Sales Leads Are Obstructed by Political Paranoia

It’s said that empowering your prospect can win you rapport and generate more sales leads. But what’s the opposite of that? Can anything depower your customer’s buying decision and render your marketing attempts useless?


Paranoia and fear would certainly fit the bill. And in the work place, politics tend to be a major producer of both.


You want to see this in action? You don’t actually have to start with prospect organizations. You can just look at your own sales and marketing teams.


If you haven’t noticed there’s something wrong with seeing a sales team versus a marketing team when they’re supposed to be sales and marketing, you should do it now.


Consider this as a simulation for when politics are what’s crippling your prospect’s buying initiatives. You have:


  • Two sides.
  • One thinks the other’s the bad guy.
  • They’re trying to get everyone to pick a side too.


In other words, there’s conflict. When there’s politics, there’s a conflict of interests. The good news for sales and marketing is that the conflict could just be the result of what defines qualified sales leads. So how do you move from this to understanding how politics are undermining the buying decision?


You start by understanding how the fear from politics is in fact another form of fearing conflict.


In other words, your prospect’s don’t want conflict. They don’t want to make decisions that might look like they’re just trying to advance their position, curry favor from higher-ups, take more credit, or anything else that’s suggested to spark colleague contempt.


Here are some things you can say that will help ease the paranoia:


  • 1. It’s for the good of the company – Explain your value proposition in a way that puts the interest of the greater organization at forefront instead of just your prospect. Impress upon them how imperative your products/services can be. It also helps if you performed a bit of extra research into the organization on who else would recognize the same value proposition as your prospect would.


  • 2. Ask them who else you can talk to – You can also try a strategy where you make a bigger attempt at an organizational buy-in at the start of the funnel. Ask prospects if you can talk to others in your organization or alternatively, encourage them to talk to you.


  • 3. Prove their fears unfounded – Whether it’s finding ways to talk to more people in your organization or just convincing one prospect alone, don’t hesitate to challenge the validity of their fears. Sometimes it’s enough to cite a credible case study. Other times you might want to just get a follow-up while discussing further actions with your sales rep. In any case, you should never allow prospect’s to let their fears go unchallenged.


Speaking of which, the foundation of political fears can be as petty as fear of offending certain sensibilities to something valid such as company size and budget. Yet in all cases, it’s not something that should cripple you just as much as it could’ve crippled your sales and marketing team.


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