For many passionate business owners, sales isn't merely about numbers, it's about getting their product or service out to as many people as possible. If you believe that what you're selling really does solve problems for people, you're more likely to be unable to give up on the possibility of forming a new relationship with a potential customer. However, sometimes, the smartest thing to do is to walk away, close the file, and go help someone else that actually wants it.
"It's not in anyone's nature to say, 'It's obvious that you're not going to do business with me, and that's OK," says Tracy Taback, Marketing Associate, Sandler Training/TEM. According to Taback, by putting it out on the table, giving them an out and making it easy for them to tell you no, you may get a yes.
"Frequently, they'll clarify the situation, and let you know that they actually do want to move forward, or you may be right, because at least you know the deal is off the table, and you won't invest anymore time," says Taback.
Taback has identified three steps to getting yourself ready to make that call.
1. Practice strong pre-call planning and have clear next steps. "You need to know before you go into a call what your objectives are and what the purpose of the call is. If you're trying to take the temperature of the situation, don't be afraid to hear something you don't want to hear. By the end of the call, you need to know what the next step is, and then you'll understand what's required to move forward with this piece of business," says Taback.
2. Be ready to make the close-the-file call. "As a salesperson, you can accept a yes or you can accept a no, but you can not accept think it over. A close the file call is basically deciding to get that solid no. The prospect may provide the salesperson more information, or they may say no, but either way, you have a realistic take on the situation."
3. Stay motivated. "You can't allow yourself to get frustrated just because you invested time in a prospect that turned into a no. You really need to look internally into yourself to make sure that you have the level of commitment you need to close more business. You do this by setting your next goal, not by dwelling on a deal that didn't happen."