We were sitting at the Port in Buenos Aires last week having a coffee and a street seller came up to me to show me his wallets for sale. I interrupted my conversation with my husband to say “No thank you”. He then proceeded to bring out some bracelets and again I said “No thank you”. He then took my arm and put one of these bracelets on my wrist. I said to my husband, “Oh, wow, that is nice” and had to ask how much it was. It was so cheap I ended up buying 2! You see, when selling, if you don’t take rejection personally and try again with a different approach, you can often win a sale.
You know the sort – the ones that always say they are going to buy from you in the near future – the ones that ask you to ring again in three months time – the ones who were super keen when you first talked to them and now they have decided not to go ahead at all when you ring back and the ones you have spent hours doing a proposal for and they do not want to proceed.
Here are a few strategies that I have found successful:
1. First of all ask yourself a few questions like; “How will I change my approach to create more interest for the prospect to go ahead now?”, “What information can I give the prospect that would cause them to say that they were better off taking my call than they were before taking it?”, “What does my prospect want to get and what do they want to avoid?”
2. When the prospect does not want to do anything yet, ask them a few questions like “What is the real reason you are not going ahead now?”, “Are you saying that because you do not think you are going to get a return on your investment?”, What decision making criteria did you use to make this important decision?”
3. Become a problem solver. Come up with some thoughts such as; “Let’s work out how much it is costing you to do nothing about your situation” or “How much time are you spending on _____ and “How much is that costing you right now?” Then ask, “How long do you want to go on wasting that (time or money)?”
Instead of collecting all the business cards at tradeshows and networking functions and doing nothing with them, why not follow these people up? Again they may not want to buy now but they might sometime in the future. For example I am not in the market right now for a new car, but in 2 year’s time, I might be. If a car salesman keeps in touch with me by continuously giving me ideas of cars to choose for the future, who is the first car salesman I am going to go to? The one who is front of mind of course.
I suggest you buy a card scanner to record all those business cards. Then find someone who works in the Philippines for $2 an hour to put them into an excel spreadsheet, send them back and then you upload them into your database. It is a quick way to build your database fast. The more prospects you have, the more you will sell.