In his blog http://thesaleshunter.com/never-leave-a-sales-call-without-closing-on-something/
Mark Hunter offers advice on how ‘Closing’ [asking for continuance in this case] should be done when a Sales Call is going badly. The premise he uses for this is the “Try Harder”, “persist longer”,
the “never give up” Sales school.
“It is essential to always remember there is no such thing as a final sales call. If a sale can’t be made, there is still a sale that can be made and that’s selling yourself and creating a next step.”
What is the Evidence Basis for this view?
Well, Top Sales Performers use the opposite approach.
They ask themselves what is the likelihood of winning this business?
Unless their chances are high [the algorithm they use I will write about at a later date] they cut and run.
Their most important resource is their TIME, and they don’t waste it, on unlikely sales.
Poor Sales Performers, on the other hand, don’t give up.
They flog dead horses. Poor Sales Performers appear to lack judgement,
they do not use an Algorithm.
They spend 4 times as much time on No-sales as Top Performers.
Mark then writes:
“Minimally, strive to agree on what is keeping the customer from making a decision to buy.
Doing this helps to clarify in both your mind and your customer’s mind where the issues are.”
This is a highly Dysfunctional Selling Skill!
Agreeing with a Customer’s Objection is called “Objection Reinforcement.”
This was used disastrously with the Positive-Negative Close.
“You’re too expensive!”
“Yes, we are expensive, and it’s this Price ‘exclusivity’ which many of our Customers enjoy!
Agreeing with ANY Customer objection reinforces the Objection.
Xerox PSS in the 1970’s used a step in Objection Handling called “Confirm and Isolate”
e.g. “You believe we are expensive, is this the only reason why you won’t go ahead?”
Salespeople who used this were found to be 10 times less likely to get the business,
than Salespeople who missed this step out!
First of all recognise,
that YOU have most likely made mistakes both before, and during, the call.
Poor pre-call qualification, poor proposition or insight preparation or just poor selling skills during the call.
Don’t make it worse by “Reinforcing the Objection”,
or by causing further Objections through more ‘Closing’ or Commitment requests.
So, how can you manage the ending to a ‘difficult’ call?
DISAGREE with what is keeping you apart,
ask for a time-out and a new appointment.
Give a positive reason for the next meeting,
see three great selling skills that really work.
And, finally if you did a good job in the Call, and it did not payoff, use the Algorithm “Move on!”
Sometimes Your Cheese really has Moved!
Be the Type of Salesperson who uses an Evidence base to Support their Sales Behaviours, not speculation.