In an effort to avoid being pushy and to avoid a “NO,” most business owners skip two vital elements of the sales process. Below are the elements PLUS simple, effective ways you can make a difference in your sales process TODAY.
Asking for the Sale: It’s vital that you ask your prospect to do business with you. How can they say “yes” if you never ASK for their business? It seems basic, but we challenge you to review your sales process. Do you really ask for the sale? Or, do you allow this vital question to go un-asked? We often find that the sales process does not include this direct question. Instead, the sales process is never-ending. You have great conversations with your prospects, but they’re just not ready to say yes, yet. And so the sales process continues with more conversations and more prospect touches, but no actual sales. You’re doing the work, but not seeing the results.
To see those results, take the next step. Make sure that you very clearly and directly ASK for the sale. You don’t have to be aggressive. You don’t need to be pushy. You do need to be clear and direct. It can be as simple as, “Can we do business together?”
After all, what’s the worst that can happen? You don’t get the sale. Then again, you don’t have it now so there’s not much to lose.
Follow Up: “I don’t want to bug my prospects.” We hear this often from business owners. They don’t want the reputation of stalking or having a pushy sales force and so they don’t have a proper follow-up system in place. The first rule of thumb for follow up is simple: Silence is NOT an answer. If you’re calling a prospect and leaving messages but don’t get a response, it’s easy to assume they are not interested.
That assumption though is often far from the truth. There can be a million and one reasons they are not calling back. Those reasons might range from minor reasons such as it’s a busy time in their life or they forgot to a serious reason such as a medical emergency. Again silence does not mean is that they are not interested. In this day and age, if they’re not interested your prospects will tell you.
Of course, this has to be used within the culture of your sales process. It doesn’t mean that you call them every day. It doesn’t mean that you leave “call me back or else messages” on their machine. It does mean that if you allow yourself to listen to that self-talk that whispers silence means no, then you will miss opportunities.
The worst case scenario is NOT that the prospect tells you they’re not interested. This result is no different than if you simply stop following up. The true worst case scenario is if you stop following up with a prospect and they do business with your competitor, who did call back. The next step is to change your mindset. Remember that silence does not mean no. This will allow you to put a follow up system in place.