A car that skids off the road at a corner is a crash that became inevitable some time before. Maybe the driver failed to slow down or prepare some time before the corner itself. What is certain is that the time the corner is reached it’s too late to stop the crash.
In sales a crash is the ‘no’ decision that comes after hours of chasing and false hope. And most likely that crash was set up by You (the driver) and not the prospect (the car).
Typically it was when you accepted a weak or non existent next step during a meeting or phone call. When I hear 'I will speak to the FD and call you next weak' am I alone in feeling the inevitable chase up calls coming?
Like bananas prospects go off quickly. The longer a sale drifts the more likely it is to ‘go off’. To prevent the car from leaving the road EVERY conversation with a prospect must have a substantial next step to either keep it progressing along the road or be brought to a definite stop with a firm ‘no’.
I recommend following 3 rules should form the base of every ‘next step’:
- You need to be in control. Ie you will make the contact call so you don’t end up waiting forever.
- It needs to be a firm diary date and time. I typically send a calendar appointment even for a 5 minute call.
- Discuss what to do if you call and the person does not answer – perhaps its to say that you will assume it’s a ‘no’ and will withdraw the proposal.
Don’t be scared to admit that a prospect who refuses to be pinned down is one who is not serious about making a decision to buy.