You’ve identified a viable prospect. You make the sales call. During the sales call you get resistance from your prospect. Do you push for the sale or do you realize it’s time to stop selling? Sometimes it’s time to stop selling.
Sometimes you learn the unexpected.
When you decided to make the sales call, there was a reason you thought that the prospect could and should buy your product or service. The sales call is the only way you can learn more about your prospect and confirm that there is a need, it’s an important one and your product or service will address the need. You start your questioning strategy and learn what your prospect thinks.
Sometimes you are going to be wrong.
Here’s an example. You sell a distance-learning program that allows participants to implement learning faster and for longer periods of time. It also allows learners to avoid travel to get the training and reduces their time off the job while they learn. Think how much money a buyer would save for his company. Sounds like a product that a business manager would want to buy. Not always. Some learning department staff is rated not on the results of the training, but on the numbers of hours of face-to-face training they deliver. Your product reduces the face-to-face time they are evaluated on. Your product is not a fit for them.
Plans change. Give selling one more try.
Even though you have just learned new information, it’s still too early to stop selling. You could quantify the savings you could deliver and ask again. If you still get no customer interest, you can ask more questions to learn if someone else in the organization could take advantage of the features and benefits you offer. In this example, the training manager didn’t want to reduce her training time, but another manager in a different department did.
Stop selling when there is no fit.
My definition of selling is helping a customer make a great buying decision. It’s time to stop selling when your prospect understands the benefits you offer and can’t see value in getting them. In the example above, your product would actually make the situation of your prospect worse. That’s not a great buying decision for your prospect.
Instead of trying to become a pushy salesperson, it’s time to adjust your sales strategy. Use the information you learned to improve the criteria of the ideal prospect you will identify going forward. Your ideal prospect is someone in training who must be able to benefit from reduced face time with learners.
It’s hard for some salespeople to understand that sometimes you do have to stop selling. When you stop selling to someone who shouldn’t or won’t buy, you free up time to go find others who will.