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Trouble Closing Follow-Up Calls?

“What do you do when a prospect says they are very interested during your first encounter, but won’t take your follow-up calls to take the next step or complete the transaction?”

Well, my first thought is, “Why didn’t you close them on the previous call?”
Since the answer to THAT question can vary, here’s a list of a few reasons why your “interested” prospects may be avoiding your follow-up calls.

1) The sales person never got agreement that the problem was big enough to solve.

Asking a few probing questions to identify a need has to be a two-way street. What I mean by that is, you can’t be the only one to recognize a problem. It’s a mistake to ask a few close-ended pain point questions and then jump right to a presentation on how you can help solve those issues. Just because you see a problem, doesn’t mean the prospect sees it as big as you do. Jumping ahead before locking down the specifics of a problem, and what the ideal better outcome could be, is important in order to lower the chances of the prospect losing interest between calls.

2) The sales person never confirmed the prospect is committed to making that problem go away.

If you’ve ever had a conversation with a prospect who seemed very open and agreeable discussing areas that you specialize in – to the point where they even agree it sounds like you have a great solution – but still didn’t move forward, you may need to plant a stronger commitment question into your qualifying sequence.
Example: “If we had a way to help you solve _______, how soon, realistically, would you want to get started/implement/receive ______?”
The answer to that question can really tell you where your prospect is in the buying cycle. Do you need to move forward or back up and re-establish a pain point / problem?

3) The sales person is speaking with someone that has no-purchasing power.

This happens when the sales person assumes the person they are talking to is the decision maker. Often times, the sales person failed to uncover the prospect’s true role in the decision-making process or what their purchasing procedure is. So no matter how excited they were, when it got down to brass-tax, they couldn’t pull the trigger. So they are ignoring your calls.
Lastly, sometimes, when a once interested prospect refuses to take your follow-up calls or complete the transaction, it’s simply because the sales person missed their opportunity.
The prospect may have been ready to move forward, but the sales person didn’t ask for the order when they should have and now the sense of urgency has worn off. This is why it is so important to uncover key hot buttons during the first encounter. It allows you the opportunity to leave voicemail messages that will spark interest again and to reignite their desire. But you’ll need to have uncovered those hot buttons in your first encounter for that to happen. And that happens by asking the right sales questions in the first meeting.

– 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.

INSIDE SALES WORKSHOPS

How to successfully sell by phone – Live Online Sessions from Michael Pedone
SPACE IS LIMITED TO FIRST 50 REGISTRATIONS
Register Now for Our Next 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 8 weeks
Where: Online @ your desk, conference room or home
Presenters: Michael Pedone
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