The most frustrating thing for a sales professional is to give a presentation or a proposal and then receive a stall, a put off, or a think it over and then waste countless hours following up and chasing after prospects that never make a decision. Sales pros can live with yeses and they can live with nos. But what is a killer is the think it overs, stalls and put offs.
In order to fix this issue, we need to understand how do we get here and then implement more effective sales techniques that put us, the seller, in control.
I would submit to you, the reason that it happens is that we, as sales people, have trained prospects that that’s what they’re supposed to do. And it happened way before any of us ever got in sales. It happened decades and decades and decades ago where sales people with lousy sales techniques and skills would trot out their wares, do the dog and pony show, and then at the very end attempt to close after giving their presentation.
Prospects came to understand that that’s how sales people work. They understood that the sales person would come in and do some sort of initial visit or interview. The sales person may or may not ask a few questions, and then the sales person was only too happy and willing to put together a proposal or presentation or a quote without any commitment on the buyer’s part.
The buyer came to understand that sales people were only too willing to give free proposals and free quotes and not ask anything upfront in return. As a result of that, sales people trained buyers that they were supposed to collect proposals and quotes and then look them over, and then decide, at some point, if they want to move forward or not. So, we can’t really blame the marketplace for treating us like that and wanting to give us the run around and give us stalls and put-offs because we taught em that was what they were supposed to do.
What we have to accept is that the traditional way of doing things, which is to qualify, present and then close, in that order is counterproductive and does not serve us well.
The way that we sell, the sales process that we use, the system that we use, or lack of system as it may be, lends itself to us getting that sort of outcome.
In order to get a different outcome, we have to change the way we go about selling. We have to change the way the we interact with buyers and prospects and we have to teach the buyer, or train the buyer, that regardless of what they have done in the past, and whatever they may have thought a sales person was to do, that that’s not what we do.
The only way we’re going to eliminate stalls, put offs and think it overs is if to demonstrate that we don’t do it like everybody else. This starts at the very beginning by changing what I call the rules of engagement.
Changing the dynamic between the buyer and the seller, and letting the buyer know right up front that we’re not going to come in and give a lot of proposals, and, in fact, we’re not going give a proposal, and accept a think it over.
To do this successfully, you will need to develop new and better sales skills and sales techniques.