We’ve all had it happen to us. We have a great meeting with a client and agree to talk next week to firm thing up and when that day arrives, no call. So, we leave a pleasant message, “I’m sure you just got tied up….call me when you’re free….looking forward to working with you…” and wait…and wait and wait. After a few messages (or a few too many), you realize you’ll never talk to them again.
What happened? Why did they do that to you and, more importantly, how do you prevent it from happening in the future?
First, get an agreement (at Sandler, we call them “Up Front Contracts”) for the date and time to talk. After you both have it on the calendar, you’ve got to ask, “What if I miss you next Tuesday at 2? What should I do?” and wait for an answer! You want a firm commitment to talk on Tuesday, even if they’re going to tell you NO! That’s right, even if they decided not to use you!
Remember, No is the 2nd best answer you can get on a sales call. Yes is the best and the worst is ͞"I need to think it over." If you make it ok for people to tell you no, at least you will get one more conversation in before they go to your competitor. You get to ask a few more questions and, at the very least, you’ll know it’s over and can move on to the next prospect. You can’t take the no personally. It’s just business so don’t fret. You didn’t lose the sale. Sandler Rule: You can’t lose what you don’t have. It wasn’t yours yet. The check had not cleared the bank! That’s when the deal is indeed closed. Here’s what it should sound like, "So I’ll call you next week on Tuesday at 2, correct and we’ll figure out our next steps, fair? Do promise you’ll take my call .even if you’ve decided not to use us so I can close your file and leave you alone? What if I miss you on Tuesday, what should I do?" You want them to commit to calling you if you miss them or they’ll tell you to call again later in the day with a promise. People will do what they commit to doing 90% of the time if they speak the words. It’s called the Principle of Consistency. Get them to tell you that you’ll talk and get the real story even if it’s not in your favor.
Try this with your prospects this week, and you’ll have more calls the following week instead of working on people who’ve gone into the Witness Protection Program.