It’s perfectly OK to fire a prospect! The most precious commodity you have as a sales professional is time and you should be extremely selective with who and what you spend it on. With that in mind, it’s OK to tell a prospect, “No thanks, I don’t want your business.
You know it’s close. Oh, so close. You can feel it.
This time, you’ll finally get the sale from this prospect you’ve pursued for … well … it kind of feels like forever.
And then … another objection. Another delay. Another request for more information.
In the ever-challenging world of sales, we’ve all had prospects like this. You meet with (or call) them numerous times. You provide reams of documentation. You display patience far beyond that of ordinary mortals, all while plastering an ever-harder-to-maintain smile on your face.
Still, they can’t (or won’t) make up their minds. No “yes.” No “no.” Just … indecision.
You’re frustrated. You wonder if you’re being played. At some point you ask yourself: “Should I just move on?”
The answer? If you’re feeling this way – yes. Move on. There are plenty of prospects in the market, just like fish in the sea.
“Waitaminnit!” scream the Traditional Sales Trainers in unison. “You can’t let go of a prospect that’s talking with you!”
Yes, you can. Sometimes, you should. If you spend lots of time following up with and babysitting a prospect – and they won’t give an answer – it’s 100 percent OK to leave.
The Traditional Sales Trainers teach a lot of things. Some are wrong. They should be called out. It’s another example where “conventional wisdom” isn’t wise.
Welcome to my first article in a new series titled “The Top 10 Sales Myths.” Join me on what promises to be a topsy-turvy ride through the sales advice wonderland!
Ready to roll? Let’s explode a myth by stating “It’s OK to say ‘No’ to Your Prospects.”
Conventional wisdom dictates that you should aim to write the business of every prospect where you get in the door. You hang in there, come hell or high water.
Yes, some sales take a long time to close. But you have to stick it out … because what if another opportunity doesn’t come along?
This is called “scarcity mentality.” It’s a small-picture, short-term perspective based on fear. Ultimately it cripples your chance for long-term success.
Believe in yourself. Believe in what you sell. This confidence, coupled with strong knowledge of your product or service, is the most potent weapon in your sales arsenal. Prospects buy from sales reps they feel confident in … which directly reflects the confidence the salesperson displays!
Smart salespeople understand that not every prospect is a good fit. Some are more trouble than they’re worth.
If a prospect keeps canceling meetings, or wants to meet over and over with no real progress, or appears to be pulling objections out of unknown orifices … get the message. A sale is unlikely to happen, if ever. Walk away.
See, time is your most precious commodity. Its supply is forever limited. Waste it, and spin your wheels.
Are you better off going after two smaller prospects, or one larger? Theoretically, the former requires twice the work. The payoff might be half, or maybe none, of the payoff for the latter.
Yet, you reason, the odds of closing a sale – with two chances instead of just one – are higher.
This is scarcity mentality at work. Both could end up being black holes that suck up your time. Are you really better off?
Obviously, the best approach is to sufficiently pre-qualify your prospects. Know who is most likely to need your product and service, and how to approach them.
Ideally you’ll land a meeting, or two, or however many it takes to close the sale. But if it keeps getting close … and those shifting goal posts move yet again … don’t be afraid to walk away.
“Close, but no cigar” is never good enough … because even cigar salespeople’s time is worth something.