Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tell me "no"

We know you work hard. Here's a tip from sales performance expert Alan Rigg to help you work smart. Brace yourself - it involves getting prospects to tell you "no."

The first step in getting to "no" is explaining to your prospects right up front that "no" is a perfectly acceptable answer! The conversation you have with a prospect might sound something like this: "Bob, as we explore the possibility of working together, we may decide there isn't a fit between what your company needs and what I offer. If that happens, to avoid wasting each other's time, are you comfortable telling me 'no'?"

Once a prospect agrees that they are willing to tell you "no" you have a powerful weapon you can use to jump-start stalled opportunities and minimize wasted time. How does this weapon work? Well, if you ever feel an opportunity may be stalling, or if a prospect has not returned your calls or e-mails for a week or two, put your cards on the table by saying (or writing in an e-mail) something like this:

"Bob, the last time I heard from you was on (date). Is (product or service name) still on your radar screen? Remember, "No" is a perfectly acceptable answer! I don't want to waste your time or mine, and I don't want to be a pest. Please let me know whether I should continue calling you. Thank you!"

My experience has been that, if a prospect is serious about acquiring your product or service, they will ALWAYS respond to this kind of communication. If they don't respond, it is a strong indicator they are not serious. You have little to lose by scratching these non-responsive prospects off your call list and removing them from your sales opportunity pipeline.

Put Rigg's advice to work for you this week and you'll find yourself with more time to convert qualified prospects into sales.

For more free sales and sales management tips, visit Alan Rigg's website at http://www.8020salesperformance.com
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