Written by Sean McPheat |
It may sound strange, but there will be people you know you can help who will refuse to meet with you!
How dare they! Don’t they know you have their holy grail, the answer to their prayers, the very thing they have been looking for?
Of course, the world doesn’t work that way, and there will be prospects and customers who will reject your advances and avoid you at all costs. How can you deal with these kinds of situations?
Firstly, let’s look at what you SHOULDN’T do:
1) DON’T take it personally
It might not be the right time; they may have other things more important to do; they may not have bought into your ideas yet. First and foremost, don’t think they have something against you, personally. Regather your thoughts and take time to reconsider your approach
2) DON’T become so persistent that you become a nuisance
Calling a dozen times doesn’t change the underlying dynamic that is causing your prospect not to see you. The definition of insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over, while expecting a different result’.
Persistence is good. It shows you are really serious about helping their business. But doing it to the extent that you simply get on their nerves doesn’t enhance your cause.
3) DON’T give up after one or two attempts
Having said don’t become a nuisance, it is important that you don’t simply give up if they say no to you once or twice. Be aware, instead, of the impression you are making and adjust your approach accordingly.
4) DON’T judge the prospect because of their unwillingness to see you
By condemning the buyer as a fool for not seeing you is counterproductive and leads to your attitude being one of constriction and lack of advancement. Clients are busy and their world does not revolve around you and your needs. So be careful you don’t have a negative, judgemental attitude about their behaviour.
So, what strategies can you consider that would help in the situations where you can’t get in front of the buyer? Here are some methods to try out:
1) Ask yourself ‘If I was in their shoes, whey would I see me?’
This is a good question that gets you thinking in their mindset.
They are not seeing you at the moment, so whatever you are doing isn’t working. You need some different approaches. Why would they really want to see you? What’s in it for them?
Could it be she’s satisfied with the status quo? Is she using a competitor? Does she not feel your product is of any use to her? What ever it is, it’s causing her to not see you, so you have to ask yourself why SHOULD she give you time of day? It’s a good starting point.
2) Don’t leave too many voicemails
For whatever reasons, the client is avoiding you. Leaving countless messages isn’t really going to help you. They already know you are trying to contact them, and lots of messages just gets on their nerves.
Instead, tell the reception or other people in the team that you will call back. They will pass the message on. Your persistence may intrigue the prospect and they may see a reason to give you time in the future.
3) Don’t try and sell to them
Many salespeople will persist with a sales message and keep forcing their products or services over email or phone. Instead, gather some interesting articles that would be interesting to the prospect and send those over, one at a time.
You are showing that you are interested in their company’s success, rather than just selling her your products.
This will set you apart from other sales companies and will make you appear to be more valuable to them. It may create a connection between you even before you’ve met, and creates a relationship that says ‘I’m here to do more than sell you something’.
4) Call at different times of the day
Maybe they have been ignoring you because they are always in meetings first thing in the morning when you call. Or maybe they don’t work normal hours.
Try calling after normal hours, or delay an email to be sent at a very early hour, so they will see it first when they log on in the morning.
Trying something different in terms of timing may get hold of them when they are less busy.
5) Make friends with gatekeeper or secretary
Oftentimes, people on our sales courses ask for techniques to get ‘through’ the gatekeeper, or ‘overcome’ them. We don’t subscribe to that view. We think making friends with them is the best way to get them on your side and help you get in front of the decision-maker.
Know the secretary’s name, build a relationship with them and them ask what would be the best way to approach the decision-maker. Having them on your side may well open up chances to pass on quality messages through them.
6) Make yourself a vital part of their success story
As most people don’t want to be sold to, it would be wrong to expect every person to want to give you’re their valuable time. But if you were to prove yourself to be a real asset to their company, there will be more chances for you to get customers coming to you instead.
Becoming an influencer in your industry is by far the best way for you to get in front of customers and ensure they give you some of their time, because they see the value of doing so.
If you are able to enhance your value by providing great examples of how you have helped others and become a real asset to your prospects and customers alike, you’ll find people will be able to find time to see you, as they will gain real benefits from doing so.
Remember, if people are refusing to see you, it’s because you haven’t yet built up the real value of doing so. Approach the client from the perspective of ‘we can help you achieve more’ and you have developed more reasons for the client to say yes, rather than no.
Originally published: 9 July, 2019