Learning Sales Courage From The Late Tony Soprano

Sales leaders often succeed by being consistent and aggressive. But when is enough enough, and when is the soft touch needed? The most important thing to consider in a sales opportunity is what can happen if your prospect won’t close, and sharing with them what is at risk.

Anecdotal Evidence 

The magazine Private Wealth recently released an article titled “Sopranos Star’s $30M Misstep,” where the details of James Gandolfini and his $70 million estate’s loss of what is estimated to be $30 million by dying without protecting his assets in a private trust or some other vehicle for ensuring the IRS and local authorities couldn’t tax so much of what the actor left behind for friends, family, and charity.

k-bigpicIt is true that financial choices, indeed all choices, we make as human beings in this life are our own, and are our responsibility. But imagine the responsibility of Gandolfini’s financial advisors: Was there a possibility someone didn’t “sell” him hard enough on a review of his situations?

Sales Pressure

Apply pressure evenly and consistently for best practice. Prospects may have their own opinions (sometimes accurate, sometimes wildly fanciful) on how salespeople earn and receive compensation. Often, a CPA offering a valuable but low-cost analysis can be disregarded by a client’s psychological distrust of “selling,” which leads to delaying the close of a sale or putting it off entirely. This introduces a danger, not just in a salesperson missing a commission or falling short of a quota, but of the client not benefitting from the sale. If your car was in for service and the mechanic told you that your brakes were about to fail, but you ask, “can it wait?” Is your mechanic doing a good job if he or she backs off from your response, even though you will be driving at risk of a terrible crash?

"I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail."
 - Abraham H. Maslow, Toward a Psychology of Being (1962).

As a salesperson, you will find that your strongest and best ability to persuade, educate and push is a power often tempered with timing, strategy, and relationship management. But the delivery of quality and quantity of contact with a prospect, or current client, is what is most important to averting the treacherous future without your product or service in your prospect’s employ. It is your duty to deliver to them the information they need about the risks they could suffer if they don’t work with you and your organization. Only armed with this possibility can they make the decision to buy or wait properly.

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