A friend of mine, Stacy Martin once told a new salesperson that sometimes you have to "let the water boil"
Last week, I was on a conference call with a prospect. He was asking us about our product's capabilities. He was throwing a lot of tests our way, and we were passing all his tests.
"One more test", he said...
Finally, in desperation Jeremy asked the key question.
"So if we pass this next test, do we have a deal?"
This is a make it or break it line. The next thing that the prospect says is going to tell us exactly what his intentions are.
- If the prospect says yes, we have a deal, right?
- If the prospect wavers, it would seem that he is not really serious.
The prospect paused and uncomfortably explained that he would have to get back to us on that.
So we stopped talking. We waited. We let the water boil.
That uncomfortable silence led the prospect to tell us what was really bothering him. He was concerned about other issues, however he used the tests as a way to justify holding off. Jeremy and I addressed the other issues, and we are proud to say that we have a new client.
- Silence is your friend: Did you ever get that uncomfortable silence in a conversation with a friend, where you are compelled to say anything? This happens to me all the time. On a sales call, this is when you can wait out a response by your prospect. He/she may give you a nugget of information.
- When you are quoting a price to a client, say it as confidently as you would say your phone number...and then wait. Wait for your prospect to speak.
- When (there is no "if") your prospect tells you that your price is too high, don't waver. In my long sales career, EVERYONE tells me my price is too high, even the ones who eventually buy. If you believe in your product, stand firm.