Ever worked with a salesperson who spend the majority of their time chasing sales that are about to be closed by someone else? These individuals are often called ambulance chasers.
There is no judgement in this article. We are all in sales and need to get the job done and the numbers in. Whatever works, keep doing it. It’s just that this approach is so high risk and there must be a better way?
When the ambulance chaser hears of an “incident”, they must immediately drop what they are doing and respond. After all, the decision is imminent, so there is no time to lose. Think about the opportunity cost. All those high value proactive activities that could be getting done are cast aside for as long as it takes to chase the prospect and try to get them to engage. This will be a challenge, as they have already spent valuable time getting educated and nurtured by your competitors, perhaps beyond the point of PO raising.
Also, the chaser has no deep insight of prospect needs and priorities. So frustratingly, even if they genuinely have something unique to offer, it is often difficult to get access. After all, when you haven’t engaged with the prospect to date and positioned your value in relation to their needs, how can you expect anything else? Often the best that can be achieved here is getting asked for your lowest price, usually for them to satisfy themselves on the pricing already submitted. So best case it become a race to the bottom, in terms of margin. Aside from instances where you may be significantly lower priced than your competitors for an identical solution, how many will you win using this model? And even if you do and its really low margin business, at what true cost is this piece of revenue?
The good news is that you can reduce the risks outlined here at a salesperson level. The start point is always to look at the previous success of your solution set in its chosen space and to review HOW those customers were identified, the messaging, tactics and creativity used to educate and nurture them from stranger to customer. And along the way, lock out any of your competitors’ salespeople who are chasers and guard against them trapping you anytime soon.