It is very common to come across an impulsive ‘No’ or ‘Not interested’ response while cold calling or following up with business prospects. Maybe it was just a momentary lack of interest; however, you lose the deal if you choose to cave.
Some of the top businesspersons and sales experts claim that there are scenarios where they have been following up prospects for over 15 years and still haven’t earned their business. There are two ways to look at this.
- “Why would anyone waste time on something that never worked or probably never will?”
- Why put in so much effort and then drop it?
Let’s see which one’s better.
How Follow-Ups Work
The key to a successful negotiation is always following up. That’s what sales experts always do and advise. But make no mistake, they are not asking you to make redundant calls with the same information. Next time, you have to do your homework, make necessary changes to your pitch, and convey the message differently. The cycle goes on.
To achieve this, you will need exceptional research and negotiation skills. One way to get good at it is to practice. You can practice expert-level negotiation exercises and perfect them over time. Eventually, you will be able to harness that power and potentially bring home that deal that has been throwing NOs at you, no matter for how long.
The important thing here is to consciously stay in learning mode and suck information from every situation you come across. You should also stay clear of unnecessary emotions and be wise enough not to get disheartened by a single ‘No’. Things change, people change, situations change. All you have to do is discover that one pain/pressure point that you require to close that deal.
With all that being said, let’s look at a couple of negotiation tactics that will help you cut through negative responses and attitudes.
Simple Negotiation Exercises
Consciously Controlling Initial Responses: Normally, most salespeople tend to overreach or oversell when they face a negative response. This will only push the opportunity away. People say NO for various reasons that might have nothing to do with you or what you are offering.
You certainly do not want to annoy a potential client in ways that will create a permanent memory of you being unpleasant. You need to nurture a response system that can calmly get you further ahead with your opportunity. You must carefully pave the way to situations that might turn out to be the clincher for you.
If you could sense that the party wants the deal but is trying to low-ball, you need to find ways to establish exclusivity and urgency and eventually close the deal on your terms.
You can come up with ideas like how your service will be an invite-only offering shortly. Or maybe how the prices will hike just after the season. Spontaneity can come in handy, but it is better to plan such scenarios beforehand and carry enough marketing material to substantiate your claims.
Note that this will only work if you are 100% sure that the person wants your product or service.
If your career requires you to negotiate with a lot of people, its influence can spill into your personal life as well. While some individuals take it as a sport, from a common perspective, you will need to consciously maintain a balance and not let your daily endeavors define you as a person. This way, you will have the wisdom to prepare different approaches or offers that you could present during the next follow-up. Statistics show 80% of B2B sales worldwide take an average of 5 follow-ups before the deal gets closed.