From time to time, ADMIN Partners likes to share tips and techniques that can benefit advisors and fellow retirement industry experts in their sales initiatives. ADMIN’s own sales team has experienced an array of direct and indirect sales situations which has helped us over the years when working with various client types. With this in mind, our Sales Team has decided to share one of the top sales tips they have under their belt: search for the ‘No.’
Before you start scratching your head, let us say that, like everyone else working in sales, we love hearing ‘yes’ from our prospects. This is especially the case when we know that ADMIN’s solution meets the needs of the potential client. However, whether you know it or not, hearing ‘no’ early on in a sale can only be a benefit the overall sales process.
Companies often spend a lot of time, energy, and resources on prospects who are either not a good fit for your business or not interested in your services. In fact, sales people often waste more time on ill-fitting prospects than they do on those who can actually benefit from the services being offered. Ever follow up after presenting to a potential client and receive one the following responses?
“We’re going to think about it.”
“Let us get back to you on this.”
“I’m not sure.”
While there are definitely situations that can delay a sale pulling through (i.e. budget limitations, board meetings, changes in management, etc…), majority of those shopping for a service know early on whether they like what you have to offer. Rather than saying ‘No’ right away, they delay the process with these pending phrases that can leave a sales person frustrated, less confident, and conflicted on the their ability to sell. This is when searching for the ‘No’ is indispensable. Instead of dwelling on if the sale will happen, follow up the original meeting/conversation in a way that will get you to the ‘No’ (or possibly a ‘Yes’) sooner.
Ask for a timeline on the decision process. Is this something they want to move forward with in the next 3 months or at a year-end board meeting? Having this expectation can help you determine your own timeline and energy spent on the sale.
Offer additional resources like client references or educational materials that might help the decision making process move forward.
When following up with a client, try asking for a personal favor that lends to a decision on whether or not they are going to move forward. Humans are wired to help and will often be eager to respond to your request.
If you lose the sale, ask the prospect what led to their decision. Was it money? Did someone offer a better level of service? Sometimes the prospect may not feel comfortable sharing. If they do, the feedback can help you when approaching prospects in the future.
With these tips in mind, share with us your challenges when selling to prospects. In the comments below, let us know what stops you from getting an answer and techniques you use to get to the ‘No.’