Have you ever heard the quote, “All good things come to those who wait?” Are you, right now, wanting to roll your eyes because you’ve heard it from your mother or perhaps some other adult as you were growing up? I know, I rolled my eyes too.
We’re going in a different direction’ messages used to bum me out. And a majority of my colleagues simply move on, but after I spend hours qualifying leads, getting them into conversation and even issuing proposals, I’ve invested too much time to let them go. Instead, I (gulp) pick up the phone and ask ‘Why?’. After salvaging sales and preventing lost sales in the future, I know I’ll never lose a gig for the same reason twice. And now you won’t have to, either.
A sales conversation isn’t done until YOU decide it’s done. Hearing ‘No’ can either be a lesson or a disappointment, and the choice is yours. I’m happy to hear ‘No’ or ‘Not this time’ because I’m going to learn something from that refusal and ensure I’m never turned down for that reason again.
Second, Questions Matter
Once you’ve worked up the courage, get on the phone with the person who turned you down and ask, “What, if it had been different, would have made you choose me without needing to look at any other speakers?”
Pay attention to what you hear – they’re telling you how to sell in the future.We’ve heard everything from ‘Shawn’s too corporate – we’re looking for more of a jeans and a T-shirt speaker’ to ‘We’re diversifying our lineup of speakers and don’t need another XYZ speaker this year.’All brilliant suggestions! Our job at that point is to either A. Salvage the sale or B. Ensure we never lose a sale for that reason again. Let’s look at both:
A. Salvage The Sale
You have a window of opportunity whenever an email from a prospect come through – so call them! Ask, “Who did you choose as a speaker instead?” “Why did you choose them?” If that topic is in your wheelhouse, let them know!
B. Never Lose A Sale For That Reason Again
Once you know why they didn’t choose you, you can get to work developing the program that helps a client like them achieve that result in the future, or gets you featured in that nationally-known publication, or delivers the specific result they were looking to achieve. Whatever the reason they gave, ensure no client can EVER turn you down for that reason again.
We’ve lost sales in the past on diversity, not being a nationally-known name, not having experience in their industry, price, and dozens of others. Once we shore up those gaps, we build them into marketing, emails, call scripts – even voicemail messages so clients never get a chance to use them!You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make sales when you never lose one for the same reason again.
If you lose a gig for the same reason twice from now on, it’s not the client, but rather the man or woman in the mirror who’s to blame.