By Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies
Many of the people you’re calling on today suffer from a severe case of Frazzled Customer Syndrome. This debilitating condition is brought on by excessive workloads, 24/7 availability, information overload, lack of sleep, and job-related stress.
You likely encounter these individuals on a daily basis. They’re good people who are doing their best to survive in a crazy-busy workplace.
Their calendars are overflowing and they’re constantly falling behind, but they feel powerless to stop the unrelenting, escalating demands on their time.
Their frantic pace is both exhausting and exhilarating. They can barely focus on important tasks because their days are filled with interruptions, distractions, and constantly changing activities.
One minute they’re working on a document. The next, they’re checking e-mail, text-messaging, responding to a customer, or doing research online. This frenetic multitasking fools them into thinking they’re accomplishing a lot, but in reality they’re doing very little.
The result? More work, unmet obligations, unfinished projects, and chronic feelings of underachievement.
To make matters worse, they don’t see an end in sight. Instead, they deal with constant downsizings and reorganizations and rapidly move from job to job, never really mastering their current one—all the while wondering if they’re next on the chopping block.
Their personal life is just as frenetic, as they juggle work commitments, family, and personal time until they crash in front of the TV every evening. It’s no wonder they don’t have time for you.
Recognizing the Symptoms
How do you know when you’re dealing with customers who suffer from Frazzled Customer Syndrome? Typically they:
- Have a “net it out” mentality. These impatient, time-starved people want you to get to the bottom line right away. If you don’t, they’re immediately dismissive.
- Get easily distracted. Even when they’re interested in what you have to say, their attention spans are short. They feel compelled to multitask whenever humanly possible.
- Forget quickly. Because of their excessive flitting from task to task, much of what they commit to never makes it into their long-term memory.
- Demand a lot. They expect you to jump through hoops to fulfill their requests, yet when it’s time for them to take action, they move like molasses.
- Suffer from “analysis paralysis.” Faced with lots of change, multiple acceptable options, and the lack of time for thorough research, they appear overwhelmed, and nothing makes sense to them.
- Withdraw from contact. When they’re buried under other priorities, they don’t have any news to report or they have bad news—or go silent altogether.
Frazzled Customer Syndrome makes your job so much harder. Dealing with overwhelmed people is completely different from working with calm, rational people who have time to analyze their situation and study multiple options before moving ahead. But those people are no longer the norm.
To make matters worse, using traditional sales strategies actually creates insurmountable obstacles that can derail your sales efforts.
Your hot prospects fizzle or flame out. They politely (or sometimes not so politely) tell you that their priorities have changed, the budget has dried up or they have too much on their plate right now.
In most cases, your attempts to get them back on track are futile. They tell you to call back next month, but before long that becomes “next quarter,” and then, “next year.”
They just want to get rid of you. It’s not personal. They just can’t handle even one more item on their to-do list.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. By mastering the SNAP Rules, you can change how your prospects react to you.
Remember to: (1) Keep it Simple; (2) Be iNvaluable; (3) Always Align and (4) Raise Priorities. When you do that, frazzled prospects will want to work with you. And, they’ll rely on your guidance and advice when they make decisions.
Want to learn more about these fresh strategies for selling to crazy-busy prospects? To get four FREE sales-accelerating tools and download two chapters of SNAP Selling, visit www.SnapSelling.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*Excerpted from SNAP Selling by Jill Konrath (Portfolio 2010)