Why 'Maybe' Is The Worst Sales Response You Can Get
Updated: May 30
No Now, in this situation, as a 14 year-old boy, you want the Yes. The No is bad for your self-esteem. But the Maybe gives you hope. I’ll reveal what she said at the end of the post, but for now, let’s talk about how this same situation is a problem for you in your sales activity.
The Challenge of Becoming a Prisoner of Hope First, an observation: we have too many “maybe” sales responses. Way too many, in fact. This biggest challenge in B2B selling today is best explained by how every salesperson should conceptualize a pipeline. In general:
⅓ of your pipeline will buy from you in the near future
⅓ of your pipeline will buy in the far future
⅓ of your pipeline will never buy from you -- even if you offered them something worth $1 for 90 cents Sometimes I call sales reps Prisoners of Hope because they don’t ask for the order. In sales, a Prisoner of Hope is someone who continues to accept the maybe response. They spend too much time misinterpreting buying and warning signals, making their sales cycles too long. Or they carry on forever and then just die of attrition in the end.
Click here, download our playbook on resolving objections and get the responses that turn leads into customers. We’ve all seen these kinds of situations. And some of us have even been in them! They always look and feel like the following with the prospect saying something like:
“I don’t want to talk right now. But in three months, we can talk…”
“We need a lot of internal stakeholders to agree before we can commit…”
“Send me your materials and I’ll take a look…”
A prospect says, “I’m interested, let’s talk later” and then turns into a ghost. This leaves you resorting to stalking, creeping, doing fly-bys on social media, and calling from unlisted numbers. Your prospects are being nice. They feel bad about saying no, so they don’t. Instead, they string you along with hope for an uncertain future.