“Thanks Jim, but I’d like to think it over.”
For the impatient, fearful salesperson, those are the nine worst words to hear. If you figure 44% of salespeople give up after one follow up*, it’s no wonder a sales role is the easiest to get and the toughest to keep.
Imagine the message that sends your prospect. “I’m willing to invest in a few calls and a meeting with you, but if you don’t pull the trigger and buy from me now, I’m moving on.” It’s a bit like that one date you had back in college.
Now consider, 80% of sales require five follow up calls after the meeting.* That’s a different message. “I get it… there are still some unanswered questions you have and perhaps some doubt that we have the best solution. Let’s get those questions answered and that doubt removed so you can make the best decision.” That’s more like the beginning of a relationship vs. a one-night stand.
Next, consider that after a presentation, 63% of attendees remember stories. Only 5% remember statistics.* Selling is about appealing to the emotion of your prospective client. Stories evoke exactly that – statistics evoke intellectual exercises like evidence gathering and doubt.
Which type of salespeople are you employing in your organization:
- the ones who kill off prospects when they ask to build a relationship before a sale, or
- the ones who understand selling requires intimacy, patience, and stories that build trust?
Hiring salespeople who are willing to take the time to build trust and establish a relationship rather than accelerate their time to commission will pay huge dividends long-term.
To learn more about where your organization can focus efforts, invest 5-7 minutes taking our Organizational Checkup.
[*] = Jake Atwood