I have a sales strategy you may be overlooking. But first, tell me if you’ve ever experienced this:
You’ve connected with your new prospect. You believe you can bring real value to them. They seem to agree. But then … crickets. They keep putting you off. Or worse, they stop returning your emails or phone calls without a word of explanation. You don’t want to be a pest, but you wonder what went wrong. Why didn’t your prospect follow your recommendations?
Could it be that your prospect didn’t have a sense of urgency to act? And you didn’t help them?
A few possible scenarios:
- They didn’t fully see the problem or opportunity that was so obvious to you.
- Their inertia in the direction of not taking action is so huge that they’re stuck.
- They’re not the true decision maker or there are other decision makers you don’t know about.
- You didn’t help your prospect see the importance of acting now.
A strategy that takes brains and heart
People don’t act because they don’t feel compelled to act. There is no sense of urgency.
Creating that compelling reason for action — creating a sense of urgency on the part of your prospects — is not always an easy thing to do. It takes brains — the intelligence and savvy to learn about your prospects and apply your solutions.
And it takes heart — the courage to dig a little deeper and speak your mind in a way your prospects can take in (not feel like you’re being pushy).
Sometimes timing really is an issue. Sometimes you have to wait for the stars to align for your prospects to be ready to take advantage of your value. But moving people to action — now or later — does not happen by wishing and hoping.
Crossing your fingers and hoping for the best is the world’s worst sales strategy. (Photo: iStock)
Wishing and hoping: The world’s worst sales strategy
Yes, I’m guilty of this too. We fall into the quicksand of not knowing what to do next and sometimes doing nothing.
This is a big topic. And while I can’t totally solve this issue for you in one blog post, perhaps you’ll find these ideas helpful.
- The biggest “objection” we all face with our prospects is intertia. They’ve lived with the problem or not taken advantage of the opportunity for this long, what’s another week, month or year?
- Making a decision to act is ultimately an emotional decision. They get what you are saying on an intellectual level, but they aren’t “feeling it” quite yet.
- They are either getting conflicting advice from others or just stuck in their own heads, afraid to make the wrong decision.
- They aren’t feeling the pain or excited about the opportunity. You stayed on the surface, not helping them go deeper into the two main reasons people act: to avoid pain or gain pleasure (solve problems or capture opportunities).
- You didn’t ask them to take action. You had no “call to action.” You asked good questions and presented good ideas, but you never said, “I recommend we get the ball rolling on this because _________________.”
Help prospects move through their inertia
Your brains and heart — when ethically applied — are a gift you give to your prospects and clients. You take the time to really learn what they are thinking and feeling about their situation.
You tie their problems, concerns, gap in clarity and confidence, or opportunity to a compelling reason to act now — to at least keep the decision process moving to its logical conclusion.
When you work through referrals and, especially, introductions, this problem usually happens less frequently. Of course, the more trust that exists between the referral source and the prospect, the more impact the source’s recommendation will have.
With that said, you must be able to create the sense of need and urgency for your value or the momentum will stall.
Sign up for The Lead and get a new tip in your inbox every day! More tips:
- Prospecting 101: How to build good habits
- Got prospects on the fence? Here’s how to talk them down
- 6 ways to get prospects and referrals to stop ignoring you
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