"What's a "No" Worth?"
According to The Whetstone Group, the ubiquitous "I need some time to think this over. Call me in a week or so" is salespeople's biggest time waster. Salespeople still have a problem getting their prospects to make a decision when they make a presentation and that stems from the fact that they just hate to hear "no." So, they permit their prospects to drag them through the purgatory of alternating hope and despair, just because they don't have the intestinal fortitude to hear a "no."
So what should you do? Face the facts. You know that most "maybe's" are just slow "no's," so why not get the "no" in the first place. Get rid of your old head trash. You don't have to sell everybody. Ain't gonna happen. You and I both know that.
Let's look at the problems with "think it over's" and "maybe's." It takes forever to get a "no," which permits the prospect to steal your valuable time and employ his system at your expense. The slow "no" causes pipeline and forecasting problems (how much of your current forecast is wishful thinking?) It gives you a false sense of security, but when it becomes apparent that there will not be a deal, it's devastating.
Here are two suggestions to eliminate "think it over's." First, make sure at the end of the meeting you discuss that you'd like to talk about the next step, assuming you're both in agreement that the dialogue should continue, and that your prospect understands that he doesn't have to string you along just because he assumes you're not comfortable hearing "no." Finally, your attitude on every sales call should be: "my prospect must convince me that there is a reason for my continued involvement in the sales process." In other words, if you're having any doubts that there's a reason for the two of you to do business together, tell that to the prospect. Let him convince you that he really does have a problem and that you should stay involved.
So what's a "no" worth? Just the most valuable thing you possess: that irreplaceable asset, your time.
Whetstone Group is a sales process improvement company that focuses on helping companies implement a proven sales process that will increase sales, shorten the selling cycle, increase closing rates, and improve margins. Learn more at www.whetstonegroup.com
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