frustration, little to no profit, and no referrals.

When we understand that every outcome from rushing through a yellow light will be a negative outcome, it becomes obvious that we need to slow down instead of speeding through them.  One of the truths about sales is that we don’t make a mistake if someone doesn’t buy from us.  Because it’s possible to do everything right and still lose a sale, it may be disappointing but it’s not a mistake.  In fact, it becomes obvious that the only possible sales mistake is to rush through yellow lights.

If you’re struggling with your sales, maybe you need to spend some developing your system and improving your techniques.  To help, I’d invite you to take our free course Introduction to Sales and start having more success today!

Tags: Sales , Introduction to Sales , Stoplight , Yellow , Customer Experience ,