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December 16, 2019
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January 13, 2020

Why Your Prospects Aren’t Closing and What To Do About It

THE ROAD TO HELL

I hope you’re doing well. We had the first proper storm of the winter last week – named Atiyah – and the south-west of the country took a bit of a hit with 70mph plus winds. Trees came down and blocked roads and there was some disruption to power in places.

As people who are often on the road a lot, we need to take a bit of extra care at this time of year. And while it’s good to do things like allow extra time for journeys and take notice of the forecast, always remember that no deal or target is worth putting yourself in harm’s way for. Go safe!

As well as stormy weather, this time of year also brings with it that Yuletide gift hated by all salespeople – the “we’ll leave it until after Christmas” response to trying to close a deal.

NEXT YEAR

It’s bad enough at the best of times, but if you are close to hitting your targets this can become very frustrating! Why can’t this person see this is a great deal for them? Why, after all we’ve done, aren’t they just picking up the pen and signing up?

Why, in other words, can’t you see what’s going on in their head?

Well, there’s a simple answer to that – you haven’t got close enough to the prospect to fully understand their position. You haven’t done the background work to be able to see things from their point of view.

This is a very common sales mistake. Thinking you can get in with some quick engagement and hope your charm will do the magic in a short space of time.

Er, no. You ain’t that charming.

In fact, none of us is that charming. There are no shortcuts or free lunches in sales. There’s just hard work. And in order to really get to know a prospect, we have to put in the effort and spend more time with them.

TRY SOME BUY SOME

If you regularly miss your numbers because just one or two prospects each month, quarter or year don’t buy from you, now is the time to make an early New Year’s resolution. In 2020, let’s change the pattern by learning to understand our prospects better.

Here are 5 reasons why people aren’t buying from you now, and what you can do about that.

REASON 1: The meeting did not go as well as you wanted.

I made a video about this a while back, you can watch it here.

This is a key reason why salespeople fail. They haven’t used their Emotional Sales Intelligence enough (or at all) to really get an accurate picture of how the prospect was feeling. Asking the right questions and actively listening and understanding the answers is a big key to success.

REASON 2: They aren’t in enough pain.

Now you’ve got to be careful here because this could be a problem with the prospect or a problem with you.

What do I mean by that? Well, if the issue you’re seeking to solve for them really isn’t that big a deal, then this isn’t a good prospect. No one is going to buy a solution to a problem they aren’t that bothered about. It might be time to move on (and improve your qualifying techniques).

But this might be a problem with you. You may not have dug deep enough to discover the real pain they might be in. How do you find out? Ask questions!

“What impact is this issue having for you right now?” Or “on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being very painful, how big an issue is this for you?”

REASON 3: This isn’t a priority for them.

We’ve all been there. We know we should do something about an issue, we’d like to get it sorted, but right now there are 7 things that are more important to get done first.

You need to discover very early on in the process if your prospect will only get around to you when they are ready and not when you ask.

REASON 4: This isn’t a passion for them.

I’m sorry to say that not everyone is as excited by what you’re selling as you should be. Your product or service just isn’t floating their boat.
They may have a problem that you can solve, but it feels like something they probably have to do, not something they want to do. This isn’t fun. In fact, this might be a bit boring?

This can be tricky. Most people live to work, not the other way around. Their day-to-day responsibilities just aren’t… good fun! If that’s the case, it’s down to you to make dealing with you something they look forward to.

REASON 5: It’s not personal for them.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but people buy things selfishly. A lot of B2B salespeople don’t think that applies to business transactions, though – but it absolutely does.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find out what is on their personal agenda. And yes, this can be a bit cloak and dagger.
Are they chasing a promotion or some other form of corporate recognition like a bonus? Are they worried about their job and need to be seen to be making good decisions? What are their personal plans, goal or schemes?

If we find this out and can link it into what we are offering, this will really help to get them on our side.

A QUESTION OF TIME

So there you are – 5 reasons you might be getting blocks to sales and the ways you can get past them in the future. Did you spot the link? It’s all about knowing your prospect. How do you get to know them? By asking good questions. And how do you get to the point of being able to ask these questions? By spending the time with them to build rapport and get them firmly on side.

There is no quick fix, I’m afraid. But going forward I hope you can incorporate these ideas into your sales cycle and avoid those missed opportunities that stop you from getting across the line.

What experiences have you had of these reasons for not buying? What can you do differently next time to either get the sale or qualify the prospect out sooner? If there are any specific techniques you’d like help with, drop me a line to [email protected] or find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube by searching “jameswhitesales”. You can also let me know about any topics you’d like covered here or on the YouTube channel.

Have a great week, take care out there in any wintry weather, and remember to up your Emotional Sales Intelligence game to maximise your results.

James White

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