We’ve all had those sales presentations where everything went right. You captivated the audience with your words and they nodded in agreement. You left the room feeling like a rock star, confident that you’d soon have a sale. Then, the romance quickly ended when you tried to close the deal. They fell off your grid, wouldn’t take your calls and basically disappeared without even an explanation.

Hmmmm! And you thought they loved you?

Yes, it sounds more like a one-night stand than a sales presentation, but too often seemingly productive sales presentations end up going nowhere fast. Why? Well, there are four primary reasons why your once-captive audience is not really into you any more:

  1. Oops! You romanced the wrong people. Often times, the people who seem like they are sure bets during a sales presentation are those who simply don’t have any buying authority. It’s easy to get positive response from individuals who aren’t authorizing the checks, but you’re spinning your wheels by focusing on them. Do your homework ahead of your meeting and make sure that the decision-makers will be listening to what you have to say.
  2. You didn’t probe for information. You’ve memorized the features and benefits of what you’re selling and can probably even recite them in your sleep. But, no one is sold by a running monologue. To captivate them enough to get them to buy, you better be finding out how you can help them. Without this information, you have no ability to offer them an improvement of their current situation. This translates into them having no reason to return your call.
  3. You didn’t present enough value. You could have the flashiest, most innovative product or service on the market, but if you can’t communicate its value to your prospect, they’re not going to buy it. Sure, they’ll “ooh” and “aah” over the fantastic things that you’re showing them, but if you’re not explaining why they need to have it, you might as well pack up and go home.
  4. You didn’t ask enough questions. Besides determining their specific needs, you still need to find out much more before you have the sale. Do they have the budget for what you’re selling? What’s their timeline? How does the purchasing process work?

How best to follow up? What else can you do to help them?

Like going on a first date, you need to play it smart if you’ll continue on towards a relationship. Find the right people, ask them the right questions, and you’ll go a long way to preventing being jilted again.