Do you ever wish you could hear what your Prospects or customers are saying to their colleagues when you’ve left the meeting? Recently I sat in with one of my customers -they had a potential supplier visit and after they left the first things that were said was “That went on a bit didn’t it!”
The trigger moment for that statement was when they pulled out some slides- the first few were relevant to what was being discussed but quickly lost impact as the salesperson kept clicking through them. You could feel the energy drop, the motives and curiosity from my customers who they were so keen to impress disappeared.
Now the only action that is going to happen after that meeting is that of my customer creatively avoiding the salesperson during a painful follow up process!
I bet that salesperson left the meeting thinking “yeah that went well I think we’ll get them on board” and telling their boss the odds are good! I’ve done it myself in the past too!
When you prepare for your next call or meeting: how are you going to engage and enthuse rather than disengage and alienate! If you’re using slides make sure they are targeted and leave the “About us” content on your website! And if you don’t enjoy being talked at through a load of slides you can guarantee your Prospect won’t!
Here’s a great objection handling tip, it’s called “Remove The Risk!” A little while back it looked like I’d missed the opportunity with a Prospect- I got in contact with him and he said “Oh you’re too late it looks like we’ve gone for another solution.”
So I said “okay well where are you with your decision-making at the moment if you don’t mind me asking? He said “well we’ve seen three suppliers and so we’re now just going through the process of deciding which one we should engage with.”
I asked him how long ago he’d seen the last provider. He replied “Just over a couple of weeks ago, why?” I then replied to him: “The fact that it’s been a good couple of weeks since you saw the last provider tells me that it’s likely that none of the potential solutions that you saw really stood out otherwise you’re very likely to have made your decision by now…”
He then replied “okay what are you suggesting then?” I said “what I’d like to suggest is that I come and see you give you my proposal and if it turns out that I’ve got the ingredients you’re really looking for then that means the decision-making is done for you, or if it turns out that my solution isn’t the right one then that tells you that the true decision lies with one of those three other providers.”
He agreed to see me and at the end of the meeting it was my company (I’m happy to say) that he engaged with and I never would have had the opportunity if I hadn’t have challenged the initial objection in that positive way.
My recommendation to you is when you hear that people are already perhaps partly through the decision -making process, there’s still an opportunity to probe further and potentially give them some helpful ideas and may end up winning the business. It may also be that you’ve got opportunities in your pipeline that perhaps have gone stale and you need to look at ways you could approach the Prospects in order to remove the risk like I did and stimulate them to take action. I hope you find this useful and please check out my great new online sales course: Sell More, Easily!
Are you having challenges reaching the Decision Maker? Should you lie to the gatekeeper when asked the question: “is he/ she expecting your call?” I get asked this a lot and there are Sales Trainers who will say “well the objective is to get through to the Decision Maker -so when he or she asks you “is he or she expecting your call?” You answer “yes, can you put me through please…” I DO NOT advocate this!
Some even advocate pretending to be someone else as a way of catching the receptionist/ PA off guard so they put you through! Just don’t do this. Let’s assume you do get through, you’ll get short shrift from the DM, you’ll end up being put back through to the receptionist to apologise and get blocked from ever approaching them again.
Whilst it’s true getting through to the decision maker is the objective I believe that there are more positive ways to handle that question.
If you say “it’s in connection with XYZ” for example “it’s in connection with Q2 conversion” or some information that you’ve gleaned from their social media or their website or conversations you’ve had on LinkedIn. The most important thing is to lead with value- something that makes sense and would be of interest to your target audience.
I believe that’s a far less manipulative or less coercive way of getting through, so there are more positive ways to deal with that question. I hope you find that reassuring and useful! What’s your thoughts on this- should you lie to the gatekeeper to get through to the decision maker and then convince them once you’re through?
I asked this question on LinkedIn recently and there are some very strong feelings about the topic!