Hopes Disease: [hohps dih-zeez]
1. a disorder where a salesperson's hope manifests itself in the form of belief.
naivety, gullibility, misplaced optimism
realism, experiential pessimism
Michael thought that the client was going to sign for the past three months, however that was just his Hopes Disease playing tricks on him.
- Not asking the tough questions:
- "If you don't solve the problem that you currently have, what happens next?" This question happens during needs analysis. The hope is that during the initial steps of the sales process, you have found some problems that your prospect is dealing with, that your product can help them with. Asking this question, allows you to delve into how bad their problem is, and what happens if it goes untreated. If the answer to this question is not a big deal, then there is little urgency on your prospects part.
- "Are you looking at any other products or services similar to mine?" Some salesmen don't like to find out that they are in a bake off. Asking this question lets you know if there is something that you should be aware of and allows you to act accordingly.
- "If you and I don't end up doing business, we will both survive, right? Is there anything that I have shown you (or haven't shown you), that would make you not want to buy our product?". Give them an out. Let the prospect know that it is OK not to buy the product.
- "What is the date that you will be making the decision, and when should I expect an agreement to be signed?" There is nothing wrong with being forward...You are a salesman, not a visitor.
- Not Listening for the answers:
- Like my children, salespeople have selective hearing. We hear what we want to hear, and sometimes we see hope, where there isn't any at all. Like that famous meme with Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber ("so you say there's a chance")...Sometimes we are just that dense.
- We are eternal optimists:
- We are salespeople, and if we think that everyone who reacts positive to us is lying, maybe we will lose our mojo.
- We just don't want to give up on that cherry prospect:
- Like drugs, that feeling from a big sale is extremely addicting, and is something that we crave....enough to look past some pretty strong evidence.
Do the right thing. Re-evaluate your deals, and find the ones that you are stricken with Hopes Disease, and move on.