Most people do poorly in sales because they close the door of opportunity. They operate with a sales cycle not in the correct order. It helps to know that ‘Goodbye’ isn’t always forever. Clients sometimes part, but by keeping in touch and with good timing, some will return.
Another factor weighs heavily on missing opportunity. Many salespeople are not willing to acknowledge that business development begins with building the relationship. Credibility and trust are built over time. We have to prove ourselves over and over again.
Some of the factors that play into proving ourselves are:
- Taking responsibility when something is amiss
- Inviting input and working together for a robust solution
- Consistency in all actions
- Proving your words as true
Prospective clients want to see you working on their behalf. They ask tough questions of representatives to get their response. The reaction indicates how each person will work should the sale come their way. Most of all, clients do not want to gift business. Instead, prospective clients want to see the salesperson earn the sale.
Exploring 5 Scenarios for Leaving the Door of Opportunity Open
1. “I’m not the person in charge of that.”
Upon hearing these words, quickly ask for the right person before the phone slams down. Call the suggested employee. The first words should be, “Mr. Executive told me to call you. Do you have time now or prefer another day?” The conversation usually takes place on the spot!
2. “We are pleased with our current vendor.”
Reply with an enthusiastic, “That’s great!” And then add, if you believe we could be a backup supplier or if anything changes, I welcome the opportunity. It’s surprising how often a thoughtful response will turn the sentiment around.
3. “We have no need and I’m not interested.”
The best question to ask is, “do you believe the lack of need is forever, or would you prefer I check back at a later preferred date?” Most people will nod and suggest a better time.
4. “The value is not seen in the proposal.”
Ask for feedback on how you might improve in the future. The request differentiates you from all of the others who typically leave the room disheartened.
5. “We chose another vendor.”
Ask for permission to remain in touch during the year as things change over time. Your composure and continued interest will again differentiate you.
Following the advice for the above examples will leave the door of opportunity open for you. Communicating in the prospective client’s preferred style and suggested timeframe almost always lead to new sales.
Be forewarned; there is never an easy sale.
The best approach is to attempt to understand your prospect’s position by:
- asking questions
- absorbing their answers
Most sales trainers will suggest that you be forward in getting your point across. For example, some suggest that you call a prospect six times.
Multiple calls can work, but only if:
- You ask for permission to check in
- You get the preferred date and time to do so
Unfortunately, congeniality is usually overlooked and underrated. Accordingly, sales reps learn not to give priority to the thinking of their clientele. The lack of thoughtful dialogue result in declining sales.
In summary, etiquette will never go out of style. And when you put your client’s best interest first, you develop your best interest too. Your pipeline of opportunity fills, and the opportunities blossom.
The next step is to groom a returning and referring clientele, the definition of The Smooth Sale!
Sales Tips for Opening Doors of Opportunity
- Be genuine in care and serving clientele
- Never rush the conversation
- Be in the moment as prospects speak with you
- Clarify everything you do not fully understand
- For deeper understanding inquire about reasoning behind decisions
- Develop trust and credibility
- Follow-through on all promises
- When problems arise, take responsibility for the fix
- Complete projects with time-efficiency
- Celebrate Success!
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