I hate losing perhaps even more than I like winning. Not that I’m a bad loser. Credit where credit is due. Nobody can win every deal. For that matter, there are probably some deals that you should have never been involved with in the first place. They did not meet your sweet spot. Another topic for another day.
However what really chaps my ass is losing a deal that I should have won if only …
- I had not become overconfident
- I had not gotten lazy
- I had not given up too early
Therefore, the only way that I can stomach losing is if I can honestly look at myself in the mirror and tell myself that I did everything in my power to win it. I still won’t like it, but I can live with it.
Now, I can’t understand why anybody would invest any amount of time in the pursuit of any opportunity if they were not willing to give 100% to ensure its success?? Well, that’s not completely true since I have done that myself and on numerous occasions. I did not transform to the new me until 2006. Yes, I can date this event.
Before we discuss tactics, let’s take a look at your characteristics. If you do not display professionalism in these areas … you will already be hosed.
- Dress for success – Specifically dress for your clientele and then bump it up a notch. Think about first impressions. In their minds, what they see will be what you are and, in my experience, this is generally accurate.
- Be knowledgeable – If you want to be respected, you had best know what you are talking about.
- Show a little humility – Being viewed as over-confident is perhaps even more damaging than someone who lacks confidence. Of course, everything comes in degrees.
- Display responsiveness – If you don’t respond to me in a timely manner before I give you my money, God only knows how unresponsive you will be after you have separated me from my cash.
- Exceed my expectations – Anything less is unacceptable.
Customer education is the modern sales model. Yes, buyer behaviors have changed and your customer has likely already done some research on their own. However, depending on their level of sophistication with your services, this research may have left them more confused than informed. Cleanup on aisle four.
- Be prepared – Always and never wait until the last moment!
- Be a good listener – And be an active listener. If you are not sure of the question, and even if you think that you are, ask for clarification. Finally confirm that the customer understood and accepts your answer.
- Provide a professional proposal – Take the time and do the work in making every presentation, every proposal, a professional one. This includes a cover letter. A great proposal should do your selling when you are not there!
- Earn the right to ask for the order – If you have done everything else correctly with this sale, you have earned the right to secure it. If not …
You can be persistent without being perceived as annoying. The key is to always have a valid reason to reach out. “Have you made your decision?” is not a valid reason.
- Valid reasons include – New information, following up (always have a reason to go back), and anything that will be perceived to be of value.
- Make them tell you “No” – I know one salesperson, and I swear that this is his only selling model … he just will not go away or give up. Be the last man standing.
I could go into the whole “7 no’s before a yes” scenario, but you get the point and the whole point of this post is for you to put 100% of your effort into every deal! I have said this before … the worst feeling in sales isn’t losing the deal. The worst feeling is knowing that you could have done more to change that outcome!
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