do you do about the prospects that give you an excuse not to buy—month after
month, year after year?
after year? Yes, in my experience
prospects have bought only after the second or third year after my initial call. Many others never bought. Was I (am I) wasting my time?
question is: do you continue to
fish or do you cut bait? Well,
that all depends if the decision-maker (never chase non-decision makers,
please) is an actual buyer. Have
they ever signed off before? On
what? How much? Are they happy with the company their
currently doing business with?
When you call them back do you feel closer to the deal or is the
prospect just a pretender?
need to know the answers to these questions before following up. Time is precious and the calls you
place each day are a finite number.
Remember, prospects (and people in general) are complicated and the
business world is ever changing.
yourself, “What kind of salesperson am I?” If you’re on the impatient side (“Impatience is a virtue,
too,” Andy Rooney once said) you might just cut bait and move on. Forward motion. Better prospects are out there for the
taking—why am I putzing along with this pretender? That’s perfectly understandable. You’re moving forward, not dwelling on the past.
you are impatient yet optimistic and lean on the side of perseverance and
believe the prospect may indeed buy one day, you might hang in there. You may believe (as I do) that a few
extra calls during slow periods might pay off. However, keep a short list, no more than ten to fifteen
prospects, those really wishy-washy folks, to call on. If you’re list is over fifteen then
you’re not communicating well. Be
more direct. For example:
Bill, I’ve been calling you for months now. This is great opportunity. I think it’s time you get onboard.”
calling back for the umpteenth time, be conscious of how long you’re on the
phone—bond but don’t waste time, always ask for the sale and if they’re not
buying (again!) ask for a reference.
advantage about not cutting bait is that you’ll find that people change
positions and job titles and companies all the time, especially today. The prospect that didn’t buy at ABC company is now buying
regard to those frustrating on-the-fence-might-never-buy prospects, I’m not
going to cut bait anytime soon.
Instead I’m going to throw my line out there ever so quickly in hope
that I’ll make a deal. These warm
waters—the prospects you’re calling on—are familiar and sooner or later they
bite. Be ready, don’t be caught