I just had a prospect politely refuse to have a follow-up meeting with me.
Am I sad? Hell no! I'm rejoicing - if only some other folk I call on were this upfront and honest!
This may sound a little strange coming from a business owner whose role includes "sales" - surely rejection is never a good thing? We’ll actually, sometimes it can be. Let me explain...
Valuing the Rejection
When my prospect and I had our initial meeting late last year, it went very well and there were some positive signs. Afterwards, we agreed I'd follow up early in the new year, once everyone was back from leave. When I sent my follow-up email to arrange another meeting, here’s the response I received:
Rather than be crushed by the rejection, I was pleased(!) Pleased because my prospect had been honest and direct enough to NOT waste my time - or theirs. So what’s the big deal you might ask? Surely most other prospective buyers are considerate enough to do the same?
Polite is Not Always Right
Well unfortunately… no. Whether it’s because they’re too nice to come out and say they’re not interested, or they get some strange kick out of it, a lot of prospects waste sales people’s time by stringing them along. Many are “conflict averse” - they’ll sit through coffee with you, just to avoid being direct and telling you the truth - that, for whatever reason, what you’re selling is not for them (or - indeed - that YOU'RE not for them).
Let’s be honest – as fabulous as your product or service is, it’s not going to be a perfect fit for everyone. Of course, there are times when buyers take their time making up their minds, and the extra time you spend with them may result in a sale. But often the decision to go ahead or not is made quite early in the piece – and the extra toing and froing is really… well, pointless. Which is why my prospect’s approach was so refreshing.
Value Your Time
Many sales people think a hit rate of one out of two prospects is a great result – but it means you’re wasting half of your professional time! Remember, sales people are expensive resources, and time wasted is time you can’t get back.
So how can you avoid this cycle with a prospect that has no intention of taking you up on your offer? What you need is a sure-fire test that will tell you whether the buyer asking for the quote is fair dinkum – and we’ve come up with something that does just that. Tune in to next week’s blog to find out more about the test, and to understand how you can use it in your business.
Until then, review your pipeline – how have you tested that those in your funnel who’ve asked you to quote are not just conflict adverse or too polite to tell you to go away?
Over to You
Have you experienced refreshing honesty or conflict aversion on your sales travels? We’d love you to share.