You finally secure that long awaited meeting with your no. 1 prospect…
The great news is that they loved everything you suggested!
“They’re really keen, they’re going to go for it!” you might well be heard saying to your colleagues (if not yourself).
You happily email the promised proposal and wait for the confirmation.
And wait. And then you wait some more.
You email to prompt a response. No reply.
You phone, the calls go to voicemail.
You feel mystified, embarrassed even, especially around colleagues that you’d almost boasted about getting the contract to.
Your final, heavy sense of defeat finally comes at your regular sales meeting when you meet the eyes of your colleagues and admit…
“The prospect’s not buying and I don’t know why.”
If, you’ve ever been in this painful situation too, discover just 2 of the probable reasons why…
Reason #1 – Failure to Effectively Information-Gather
Did you know that there are six steps to a meeting that converts, the most important of which is information-gathering?
When meeting a prospect secure as much relevant information as possible.
30-40% of a meeting needs to be focussed on information-gathering only.
6 Reasons Why Information-Gathering Is SO Important
Effective information-gathering ensures that you:
- Determine the decision-making and influencer unit and their decision-making process
- Understand what the prospect has done before, how this has worked and what they’re seeking now
- Know the timescale they’re considering
- Test out pricing and budget
- Verify if there’s any other supplier in the picture
- Clarify what the prospect needs to be able to “Say Yes!” to you.
There’s a saying that “assumptions make an ass of u.”
3 all too common assumptions that I see others unwittingly commit on a daily basis, include:
- The prospect is happy with their current provider because they initially say they are. This is often a knee jerk reaction that requires further exploration
- Prospects buy only on price
- The decision-maker doesn’t consider the importance of influencers’ views.
Without the facts, you’re stumbling blindfolded into an unknown territory.
Reason #2 – Failure to Ensure That The Prospect Feels Pain and Gain
As part of your information gathering you want the prospect to understand the consequences of taking action (or not).
Importantly, you also want to know the implications of this for the prospect, from a professional and personal point of view.
For instance, let’s imagine that you’re meeting with a sales director who has indicated that his team has failed to meet sales targets for the last six months.
It’s important to summarise this, ask the consequences and then move the prospect to your solution.
Here’s an example:
Prospect: “We’ve failed to hit target every month for the last six months.”
You: “That must be a worry. Can I ask by how much you’re under over the last six months?”
Prospect: “Around £250,000”.
You: “If I understand this clearly, your sales team has missed targets by £250,000 already and if the situation stays the same, in six month’s time, you’ll be under by £500,000? Is that correct?
Prospect: (Gulps) “Yes.”
You: “And if the same situation repeats next year, the under delivery will have reached £1,000,000? Professionally, what would it mean for you, if your sales team continues to fail to deliver?”
Prospect: “I’d be fired and humiliated in front of my colleagues and peers. It’s a small world, news spreads like wildfire round here. Which wouldn’t help my chances of getting another job.”
You: “I see [pause]. Those are serious professional implications, especially given that you’re in such a senior role. What would it mean for you personally to lose your post and income?”
Prospect: [Deep breath] “I dread to think. I’ve got a massive mortgage, both of my sons are in a private school and there’s no spare cash swishing round to bail us out. My wife would be very unhappy.”
You: “So it’s important you take the right steps to make sure this doesn’t happen. If we were to show you a proven method that equips your sales team to meet your targets within the next three weeks and from there exceed the targets, how soon would you be interested in seeing this?”
This enables the prospect to be closely in touch with the reality of their decisions and the consequences of this.
In sales psychology, ‘emotion creates motion’, feeling the pain of reality encourages your prospects to act in a timely manner and leap at your solution.
Remember to include the pain and gain points in the solutions document you produce too.
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