Navigating a sales conversation can be tricky. You and your prospect may have different or even conflicting goals or expectations. You may have the best intentions for your prospect, but often their instinct is to be skeptical, and your communications may not be straightforward. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could avoid the ambiguity and stop miscommunications from slowing down the sales cycle? Here are a few ways to start moving in that direction.
1. Mistaking the correct contact
First, make sure you’re speaking with the right person. This can be tricky, but it’s essential. The person you’re speaking with may be enthusiastic about your company, and that’s great, but that doesn’t mean they’re influential or that they’ll be your advocate with others in their organization. If you get push-back from your main contact on things like extending the purchase timeline, or they mention having to get the approval of people you’re not in contact with, consider leveraging your existing relationship to get the necessary people involved directly in your conversation. Things will move along much faster if you’re speaking directly to the people who make the decision and sign the check.
2. Relying only on email
Email is an extremely effective tool, but like any tool it is only suited for certain parts of the process. Statistically, email is the most effective way to begin a conversation with a prospect, or rejuvenate a conversation that may have gone stale. The mistake some sales reps make, however, is the reluctance to step away from email because of the initial success they have experienced with email in a prospect relationship. At some point, you’re going to have to pick up the phone and talk with the prospect directly. Begin with email in order to introduce yourself and gauge interest, but once you have started that conversation, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone.
3. Letting the Prospect Dictate Too Much
While you should always make sure you’re not being pushy or inconsiderate, your prospects may need a little nudge in the right direction during the sales process. Staying committed to a timeline, for example, can be one aspect where keeping things on track can help move the process along and ensure you don’t lose your sale. Even if your prospect is interested and intends to buy, letting the timeline slip too much can allow your competitors to step in and steal your deal, or allow the project to get pushed to the back burner.