We had a great teleconference call today talking about three ways to MOVE those sadly stalled sales opportunities to CLOSURE.
I talked about three aspects of dealing with these opportunities -
1. Make sure you do HAVE a way of "seeing" all of your sales opportunities at any one time - do you? There are very inexpensive tools to help you with this - contact me if you'd like some ideas. If you can see all that is "out there" you will be able to get your arms around each next step.
2. So you have all of your opportunities in plain view - now select one or two of them and focus on them this week to bring one or the other (or both) to CLOSURE. This takes your focus and time with your prospective client to have a conversation about moving forward - and about being honest with them that if this isn't the right time, or it doesn't make sense right now - that it is OK - because it is better to know that this deal is not going to come to fruition anytime soon - than to keep it hanging onto your pipeline and in your head.
3. See what is "real" in the rest of your pipeline and find out what questions you need to learn about the other opportunities to know if these are really qualified or not. If you don't have qualified (meaning that you've answered all of the qualification questions to know if this is a more probable opportunity) opportunities in your list, spreadsheet, pipeline, whiteboard - then you need to find out what you don't know in order to move forward. This is a good task for this week.
Bart on the call suggested that it is human nature to want to help people so most prospects aren't going to pick up the phone to tell us that they don't want to move forward with the opportunity at hand - instead they wait for us to contact (or re-contact) and further contact them before they "let us down easily". How to overcome this? Assure them that it is OK if they say no. It's that simple.
Say, "Joe, I am getting the sense that this isn't good timing for us to move forward, am I correct in that feeling?" or
"Joe, I'm here for the long haul - if timing isn't where it needs to be, I'm happy to talk about this later on down the road - what do you think?"
"Is there anything we didn't cover when we discussed this opportunity? Has something changed since we last talked?"
This gives the prospect an easy forum to share what has happened, or what their concerns are - and give it to you straight.
Mary on the call, who runs a concierge service and helps people with clutter, among other things, suggested that people don't want to get let go too easily - so again, instead of speaking up and letting someone know that the timing isn't right for moving forward - will hang on to it - like a cluttered closet - because that seems easier. Taking action is courageous and too often we are just too comfortable with the status quo.
Take an opportunity to focus on and bring it to closure. Share your success - post a comment and we'll share it with the world - and join us on an upcoming sales inspiration weekly telecall. Go to Score More Sales for more information.