Many prospects have said to me, “If you can be that excited about what you’re selling, it must be good.” On the contrary—I’ve had more than one sales manager tell me I need to “calm down” in my sales conversations. I might get a little excited, and I do monitor it, but I stand by the fact my PCE has put my sales success over the edge for years and resulted in a lot of revenue generated.
PCE is an acronym for Passion, Conviction, and Enthusiasm. This blog breaks down each quality and helps you understand why it’s important in the sales cycle. In a previous blog, I wrote about the 3 Attributes of Top Sales Performers and began discussing the importance of PCE in addition to two other attributes: the relentless pursuit of winning, and product/industry knowledge.
All three attributes are important, but let’s talk about why none of the elements of PCE can be left out.
To put it simply, some salespeople are straight-up boring in their sales conversations. Whether they’re monotone or they just don’t emote, they’re hard to listen to because they don’t show any enthusiasm or passion for what they do. Other salespeople might be passionate and enthusiastic, but lack the conviction that increases buyer confidence and pushes the sale forward. Lastly, some might have great conviction but lack passion and enthusiasm, which can come across as aggressive or pushy, which buyers hate.
Let’s dig in more.
Prospects will know if you’re passionate about what you’re selling or not. It comes across in your body language, tonality, and—most importantly—word choice. When you’re passionate about a topic, your body language and facial expressions change and light up when you talk. Passionate salespeople exude a sense of comfort, strong feelings, and strong beliefs about what they’re selling. They can be described as heartfelt, energetic, and animated. The entire tone of a conversation can switch once it’s time for the salesperson to begin speaking about how they can solve their prospect’s problem. This passion helps prospects feel comfortable because the salesperson seems emotionally invested in solving their problem, which may have been an initial concern of theirs.
Salespeople have a perceived self-interest or agenda when they walk into a sales conversation. The prospect may be on edge and have their guard raised against the salesperson. Once that salesperson can start increasing their credibility by showing a vested interest in solving their prospect’s problem, the prospect becomes more emotionally invested in the conversation.
A salesperson’s conviction continues to help drive credibility in the sales conversation, ultimately leading to closed deals and revenue. Conviction comes through as a position or a stance on solving the prospect’s problems. Salespeople who have great conviction typically use proof of concept, third-party stories, and case studies to create social validation in sales conversations. When someone takes a stance on something, they usually have data and evidence to support their claim. Salespeople who take the time to conduct great discovery conversations will have built a case full of quantifiable ROI that can be discussed with the buyer. This helps them understand why their problem is a problem, how much their problem is costing them, the cost of doing nothing or delaying fixing it, and the potential ROI of working with the salesperson.
Conviction demonstrates confidence and proof. Using conviction to further lower the prospect’s guard is necessary to progress a sales conversation. If you end a sales meeting and the prospect isn’t sure if you can truly meet their needs or not, that’s on you. Take time to ask great discovery questions, build an undeniable case of the cost of the problem and your ROI, and share third-party stories and social proof to ease them into believing that you’re the right solution for them.
I’m often asked how enthusiasm is different from passion, so let’s break it down further. While these attributes are similar, they’re used in different points of the sales conversation. I use passion throughout, showing the prospect that I am emotionally invested in solving their problem and I believe in my company’s products and services, through and through. My passion builds the emotional connection that’s needed to increase their comfort in potentially buying from me. I use enthusiasm once the case is built and ready to close. I transfer from passion to enthusiasm to motivate and create a sense of urgency when it’s time for my prospect to make a buying decision.
After the case has been presented and both the salesperson and prospect agree on a solution, it’s time to enthusiastically discuss moving forward and the next steps.
Contract signing, large payments, and implementations can sow hesitation and concern from prospects. Have you ever had a deal stall out or a prospect change their mind, after you had received a verbal commitment? You probably felt flabbergasted. You checked all the boxes and followed your process perfectly. Both you and the prospect agreed on the solution, budget, timeline, and decision process. Still, the deal stalled. What happened? A lot of things could have happened here, but I’ve commonly found that deals stall when the transfer of enthusiasm from the salesperson hasn’t fully landed on the prospect. Making changes can be disruptive and expensive to organizations. Be sure that you follow through on the sale until the end and don’t let your prospect linger in limbo on the last step.
A wise man once told me that sales is, “the transfer of enthusiasm from the salesperson to the buyer.”
What are you doing to see the deal through all the way to contract signing, money transfer, and implementation commencement? Don’t leave your new sales in limbo.
Start Using PCE Now
Implementing PCE takes practice and time. The best first step in trying to implement a new skill or technique is to take a few minutes and write down a personal action plan. Reread this article and highlight four to five key points that stand out to you as something you’re not doing today. Then, record your next sales conversation and listen to the playback. Benchmark your PCE and rate yourself in each of the three attributes. If you’re not sure where you stand, ask a sales manager or coach to listen to the playback and help you identify where you can improve. Take it one step at a time, and give yourself a checklist to use in your sales process that you can reference during your conversations.
It takes time to learn a new skill or technique. Start small, ask someone to hold you accountable, and enjoy the increased sales revenue!
Ready to really crush those quotas?
We've compiled an excellent, practical guide to help you do just that! Check out Crush Your Quotas: The 2020 Guide to Becoming a Sales Rockstar.
MEET MARY GROTHE, THE CEO OF HOUSE OF REVENUE™
Mary Grothe is a former #1 MidMarket B2B Sales Rep who after selling millions and breaking multiple records, formed House of Revenue™, a Denver-based firm of fractional Revenue Leaders who currently lead the marketing, sales, customer success, and RevOps departments for 10 companies nationwide. In the past year, they've helped multiple 2nd stage growth companies between $5M - $20M, on average, double their MRR within 10 months, resulting in an average ROI of 1,454% and an average annual revenue growth eclipsing $3.2 million.
Listen to our Quota Crusher™ Podcast.
Subscribe to our newsletter for sales tips and happenings at Sales BQ®