Over my years as a professional sales person as well as a business owner I’ve learned one thing about prospects. They lie! Generally not intentionally, but they lie all the same.
Now before you take umbrage and reply telling me you’ve never done this, let me clarify…
How many times have you told a salesperson you’re “just looking” to avoid being harassed in a shop?
Or been at the receiving end of a sales call and told the person you need more time to consider and to call you back in a few days/weeks knowing full well you’re not really interested but feel you can’t tell them directly? You keep receiving calls from them, you have a “nice conversation” but they never go anywhere. Something always comes in the way of them taking action and signing on the dotted line.
Which brings me back to my original assertion. Prospects lie all the time. As a salesperson it’s very easy to fall into the trap of believing them. And it’s a very good way to go broke fast!
So what’s really going on and what can you do about it?
The first thing to realise it’s your agenda (as the salesperson) is not theirs.
Just because you want to make a sale doesn’t mean they want to buy. People buy when they’re ready and can perceive value. You might get lucky and hit them at exactly that moment.
But most of the time you’ll have lots of conversations, build up a relationship, maybe even become friends, all the time thinking, “They’re going to sign… really they are!”
As such you keep calling the same small group of people in the hope they’ll take action. But they don’t.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this with professional salespeople. Every sales meeting they tell their Sales Manager, “They’re about to sign – just have to speak to so and so” or some such. Frankly they’re living in fantasy land and if you (as their sales manager believe them) so are you!
So what’s the solution?
The first part is to recognise when (and I say when, not if) this happens.
Believe me, we all fall into this trap. I know I’ve done so over the years.
I’ve had people promise me they want to work with us – but something or other has to happen first. Anything from finding the right employees first, getting their spouse to agree, getting a particular deal over the line, the list is endless.
In some cases years have gone by and nothing’s changed. For some, the time has become right and they’ve become clients. But these are generally few and far between.
So if I’d waited, hoping, we’d have gone out of business years ago.
I had to learn the lesson the hard way, but I learned it. Talk is cheap and it’s never over till the fat lady sings and the money’s in the bank!
So if you’re responsible for growing your business you must continually bring new prospects into your funnel. You don’t know when people will be ready to take action, and the biggest mistake you can make is keep circling around the same old people hoping for a sale.
There is nothing quite like new blood to invigorate a business and ironically as you take action you’ll often find many of the “gonna do something” brigade wake up as well.
Which is where our effective prospecting and marketing system comes into play. A system which targets prospects in your demographic and has them contact you.
We accomplish this in two ways.
- The first involves actively seeking out prospects and sending them comprehensive sales material which speaks to their issues and shows and delivers proof as to how you can solve them. And then following them up with a series of live calls, written material including case studies, newsletters etc., of which most of the latter can be automated.
- The second is using advertising designed to invoke curiosity and have your prospects contact you for more information, allowing you to then follow up and start building a relationship.
In both cases the key is to have your prospect move down your sales funnel at their pace allowing you to concentrate on the ones that raise their hands when they’re ready to move forward and buy. While remembering not to rely on any one person to take action!
So if you find yourself circling around the same group of prospects and want to get new blood into your business, we can help.
As expert marketing strategists we can design lead generation systems (both out and inbound) that will target your prospects and bring them to your door.
We create all the marketing material you’ll need, including follow up keep in touch mechanisms. And given my extensive technical background, I can recommend CRM and other services that will help you completely automate the process.
But marketing is only one side of the coin. As professional sales trainers and coaches, we will help you convert more prospects into profitable clients. Which is of course where the rubber hits the road and you make money!
Call us on (02) 9499-7958 for a confidential discussion as to how we could help you increase your business.