Written by Sean McPheat |
If you have been in the world of professional B2B selling for any length of time, then you have probably had that prospect who kept you waiting for 15, 20, 30 minutes or more. It presents a very delicate and volatile situation. You don’t want to kill the sale yet you have to maintain your dignity and self worth, in addition to your professional value.
In Part I of this article, we began to focus on the following solutions to use the prospect’s tardy incident to your advantage. You can use one or all of these ideas that are applicable to your selling situation.
1. Use the incident to enlighten the prospect of the issue without making it an attack
2. Use the incident to insure a proper meeting is planned
3. Use the incident to set the next meeting
4. Use the incident to raise the value of you, your time and your products or services
#1. Use the incident to enlighten the prospect of the issue without making it an attack
#2. Use the incident to insure a proper meeting as planned
The first thing you need to do is immediately let the prospect know of the incident; yet remain on the same side. Simultaneously, you want ensure you have the allotted time for the meeting.
Here is an example:
“James, I can see you’re really busy. Since we’re behind schedule, will we still be able to have the full 30 minutes today as we agreed?”
Note two things in the example:
First, instead of, “Since YOU were late…”
It is, “Since WE are behind schedule…”
Remember to stay on the same side as the prospect. It is not so much that he was late, as it is that you BOTH now are behind schedule.
Second, note that instead of, “Do I still have time for MY 30 minute presentation?”
It is, “…will WE still have the full 30 minutes today as WE agreed?
Also, you need to stand firm even with a negative answer. If your normal sales interaction requires an hour, you should not truncate it and try to rush through in 25 minutes. Do not skip sales stages. Do not look for a lay down sale. Do not beg. Be a professional.
If you impress and remain professional, even if you have a limited time, then you will normally find that they will be sincere in their apologies and will even offer to set up another meeting……sometimes even at your place!
What To Do When The Prospect Is Very Late For the Appointment: Part III
Posting October 7, 2011
The UK’s #1 Authority On Modern Day Selling
Originally published: 6 October, 2011