“I have great conversations with my prospects only to find out I’m being shopped. We aren’t the cheapest solution so how do I avoid losing these deals?”
The surest way to stop prospects from shopping around is to close them on the first call however that isn’t always an option for various reasons outside of the salesperson’s control.
When it comes to prospects shopping your product/service I find most salespeople are making three common mistakes that are enabling their own demise.
Here’s what they are and how to avoid them:
1) Speaking to the wrong person. Whether it’s a cold call or a warm (inbound) lead, you have to properly identify what role the prospect plays as it relates to the decision-making process. Asking if they are the person that “makes the decision” isn’t enough because their definition of the “decision maker” may be different than your definition.
For example, they may feel it’s “their” decision because it’s “their” department however they may not have the power to say YES or NO when it comes to authorizing the purchase or cutting the check.
When it comes to warm (inbound) leads, often times you will have what I call an “information gatherer” calling (they often act as if they are the decision maker) and they will have a conversation with you and get lot’s of information from you only to disappear from the radar. A month later you find out they turned the info in to their boss and they already bought from your competitor two weeks ago. This is the price you pay for not learning how to properly qualify your prospect’s role in the decision-making process.
2) Not Asking the Other Sales Qualifying Questions.
Not only do you have to ask sales questions that uncover the real buying motive/reason but you also need to ask purchasing time frame and purchasing process questions.
Let me tell you… I get lot’s of salespeople calling to try and sell me stuff for my business and it’s RARE – as in almost NEVER – do I hear salespeople ask these types of questions that were rudimentary when I first got into sales (I think that’s the difference between my day as a straight commission salesperson and today’s salesperson where they have a higher salary and a lower commission rate – but that’s a whole other story)
3) Giving Best Price.
If you aren’t asking all the right sales qualifying questions and you give your best presentation along with your best price, there is little reason for the prospect NOT to shop you.
However, if you’ve asked the right questions and you’ve identified that A) you are NOT speaking with someone that is the decision maker or B) you ARE speaking with the right decision maker but their process is to look at a few other options, you have every right to suggest that there may be some added incentives available should they decide they want to move forward with your product/service.
This “incentive statement” will greatly increase the % of prospects that will call you last before making a final decision as they will want to know what that extra “incentive” may be.
And when they do call you back, they will be at the decision stage and you’ve now earned the right to use your closing skills to wrap up the deal (assuming you know the right sales closing questions to ask in this situation)
– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.
NEW CLASSES START SOON!
How to successfully sell by phone – Live Online Sessions from Michael Pedone
8-Week Phone Skills Improvement Program!
- Eliminate “No, Thanks,” “Not Interested” & “We’re All Set” Responses
- Learn a step-by-step process for Cold Calling and Warm Calling
- Neutralize Gatekeepers & Get Voicemails Returned
- Ask Engaging Questions Instead of Probing
- Improve your Qualifying Skills
- Learn more effective Sales Questions to ask (and ones to avoid)
- Give Stellar Presentations & Handle Objections
- Close Follow-up Calls and Get Targeted Referrals
- How to Set & Achieve Your Toughest Sales Goals
- Improve Your Time Management Skills
- Duration: 1 hour per week for eight weeks
- Where: Online @ your desk, conference room or home
- Presenters: Michael Pedone