What’s your worst sales nightmare? Is it thinking you are ready to close the sale only to find out you don’t have the deal yet? It’s not over till it’s over and you may have more work to do. Here’s where you can start.
Move it forward. There are prospects who tell you they want to buy and it just doesn’t happen. Maybe your prospect really isn’t convinced there’s a reason to buy now. Find out if you have a reason to close. How do you know? You have a reason when your prospect agrees that his problem, need or want is real and important enough to act on it now. Prospects that realize this have answered questions that uncover the costs of their issues. They also answer the question, “And is this important to you now?” You may be struggling to move forward now because you never asked these questions. Ask them now.
Remove obstacles. Find out what obstacles remain to getting the contract signed. The question to ask is, “What’s preventing us from working together now?” Be sure to use the word “now.” You may find that there are more decision makers and influencers than you thought. Conditions may have changed. Once you learn the obstacles, it’s your job to address or remove them. When people are busy they sometimes become immobilized with the idea of change. It looms larger than it really is. Other times, the person just doesn’t know how to make the change happen. You have to learn what is preventing your deal from moving forward.
What’s going on? What if you can’t reach your prospect to find out why your deal isn’t closing? There’s good news and there’s bad news when prospects go silent. The good news is that it might not be the end of that deal. The bad news is that it is the end. Either way, you have to find out which it is. So call your prospect. Don’t assume defeat. If you do, you will plant the seeds of doubt in your potential customer’s mind. Instead, leave a message that says something about what you understood the timeline to be and if there’s a change, you want to know what that is so you can adjust. The message is positive and it also gives your prospect a face-saving reason to call back. Finding out that it’s a no for now is better than knowing nothing about the sale.
You may have to deal with the delays from a prospect who never buys. When you realize what went wrong with your selling and adjust, you just might close that deal.
P.S. When I work individually with sales professionals, I often find that they’ve not asked some key questions. Once they do, the sale does close.