You’ve made your way past the gatekeepers, scheduled the meeting, completed your background research, and unleashed your most persuasive sales pitch. At the time, your potential client seemed interested and enthusiastic, but now, a few weeks down the line, you’re having a hard time touching base with them. In fact, you’re beginning to suspect that they’re giving you the run-around.
Has this ever happened to you? Have you done everything just right, only to have a seemingly interested prospect start to hem and haw at a crucial juncture in the sales process?
Procrastination is an all-too-pervasive human trait, and it’s virtually impossible to force someone to make a decision when they don’t feel like they’re good and ready to do so. But what you can do is build a few clever anti-stall measures right into your standard sales process. Incorporate these tips to help dissuade indecision and minimize stall tactics.
Tap into their curiosity. Get the ball rolling again with a voicemail or an email that will incite their interest. Do some research to uncover an interesting factoid or a new solution to a pressing problem your client is facing, and then leave a message that divulges only a tantalizing nugget of the information. If your client is the curious type, this tactic might help you get reconnected.
Stress the time-sensitive nature of the product or service. Are you offering an introductory price for an upcoming release? Is a new service contract period about to begin? Let your client know that they can save money by moving forward with the deal within a specific timeframe.
Make use of alternate means of contact. If your prospect has tried to stall by asking you to forward more information, make full use of the point of contact they provide. Without being overly aggressive, send a steady stream of pertinent product information to the email or postal address they have given you.
Set a timeline to maintain momentum. Never let one phase of the sales cycle end without establishing a time frame for the next phase. Before you conclude a meeting, end a sales presentation, or sign off of a phone call, ask your client for a general deadline for the next part of the process.
Learn to differentiate between roadblocks and dead ends. Sometimes, stall tactics are camouflaging a client’s genuine disinterest or lack of motivation to move forward. Gauge the depth of their resistance and undertake a bit of research into the company’s situation—if you get the sense that the deal may be dead in the water, it could be time to cut your losses and move on.
What’s the most common client stall tactic you’ve run across in the IT sales space? How do you handle stall tactics? Give us your side of the story in the comments.