Why do so many meetings with prospects for life and annuity products fizzle out and go nowhere?
Is it just the way it is, so we should just accept it, and let the prospects go away without setting up arrangements that protect themselves against bad finances in retirement, or their families against the risk of a breadwinner’s death?
Or, is it possible that our “this is what went wrong” explanations are merely excuses for failing to turn prospects into customers?
As sure as Friday is pizza night, salespeople are drawn to prospects like kids to puddles of water. No argument. But what about the other way around? How much thought do salespeople give as to whether or not prospects are drawn to them? Is it possible that the drive to make the sale blinds them to the possibility that prospects may reject them?
(Related: 17 Ways to Get More Work Done)
The key to getting prospects to buy what you’re selling starts with getting them to buy you. It requires cracking the prospect code and here are nine ideas about how to go about it:
Abandon the urge to impress.
Sure, you want prospects to like you, but efforts to impress them can make the wrong impression. It sends the message you are overly impressed with yourself. In other words, you come across as being less interested in understanding their situation and more interested in selling yourself.
All this occurs when salespeople use confusing terminology, dominate the conversation, speak too fast, and make prospects feel inadequate. It’s the perfect prescription for rejection.
Set the stage for success.
Productive sales calls don’t just happen. They are carefully choregraphed to give the salesperson an edge in getting the order. The first step is disarming the customer, neutralizing a prospect’s natural reaction to become defensive, to clam up, or even to get away.
The task is to figure out and focus on what customers want, what they are looking for, and what satisfies them. Why is this important? They are trying to decide if the salesperson cares or just wants to make a sale.
Issue a challenge.
It may sound odd or strange, but this is what it takes for prospects to clarify their thinking and commitment to making a prudent purchasing decision—and avoid experiencing buyer’s regret.
It’s time to ask what some may consider a risky question. “Are you sure this is what you want to do?” is a necessary question, one that helps prospects clarify their thinking. If the answer is “no” or “I’m not sure,” then it’s time to stop and probe until the concerns and doubts are explored and resolved to the prospect’s satisfaction. This is how trust develops and what it means to be a sales consultant.
Stay with them.
No one wants to feel ignored, abandoned, or rejected. Yet, this happens when a salesperson makes an “exit” after deciding a prospect isn’t going to buy. When this occurs, prospects react negatively and get even by badmouthing the salesperson and the company.