These three steps will help you prepare a plan to prevent losing a sale.
It happens to every salesperson-you have a prospect on the line, you’re sure they’re about to make a purchase and then…. nothing. Offering no excuses, or hundreds of different excuses, they walk out before you can close the deal. Whatever their reasons, they leave you with nothing to show for your time and effort but frustration and disappointment. If you plan ahead, and have prepared actions to take to help prevent losing a sale, you can often avoid that frustration and disappointment. Until you’ve made the sale, at least some of your focus should be on trying to prevent losing a sale. Things can go south at any minute and, if you haven’t worked to prevent losing a sale, you may not have a backup plan ready to go. These three steps will help you prepare a plan to prevent losing a sale.
Value isn’t about the product or the price; it’s about the prospect. Listening to the prospect, and asking a few pointed questions, will tell you a lot about their wants and needs. Often, when a prospect gets cold feet, it’s because they can’t clearly visualize themselves using the product to their advantage. That’s where you come in. As a salesperson, it’s not your job to sell the product-it’s your job to sell the idea of the prospect using the product. Once they can see themselves using the product, you’ve gone a long way to prevent losing a sale. Generic sales pitches and product descriptions won’t work. You need to understand the prospect and what they hope to get out of the product. Helping them to visualize the product improving their individual lives will help you prevent losing a sale.
Amazingly enough, many salespeople still get this wrong. You need to have confidence in yourself and in what you’re selling. You need to be assertive, in that you can answer questions and concerns in a positive manner. You don’t need to be aggressive to prevent losing a sale. A pushy salesperson does nothing but push prospects out the door. When a prospect has a concern about a product, a confident, assertive salesperson can explain how the product, or their service, addresses that concern. They don’t question the validity of the concern; they simply point the prospect toward a resolution. Aggressive salespeople tend to interrupt prospects, making them feel as if their concerns are unimportant. Social media is full of stories of aggressive salespeople belittling prospects for asking questions about products. Remember-it’s their money. You will never browbeat or cajole them out of their money. It’s your job to make them feel comfortable handing over their hard-earned cash in exchange for your products. Aggressive tactics won’t help you prevent losing a sale.
So, they’ve walked out of the store without making a purchase-now what? Do you give up? Do you simply abandon the time and effort you’ve expended? Not if you want to prevent losing a sale. Hopefully, at some point in the sales funnel, you managed to get some kind of contact information. In fact, this should be one of the first steps in your sales process. In this day and age, it’s not unusual or tactless for introductions to include an exchange of contact information. Once you have that information, the sales process can continue after they’ve left the store. If they seemed like a browser, turn their information over to marketing and let them nurture the lead. In the future, they may re-enter the sales funnel and become a buying customer. If they seemed genuinely interested in a product, they may just need some more information and a little handholding to help them commit. Using whatever information you gathered from them, you may be able to reengage their interest which, in the long run, could help prevent losing a sale.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.