“Let’s touch base next month (or quarter, or after the holidays).” It’s one of the most frustrating responses we ever get from prospects – doubly so because it’s often just a stall.
The best solution if you suspect a stall is to pin the customer down, says negotiating coach Colleen Francis. Here’s how you can deal with an unwarranted delay:
- Bring it up first and have an answer ready. Say: “Mr. Prospect, you may be thinking it’s best to wait until after the year end. If we can nail this down now, I can lock in the current price.”
- Make the customer be specific. “Thanks for letting me know next month is better for you. What date is best for me to get back in touch?” Or: “I would be happy to call you back next month. Would Tuesday, July 11th at 10:00 a.m. work for you?”
- Ask what will be different. If buyers have a real reason to wait, they will tell you what it is. If nothing will change, why not save you both time and have the discussion now. “I’d be happy to call you back next month. Do you mind if I ask, will anything change over the next few weeks that will affect your buying decision?”
- Control the callback. Don’t take “don’t worry – I’ll call you!” as an answer. It’s your sale, so stay in control of the follow-up. For example, you might say: “Thanks for wanting to stay on top of this, Bob. How about, if I don’t hear from you by the 15th, I’ll call you on the 16th at 10:00 a.m.?”
Note: The success with which you handle stalls hinges on the quality of the relationship you’ve built. A good relationship gives you more freedom to press for immediate action.
Source: To learn more from Colleen Francis click www.engageselling.com
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