Monday, May 07, 2007

Week 34 - No Sale Yet? Never Give Up!

Over the last few weeks I have focused mainly on actively working with your existing customers to create more sales. Question: what if the prospect never becomes your customer? What if you were to travel to their house, provide a quote and then miss out on the work? Well, if most businesses dump paying customers after the first transaction, what do you think they do with prospects who don’t even buy? Yep, they don’t get a second thought. Perhaps they even receive a special outburst about the “big mistake” they have made!

Dormant and cold prospects can still be of value to your business so first and foremost, you should stay in contact. There are a hundred reasons why people don’t move forward with quotes – they might have found a cheaper price or a better referral but they also may have deferred their decision due to lack of money or an overseas trip. The point is it could be any reason, so stay in touch and re-read “Week 25” which talks about “follow-up”.

As with everything I write about, for follow-up to be effective, you have to do it systematically. An easy way to do this is simply call all of your non-buyers once every couple of months. Ask how things are going, “…is there any other information I can provide to help you make a decision?” Email is also an easy way to drop these prospects a standard note asking for an update on their situation. It has probably cost you money to attract these potential buyers in the first place, so don’t discard them. Try to extract some value over the following weeks or months.

To round out, here is a powerful question when faced with a “…no thanks…” from a prospect:

“Thank you for your time, do you know anyone who you believe WOULD benefit from our product or service?”

If it is appropriate, start asking that in your business today. Recruitment agencies do it all the time and over time build huge contact lists. Remember that word leverage. You have the customer on the telephone, on email (or on their porch) and you can decide to walk away, or ask the simple question and generate more income and profit for your business.

I will now move on to building your business systems. Once your business is operating like a well oiled machine (with or without you) you will finally get the time to start making choices for your business rather than them being made for you by the marketplace.

1 comment:

c0t0s0d0 said...

recruitment agencies...!!! oh no!!! i rate them next to used car salesmen for the very reason they don't give up and have huge contact lists. I'm still on the list of about 50 of them from 10 years ago (i forward an old email address so i know which address they are using) and they never stop emailing me! I have politely requested a few of them to stop, but have come to the conclusion that the industry as a "standard" (i'm sure there are exceptions) is dirty! I think its very important to "leave the customer alone" ... i don't mean "never follow up" but its very important to know "when to stop following up" (which is in my opinion after the very first follow up) otherwise, if others think like me... they will think that the business is desperate, the product or service is just based on volume so the pushy sales people... and really, the business an integral part of "my life" ... so i mark the business down mentally as "never use these guys", and they more they contact me (and of course, i have stopped responding to them at all) they more they remind me about their business and firm in my mind that i will never use them.