Do your prospects ever feel irrational and understanding their logic – especially when it comes to their objections to your sales pitch?
After all, if you provide convincing evidence that clearly illustrates how and why your offerings meet their needs, the rational thing is to sign on the dotted line (or at least step towards a buying decision). However, for whatever reason, many (most?) don’t, and end the call abruptly, fail to respond to emails, appear disinterested in continuing the conversation, or just seem to drag their feet on making a decision.
If this happens, it’s tempting to believe you just need to give them more details about your offerings or somehow be clearer. But that’s often not the case at all. It’s more it’s them, not you scenario. Your sales pitch is fine and you’re doing well as a sales rep.
Why is this happening? Here are some common reasons why buyers seem to reject your rational proposals:
You’re pushing information on a prospect who isn’t ready to change.
Facts alone, no matter how persuasive, do not inspire a prospect to make a move unless there is an internal buy-in for change. Companies seldom pursue a new direction until their existing one creates substantial trouble. Doing nothing is almost always less risky than changing. Their current solution may not be perfect, but it’s okay, and taking a chance on a new product or service is not always comfortable. And people like comfort.
Even if the company has a strong pain point you can leverage and do understand that change is needed, you will still be a long way from an internal buy-in for change. Your pitch needs to demonstrate that the potential hassle a change to your offering may cause will be worth it in the long run.
You are too focused on providing good content and a great sales pitch and not enough on providing content and pitches in a format that supports decision-making.
For a salesperson, delivering persuasive content is important, but there are two additional elements critical to change: recognizing all stakeholders who will be impacted by the change (buying the solution and what it entails) and making them understand how it contrasts with alternative approaches.
The chances are you personally won’t get to speak to – try to sell to – all these stakeholders as you will be dealing with a single point of contact. What you can do however is ensure that your sales pitches and your sales process address them all, right down to, as appropriate, ‘minor’ players like admin staff to the actual buyer.
If you can get your client to see that closing the sale with you will benefit all of their team – or at least most of them – you are more likely to get a positive response from potential clients.
You’re so focused on getting the prospect to make a purchase decision you’re forgetting to focus on all the mini-decisions along the way.
Salespeople are trained to keep an eye on the ultimate goal – closing the deal. As a result, often potential customers feel they’re being asked to jump directly from Point A to Point Z. Instead, try to gradually guide prospects through the chunks of the decision process so that they are able to see the value of your proposed solution.
Help them get from Point A to Point B and then to Point C. It’s important to remember that buying-in for purchase is a gradual progression that builds trust. If there are many people in the purchasing team, they will possibly each have their own time-frame so the proposal process may vary.
Research has shown that on average 5.4 people play a role in B2B buying decisions. You’ll need to be an orchestra conductor guiding all the players at the right time and at the right tempo.
You focus too much on getting customers to take the next step in your selling cycle, rather than giving them a variety of directions that are more common to purchasing.
You may already provide prospects with incremental steps leading to purchase, as discussed in point 3. If so, that’s great. But you should be aware of a potential pitfall: a purchase decision often has more than one path. A prospective customer may want to move to trialing to understand the approach. Others want comprehensive specifications they can study and compare with other solutions. In many cases, prospects aren’t 100 % sure what they want.
It’s your job to explain the different paths, so they can choose the path best suited to their situation. And remember, they might lose their way and need you to point them in the right direction (one that points towards closing the sale with you of course).
You are driving so strongly towards an outcome that you forget the importance of simplifying the process itself, making the desired result more inevitable.
Salespeople – even very good ones – sometimes have myopia. They want to close the deal so badly that they are unaware of barriers that hinder progress. Remember purchasing decisions have emotional aspects. The prospect may be highly risky. If so, have you done everything to minimize their fears? Alternatively, the prospect may feel frustrating and confusing and your potential buyer may be too overwhelmed to make a decision – a buying process is a very important responsibility. Whatever the case, think about what you can do to simplify their life and smooth the path to buying, answering whatever question they may have and showing the key benefits of your proposal.
You need help and it’s time to get it
Not everyone is born to sell. Not everyone can learn to sell. Sometimes a prospect can seem like their rejection of your sales pitch is irrational, but the reality is the pitch just wasn’t effective, for what could have been one or two of a hundred different reasons. A sales cycle is a refined art, and it may take a while to really understand it.
Sometimes, when sales pitches are not going as you’d hoped, it’s time to consider getting help. For those who are not really salespeople at all, but business owners trying to bootstrap operations, getting outside sales help may be a must. For those who are sales orientated, but stuck in a rut, sales training may be the answer. The good news? Pearl Lemon Sales can help with both. Contact us today to learn more.
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