My mentor was a brilliant teacher. He had a lot of great sayings that resonated with me. One of his best was: “Gail, as a salesperson you always like to hear a ‘yes.’ But you’re a big girl and you can take a ‘no.’ It’s the ‘maybe’s’ that’ll keep you up at night.”
Boy, was he right!
The favorite part of my phone training is when I talk about how to fire a prospect or client. Everyone perks up because at some point in all careers, you find yourself so annoyed with someone who is unresponsive that you really don’t know what to do anymore. At the very least, you need to know whether or not the relationship is going forward.
Knowing when to end the relationship
When prospects or clients stop responding to our calls, we tend to get frustrated. With people we are close to, we may get concerned that something dire has happened. And other times, we may know that they are very busy people and this is part of the pattern of working with them.
(Disclosure: I am not referring to emails in this article because there are serious compliance implications for the use of emails in the financial services industry.)
There are the times when we just feel abused, ignored, neglected, or “dissed.”
Once you’re at the point where you are really angry at a prospect or client, you have let the situation go too far. In other words, you need to be self-aware enough to know that you are reaching a dangerous point in the relationship. Think about it this way: How can you be an effective, long-term financial advisor to someone if you don’t care if they get hit by a bus?
So you have to find the point in your own emotional thermostat that says “I’m approaching the point where I’m starting to not care about this person.” The one-liner I teach people to be aware of is:
“If every time that person’s name comes up and you want to throw up, you’re done.”You need to call them before you’ve reached this emotional threshold.
Some examples of behaviors that make you crazy:
You have a prospect/referral that you are repeatedly calling and leaving messages and you are feeling like the exercise is going nowhere. If it’s the prospect is a referral, you have already reached out to the referring party and asked for help, but that hasn’t worked.
You are in the middle of a sale: You’ve met the new client, who has indicated an interest in working with you. You can be at any point in the sales process and you cannot get the client on the phone.
At this point, you have to do something that gets them back into the process or you need a clear signal that they have abandoned the relationship so you can move on!
This script was taught to me by another telephone trainer. She was shocked I didn’t know the “p&p” script when I was yelling about a lunatic prospect who kept ignoring my calls.
Maybe you’re thinking “Why was she continuing to call this person?” Because I was referred to him 4 times by other managers in the same company who said “Call him. You’ll love him!”