Pause a moment and think about all of the people with whom you have worked with but not sold anything to. It's likely a huge number because the reality is that you don't sell to most of the people you work with. I'm going to lay out five ways how you can take every person who has landed in this category over the last six months and convert them from unsold to sold.
Though rarely utilized, these tactics truly work; after all, don't these people remain unsold simply because you didn't make a transaction with them? Everyone ends up buying something; it's just a matter of when and with whom. The fact that you failed to close an opportunity and dropped or forgot the lead does not mean they are no longer in the market for your service or product.
Just because you quit following up or the client bought from someone else doesn't exclude that person as being a prospect for you now. Maybe he or she couldn't afford your product at the time, wasn't quite ready, or delayed a decision with the intent to reconsider. Maybe the client couldn't get funding at the time, maybe you had the person on the wrong product, or maybe he or she bought from someone else and isn't happy with that decision.
Here are five ways to convert and conquer these greatly overlooked opportunities:
1. Commit to follow-up.
Don't waste time worrying about the fact that you haven't sold to these potential clients before. They still represent a viable opportunity and should not be written off as part of a past experience or a loss. You must first commit to following up these potential clients. Write it down every morning and night to remind yourself of your commitment every day.
2. Your interest in your clients is more important than their interest in you.
If the person has not bought from you, conduct new fact-finding as though you haven't before. You will need to start this sale over from scratch. Do not assume that what the client previously wanted is consistent with what he or she needs or wants now. Ask the person what has changed since then. Show your interest in them, because it is superior to their interest in you. Remember: every contact is more valuable than just the one sale.
3. State your intent to follow up until you get a result.
With your new and reactivated clients, you must state -- up front -- your intent to follow up until you get a sale. I have clients that I have called every day for 20 days consecutively before they finally took my call. Regardless of the reason they are not calling back when it comes time to do something with my product I will be the one they think of first.
4. Be creative in the ways that you follow up.
Bring all of your artillery to the acquisition of new and old clients -- including phone calls, messages, mail, email, and personal visits -- and never stop following up. Here is an example of a call you can make to people with whom you worked in the past but did not close: "John, Grant Cardone here. We met four months ago when you were considering my product. While we were not successful in earning your business at the time, I wanted to call today for two reasons: First, I wanted to check on you. How are you?" (Engage in small talk, but not forever.) "Second, where are you today with what you were considering four months ago? Did you ever make a purchase decision?"
Remember to follow up every call with a letter, and put this individual on your list of personal contacts and your intended visits on your calendar. Leave no white space on your to-do list. Continue to nurture these "lost" opportunities until they join the ranks of your client list.
5. Never quit, ever! Be unreasonable in your follow-up.
Every day businesses, management, entrepreneurs, and salespeople make the mistake of not following up because of some perceived negative emotion, communication, or lack of interest on the part of the prospect. Some are concerned that if they follow up too persistently, they may be labeled as desperate. However, becoming overly concerned about a label like this means that most people never do what is necessary to be labeled highly successful.
To help make sense of pushing through these uncomfortable moments, try to determine what the benefit will be when the action pays off. Let's say you want a client who is worth $100,000 to your company and $10,000 to you -- in addition to the normal job security and sense of accomplishment. Ask yourself, "Is it worth going through the discomfort of continuing to follow up -- even after I have been told no -- in order to have any hope of getting this done?" If you don't follow up you will not get the sale. If you do, you might!
A client once told me, "I never do business with anyone the first three times they call on me. Most I won't even see. I figure if they don't believe in their product or service enough to keep following up, why should I waste my time to see them the first time?"
If you want more business advice, I'll be speaking live on Wednesday, October 21st at 2 p.m. EST. If you can't make it at that time the webinar will also be accessible 24/7 on-demand from any of your devices.
Be great, and never stop following up.