If you’re involved in any role that includes engaging with prospects and promoting your business’s products and/or services, then you’ve undoubtedly come across instances where your lead gives you the ‘cold shoulder.’ Key at these junctures is re-establishing communication, and this article offers some practical tips on ways of engaging throughout the sales process, and pressure-free ways of maintaining and re-establishing contact with a contact that goes cold.
There are times, even after working with a prospect for a while, getting good feedback and gauging a level of interest, that the mood suddenly changes for no apparent reason and they suddenly seem cold. Irrespective of your personality or level of self-confidence, this can at times prove difficult to deal with, but more-so, it can be a challenge trying to figure out how best to convert that cold shoulder to a warm lead. Dealing with this situation can be quitearduous… you may try calling back a couple of times, sending follow-up emails, and still get no response. It can seem like the sale has been lost without you knowing what you’ve done wrong, or what to do next. If your business and/or role depends quite heavily on getting in those sales, then this can also be quite anxiety-provoking, with a level of desperation in trying to rescue the sale. So, what can you do?
Focus on Outcomes, Stay in the Moment, Adapt and Avoid the ‘Hopeium Trap’
So, what is this ‘hopeium trap?’ This is where you focus so much on the hope of the desired outcome as soon as there is some positive, that you lose sight of what the current reality is, and then fail to adapt to it. While it’s good to keep focused on the outcome you want, what you should avoid doing is viewing this outcome with blinders on. Instead, keep your eye on the prize, be aware of the moment, and then adapt and respond in a way that moves you closer to that prize. This will also ensure that you’re more aware of exactly where you stand with your prospect at each point, and will allow more of a chance of anticipating their next move.
If you start to feel like they may be losing interest, you’ll also be able to remove some of the pressure off yourself, by recognising that you were aware and responsive during the entire process, and did all you could to sustain their interest. You won’t be tortured by wondering what went wrong, or what you could have done. What this will do, is to remove some of the sales pressure from the client relationship, and allow for you to take a step-back, and simply explore with them, without the desperation whether there is anything more that you can do to move forward.
Benefits of this Strategy
The are 3 key benefits to this strategy:
– Confidence: a change in the mood of your client and the potential loss of a sale can seriously undermine confidence and bring into question your selling ability. Employing the above approach reduces the self-questioning that can lead to this as you’ll be reassured of having done all you could.
– Increased Efficiency: when you are more aware of the dynamics and tone of the sale, you are more involved, and are able to more accurately assess the reality around the potential of the prospect, and you’re able to anticipate and adapt accordingly. You’ll very quickly learn to spend your time, and close sales more efficiently, reducing the amount of time it takes to assess which clients are getting to the finish line, and which ones aren’t. This reduces the amount of pressure you’ll feel, while increasing your chances of sales.
– A More Comfortable Relationship: When you focus and adapt to what is going on with your client, rather than giving the impression that you are solely focused on the sale, you develop a more comfortable and trusting relationship which makes it easier to move the sales process forward or learn, truthfully, if there’s a chance of closing. The ‘silent treatment,’ and shutting down communications is what happens when a client doesn’t feel comfortable being honest about their intentions to purchase. Whatever the reason is for this, the aim should be to allow for this honesty, and this is often more possible in a low pressure environment, where they’re aware that you’ll be fine with hearing it.
Hopefully this article has highlighted through the above strategy why you shouldn’t under-estimate the power of turning down the pressure level, and moving the focus away from desperately trying to get a yes, and toward being aware, acknowledging and adapting to the context when something is amiss. This offers a greater chance that the prospect will be comfortable enough to honest about the reason for the decreased interest, and you’ll be able to assess whether it’s a situation you can transform into one that turns into a sale, or whether your efforts would be best spent on a new prospect.