Prospects Aren't Prisoners
In some quarters there is the belief that if you allow a prospect to leave you’ll lose the sale. We see it in the car sales industry, some gyms, and some insurance/financial planning companies. When there is any hesitation on the part of the prospect a dance begins. The salesperson plays at ‘negotiating’ with his manager in an attempt to find the “yes” spot.
There are so many problems with this it’s hard to figure out where to start! First of all, your prospects aren’t prisoners. They don’t have to stay to play your game, and they don’t want to. If a prospect says they need time, or they need to talk with their spouse, or they aren’t ready, let them go. This is about respect. If you respect your prospect you will listen to them and respect their needs. Frankly, if you respect your prospect you will have a conversation with them that identifies their needs and wants so together the two of you can determine next steps. Sometimes that next step is for the prospect to leave.
Second there is the issue of goal. The goal for the company should be building meaningful, long-term relationships with customers and others. When this is the goal the salesperson will invest their energy in understanding the prospect, not in closing the deal. Prospects don’t like being treated like prisoners. The experience turns them off so they aren’t thrilled about doing business with the provider.
Some prospects might succumb to the dance and sign a deal simply to be free to leave. They will most likely cancel their purchase, never do business with the company, and tell others about their bad experience. How does any of that work toward the goal of building meaningful, long-term relationships? Right – it doesn’t.
No salesperson should want to create buyer’s remorse. They should want their customer to be so thrilled with the entire experience that they rave about your company. Imagine if you went to the dentist for a crown and the dentist played the prisoner game. You’d most likely change your opinion of the dentist. You’d start seeing them as only interested in how much work they can do to make as much money as possible. You’d no longer see them as someone interested solely in your health.
Let your prospects leave. If they are meant to do business with your company they will come back. If you don’t let them go you are guaranteeing they won’t do business with your company.
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