The Prospect Stall
Christine has been working through a tough month. Slow growth, few call backs and proposals out and waiting for answers. She gets a call from an old prospect that has always been a friendly voice and asks to see her. He explained that he is interested in making a change and always liked her. Can she come and talk to him. The prospect stall, no, they are excited to move forward!!
Christine sets a time, jumps in the car and goes! After some small talk, then she explains some of the differences in who they are now using and Christine’s company’s features and benefits since he’s last spoken to her. He listens carefully to all of Christine’s thoughts and ideas and even took notes. He had questions for her and she answered them all.
She left with the feeling that the two of them were on the same page and he certainly seemed to feel it was a good fit. Christine sends him the information he requested and said she’d call next week. After calling, texting, emailing…crickets. It was such a great prospect, they were so excited! Right?
Christine is in that familiar, albeit uncomfortable, position of having to chase a prospect who told her that they were interested. But, based on their failure to commit, it appears, not so much. Initially, they seemed very convincing in their interest regarding your product or service (as they nearly always are). Since then, Christine’s tactic has been to try to get their ear so that she can tell her story more convincingly, provide a comprehensive review of your features and benefits, and handle any objections that might be blocking the sale. To that end you’ve been persistent, called at least weekly, sometimes more. But that has yielded no tangible results and now she’s feeling like she is becoming a pest.
Traditionalists beware! This is a tough one for many salespeople, but it’s the only way you’ll be able to regain control. However, you’ll have to overcome all your old instincts to continue to sell. This may take some doing since you will want to think you’ve still got a chance. But, you have to call the game! Take it to “no”! Change your assumption from the answer being a “yes” to it being a “no” and tell them. To make it right, you need to exert soft control. How? By pulling back, not moving forward.
Find a way to get through to the “prospect” and explain that you haven’t been reading the signals very well and, based on his failure to return your calls, you believe that they have no interest in moving forward, since you don’t want to be a pest, you’re just going to close the file. *Close the file is not an ending, it is a move that will either move the client forward, wit the fear of loss. If they are still interested, they’ll tell you. If not, you’ve just liberated yourself from another wild goose chase and you will now have a true opportunity at a later point to go back, instead of chasing and looking desperate.