Hesitant buyers, endless consultation, no decision – sound familiar? Are you hearing “We haven’t got the budget for this right now” or “We need to wait six months” or “Everything is too uncertain”.
Many of my clients are finding plenty of opportunities but are telling me that deals are very slow to come to fruition and countless orders are getting stuck in the pipeline. Because of this I’m busy right now developing insights around why this is happening and creating training so they can accelerate sales and get them in this month’s forecast. If you’re finding that traditional follow-up calls “I’m just checking in on our proposal,” aren’t getting the right response, or even any response, then try these five follow-up tactics to get results.
When you’ve presented a great proposal and sold all the benefits and hear ‘that’s very interesting’ or ‘we’re keen to progress this’ but still no decision, it’s possible that they haven’t got a problem that needs solving – or not right now anyway.
If you’re confident you’ve got the right solution for them then try being direct to uncover if they are ready to buy,
If you feel uncomfortable asking this then you won’t be alone but your time is in short supply and identifying if they really are interested can help you – and them – focus on the real priorities.
Have you found that going to the person you’ve built a great relationship with to present your proposal doesn’t always cut it anymore? Well according to CEB there are now over 5 decision-makers involved in every B2B purchase today.
But asking your contact ‘Who else do we need to talk to,” or “Who else is involved in this,” can make them feel undervalued and likely to prevent you getting access to the other decision makers. Instead try,
Also, consider who else would have an interest in the outcome? One client had dealt with a company for over 15 years and yet had never had contact with the CFO. When they started talking about the financial element of their proposal the CFO was introduced, the deal was won and the relationship strengthened.
Purchasers are being asked to account for every penny they spend, budgets are tight and the risk of getting it wrong is high. Many are sticking with Suppliers and ways of doing things that they know work because it’s risk-free and easy. However, risk free has a cost – it may prevent doing things differently with potentially better and more cost-effective outcomes.
Instilling confidence that your solution will work helps overcome risk-aversion. Case studies and proof of concept trials are two ways that I’ve seen convince customers and can also give you the confidence to challenge,
People are telling me all the time about deals lost because the right questions haven’t been asked early on. I heard recently about the loss of a £1m account; the customer said that if they’d been given the last price sooner the business would have been retained.
Using a project or opportunity qualification sheet can help you gather all the critical information to develop your proposal and before you leave , ask,
Spending time persuading your customers why they should choose you and demonstrating the advantages of working with you is really important. But when a deal has stalled it’s probably time to get them to consider,