Learning From Mistakes
Hello Dear Readers,
Gosh, we are left with one week of July! Times sure flies, and August is just around the corner.
We all do make mistakes, and I’m sure all of you will agree with me. The more important part is to learn from it so you don’t let failure repeat itself successfully!
The mistake I made this week was not staying focus and that led to a lost of time in starting to write this blog post. The challenge here was to quickly jump-start this process and say committed and focus till the end.
Anyway, my blog post this week is about not closing the sale after what you felt was a near perfect pitch. What do you think could possibly be the reason or reasons? Good chance it must be Mistakes.
Here are some killer follow up mistakes to avoid after that perfect pitch or presentation you just made. Yes, it’s painful and hurting especially in sales when this happened.
The Not-So Hand In Hand Prospect
You could sense it even before your presentation, and your prospect knew it too. Knew about what? That both your prospect and your product don’t go hand in hand.
If they do buy into your product the risk you face is a refund when they returned the product within the usual 30-60 days refund time frame. Otherwise they may exhaust your support team.
Ultimately, don’t just go for the sale for the sake of pushing up your sales numbers. If you keep on pushing such prospects most likely your retention numbers will suffer.
This is what I called building your sales foundation on sand, as retention rate will be very low. Which is better, having only 5 sales a month but maintain a 90% retention rate or closing 10 sales but not having even 25% retention rate?
In your follow up, politely let your prospect know, honestly there is a no hand in hand relationship. You may make recommendations of other vendors, which are more suitable. With this you show sincerity for long-term building.
Stop Sending Those Standard E-Mails
You spent some time trying or successfully building a relationship with your prospect. There is no better way than to embarrass yourself by sending those email templates and forgetting to change those <insert name> or even <company name>.
It is good to have an email template to guide you, but do take time to go through details and change the necessary. Ideally be as original as possible even though you may not have any copy writing skill sets. Try recalling what you spoke to them earlier over the phone, better still over messenger platforms.
Instead of the usual routine “following up or follow up” try this “Like to leap-frog your results for this year”. Try and make your headlines stand out from others.
This sort of headlines helps to enhance your brand name as well as make you stand out against others. It helps when the time comes for them to make a choice from whom to buy from.
Being Too Assertive
You have come to the end of you pitch presentation, a clear understanding of your prospect position should be ascertain. Can your product or service help to solve their issues? What advantages they will gain if they chose your product over others or perhaps disadvantage?
This is the opportunity where you will be assertive towards your prospect, in the sense of pushing quick deadlines on them. Alternatively, you will be sending those emails that may sound, “threatening” in your prospect’s view.
Do bear in mind; your prospects need some “space” to make that decision you are hoping for to close the deal. Give them the space they need instead of “terrorising” them.
Remember Persistence is totally different from Assertive, so what is the best approach to avoid this assertive manner?
Firstly, summarise what you have presented, like a recap what you have said or shown to them. You will be surprised how short a memory we all have!
Secondly, present them with a timeline to get back, like can we follow up with you in two weeks time. If this timeline is not sufficient than let them propose an alternate date. In this instant, you place the “ball” in their court and hold your prospect accountable, as it is a timeline they agreed to. Chances of success here is higher in such a situation.
In fact, the biggest mistake is not establishing a follow up timeline. More often it is left to chance or in a hurried manner that will lead to failure.
Failure To Listen
There is a difference between hearing and listening. I love the song “Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel, as there is a line “people hearing without listening”. How true!
Hearing is just the audible part, but listening goes one level deeper than the audible part. It’s appreciating what your prospect share with you, the good the bad and the ugly. Put yourself in their shoes and understand where they are coming from.
Pitch done but you have not close the sale yet, so keep on listening to your prospect feedback. Keep everything in an “Open State”, so you can change approach when the need arises.
If you tune your ears only to listening to the sales part like signing of contract or purchasing the product or service, you are going to miss the small details that your client is telling you.
Always check with your prospect their rating of your product or service. This is one chance for you to address any feedback on your product.
Be Realistic With That “No”
Being perpetual is one thing, being realistic is another thing all together. Being realistic especially when you know the sale is not going to happen now. Statistics have shown it takes at least four follow-ups before you close that sale.
After which, it may be a good idea for you to put off this prospect for a while (Not Give Up). Perhaps you may like to renew interest as an opportunity to explore at a later date.
On A Personal Note
It is very clear, not every prospect is a “done deal”, and you win some and lose some. Take time to do some analysis of what you have done right and what you could do better.
I like to end with a quote from a sales expert name Mark Hunter “it’s not about having the right opportunities. It’s about handling the opportunities right.”
Thank you all for taking time to read this blog post. Love to see some feedback from anyone. You may like to share other pointers you have experience causing you not to close that elusive sale.
Thank you and have a great week ahead and of course stay healthy!