Robert T. Yokl, President/CEO, SVAH Solutions
I bet there isn’t one sales representative that doesn’t deal with radio silence (i.e., customer doesn’t return your calls or e-mails after a presentation or proposal has been delivered) on a daily basis. This can be very frustrating, but not fatal! Here are four ideas on how to turn this situation around:
1. Understand that Past Decisions Haven’t Worked Out for Them: Remember that your customer or prospect has been disappointed with the outcomes of products, services, and technologies that they have bought in the past, and therefore, are a little hesitant to move forward with your proposal. So, you must reassure them that you will guarantee your outcome and guide them through the process of implementing your solution. Make sure the risk is on your side, not on your prospect or customer. It is best to convey this information at the time you make your presentation or proposal, not at a later date.
2. Schedule a Meeting With Your Sales Manager: Sometimes, your manager can uncover the reason why your prospect or customer is hesitating to buy or can convince your prospect or customer he or she is making the right decision to buy from your firm. Even so, it will give you another opinion on why you aren’t closing the sale.
3. Have Another Peer Call the Customer or Prospect: If you know someone (internal or external) who knows your prospect or customer on a first name basis, have them call your contact to see if they can find out why they aren’t calling or e-mailing you back. I know from personal experience that this tactic can be very effective if you can find the right person to make the call.
4. Make Sure You Talk About It In Your Sales Presentation: As suggested in idea #1, make sure you talk about prospects or customers being hesitant to move forward with a purchase order until they heard about the success ratio that your customers were experiencing with the product, service, or technology you are selling. Make sure your prospect or customer knows you will be along on this journey and will be there if anything goes wrong to set it right!
Radio silence is a fact of life for sales representatives but, as I said, it doesn’t need to be fatal. Try one or more of these tactics the next time you are experiencing “radio silence” and you will be surprised at how often you can turn around lost accounts.
Source: Sales “Chalk Talk” by Nick Loise