You have probably heard them all;
– Call me back in 3 months
– Now is not a good time, we are busy at the moment, send me some material
– We are locked into a contract, call me in the New Year
These are all white lies. The truth is different. The #1 reason prospects say NO to a meeting with you, is because they assume you are going to waste their time. Time is money. If they agree to spend 20 minutes with you they would like to get some value in return. And so far, salespeople who went before you did not really pave a great road for you. Customers have not seen that return on their time investment. In their view and from their experience the salespeople they met were all behaving the same. They don’t want to go through another discovery questioning phase, this time with you, because they just cannot see the value. If you think of it, answering discovery questions is all for the benefit of the salesperson not of the customer. What do they get out of the 20 minutes? Buyers and buying have changed. You got to adapt your selling to the way they are buying.
So, how to deal with this?
First of all, you need to believe in yourself that you are different than the average salesperson. You are a value creator. You are a Trusted Advisor. You have the customer’s success as your main focus, not “the deal” you have to make. You feel confident. You truly believe a change is needed for the customer, for their benefit. You believe a change could mean for them more growth, more profit.
Second: be prepared. Expect they will respond with white lies. Expect they will push you away. Have your answers ready. You have to push back. You must be willing to have these difficult conversations.
Third: if they think you are going to waste their time, tell them upfront you are not going to waste their time.
This may sound something like the following: Dear customer, I am ….. I work for …… I would like to share with you three insights we have seen affecting similar businesses like you, and how we have been able to help. I promise I will not waste your time, not for one minute. Even if you don’t buy anything from me right now at least you are informed what we notice as challenges ahead that may affect your business. All I am asking for is 20 minutes of your time, again, I promise I will not waste your time.
Once you get the appointment, straight out of the starting blocks you need to come with something that is valuable to your prospect. New valuable information that makes them rethink their current situation, challenges, and solutions in place. You got to lead with insights.
Give it a try, top Trusted Advisors do this all the time.