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?”
1) The salesperson never got an agreement that the problem was big enough to solve.
Asking a few probing questions to identify a need must be two-way. 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 salesperson 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 salesperson is speaking with someone that has no-purchasing power.
This happens when the salesperson assumes the person they are talking to is the decision maker. Oftentimes, the salesperson 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, they couldn’t pull the trigger when it got down to brass tax. 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 salesperson missed their opportunity.
The prospect may have been ready to move forward, but the salesperson 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 teaches inside sales teams to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.