You crank out more phone calls and send more emails than you can count. You do everything possible just to get an appointment.
What do you do when someone finally shows some buying signs? Seize the deal!
Too many sales people take the approach of, “I’m still waiting to hear back…they promised to call me when they are ready to move forward.”
You've worked too hard to sit back and wait. When your prospect is ready, use these techniques to seize your next deal!
Get Those Questions Answered
When a prospect sends you a long list of questions they are either:
- A HOT prospect ready to make a decision
- Testing your company’s “response ability”
- A “see more” who has nothing better to do
Two of these three scenarios are great news for you! That’s why it is critical that you respond quickly, thoroughly, and accurately.
We once had a prospect who, following months of follow-up, unexpectedly sent us a complicated question. We later learned she sent the same question to three or four of our competitors who had also been pursuing her firm.
My team came together to quickly respond with a high-quality answer to her question. The prospect later revealed that my team provided the most thorough and accurate response. It won us the deal!
Go Get That Paperwork!
I remember another scenario where I had worked an account for about a year-and-a-half. There were many times when I nearly gave up on the account because I thought it would never come through. At every opportunity, I sent value-added information to keep working my way up the prospect’s priority list.
One day, I got an “unsolicited” reference letter from a current client who was gushing about our company’s product and operations team. As I had done many times before, I used it as a value-added opportunity and forwarded the email to my slow-moving prospect.
The next day, I called the prospect. The receptionist informed me that the prospect wouldn’t be available that day, so I called again the next day. This time he took my call!
I asked, “What did you think about the email I sent you?”
He paused in mid-sentence, “I’d say that’s... a pretty nice feather in your cap Doyle.”
I laughed and said, “It sounded like you were about to tell me that it was enough to finally have you come on board…”
To my enthusiasm, he said, “Well, why don’t you bring over the paperwork. Let’s take a look at our calendar.”
“Are you kidding me?” I responded with laughter. It was more of a statement than a question.
I could tell he was smiling as he said, “I was going to ask if you were sitting down.”Here comes the important part of the story…
“I’ll come out there today, what time can you fit me into your schedule?” I asked.
Then came his all too familiar response, “I’ve got a lot going on today… I’ve got to do A, B, and C, and my schedule will depend on a document I’ve been waiting for.”
I had to think quickly, “Are you expecting the document to arrive this morning?”
“Yes,” he responded.
I worked to establish our plan, “Then I will call you right after lunch and we can figure out if you have enough time to fit me in towards the end of the day. If it today doesn’t work, we can look at tomorrow.”
“OK," he said, "That sounds good.”
I called him right after lunch and there was no answer. I followed up with an email that read, “I just left you a voice mail with the ‘after lunch’ call I promised you. Give me a call when you return.”
One hour later, I called him again. Once again, there was no answer. I chose not to leave another voice mail, but I sent him a second email with two simple questions, “How is the day working out? Can you fit me in today at 4 PM?”
About 30 minutes later he replied, “Come on over; I’ll be ready for you!”
What I Learned
Some people will read this example and think I was being too pushy. Remember, I’d been working on this account for over a year-and-a-half. I knew him well enough to expect him to shut me down if he wasn't ready. He’d done it plenty of times before.
We had built a trust and a mutual respect for one another. I’d learned to gauge his mood, his voice inflection, and his answers to my questions. His responses told me that he would be willing to sign paperwork if I could just get in front of him.
When the buyer is ready, they are just as excited as you are. Carpe Deal’m… Seize the Deal!