Last week I had a surefire deal go up in flames. I have to say it was a shock, even to me.
I was about to close a deal with a new client. The prospect and I were on the same page. We had a solid rapport and seemed to “get” each other. It looked like nothing could possibly go wrong.
He told me how excited he was about getting started with the program he was ready to enroll in. He was all-in about coming to San Diego and participating in our live in-person class. All systems appeared to be in “GO” mode. All that was left was the transaction to seal the deal.
I told him he’d need to put down his initial deposit of $2,000. That’s when the conversation took a peculiar turn…
He told me that he didn’t have his debit card on him, and asked if he could call me back in an hour. He assured me once again that he was crazy excited to get started. He just had to go home and get his debit card so we could complete the transaction and get him officially on board. Oh, and also mentioned that he couldn’t wait to meet me in San Diego.
But you know what? I’m not going to meet this guy. He’s not coming to San Diego. Because on that afternoon, that hour came and went…and I didn’t hear from him. Even after a follow-up phone call and an email, I got no answer. This guy totally went missing in action.
Why did this person sound like he was all there one minute and then pull a disappearing act the next? Why did he give me a YES only to ghost me an hour later?
I might not ever know the real reason. But in the end, he didn’t do anything to me personally. He did this to himself.
Sometimes, a prospective client gives you a song-and-dance about why they can’t sign on with you right now. Then there are the clients who give you the runaround, never really giving you a solid YES but not turning you down.
Then again, when your prospect seems to be making up stories or dragging their feet, they might have genuine concerns about making an investment. Maybe they DO need a little more time, more information, or to “talk to their wife.”
Telling the difference between a false objection, a genuine concern, and a stall tactic is tricky at times.
We’re not mind-readers. Even the most seasoned entrepreneurs and salespeople can’t pre-empt every bust of a deal (or predict the surprise successes, for that matter).
There are no guarantees in entrepreneurship. But you can take preventative action by listening to the cues that your prospect drops, and asking the right questions in response.
Some people you can’t help. Others just need a nudge in the right direction. Knowing the difference will save you time, headaches, and hopes in the long run. That’s what I’m going to share with you today!
First, let’s break down the different situations you might get when a customer is hesitating at the point of sale.
Situation #1: Legitimate Questions and Concerns
Your prospect is able to buy, but for whatever reason, they’re not completely “sold.” Maybe they’re not clear on the finer points of your offering yet. Or they might just have some sort of fear running in the background that you need to help them identify.
Situation #2: The Stall Tactics
Your prospect hasn’t made a decision, and they’re doing everything they can to NOT make a decision. They have to talk to their husband. They have to think about it. They’ll call you in a week. Are these true concerns, or just avoidance behaviors?
My friend and colleague Denise Mandeau encountered that situation a few months ago. She’d been talking to a potential client for quite a while. This client was a tough customer, skeptical about everything. It took her a lot of time to build the rapport and trust to the point where the offer was even on the table.
But once the pitch was made, what happened next?
He said, “I just never make a snap decision. I need 24 hours to think about this.”
Was this client stalling…or was this “no snap decisions” thing just a personal policy? Sometimes people do need the time and don’t want to make what they think is a rash decisions. Other times it’s just an excuse to put off a NO.
Situation #3: False objections.
Your prospect is not being candid about their level of interest, and chooses an excuse to avoid hurting your feelings.
Denise weighs in on this situation too. “I had this woman say ‘I really like YOU and I’d love to work with you, but I’m doing so many other things. I don’t think it’s the right time.’”
“She didn’t want to hurt my feelings because she really liked me,” Denise says. And I said, ‘I’m not really here for you to like me, I’m here to help you with a decision.’”
People hate to say NO. They don’t want to disappoint. It feels easier to make up a story to “soften the blow.” But we all know that in the long run, it’s better to get an up-front NO.
So what do you do when the client gets wishy-washy?
Set your ego aside, don’t take the stories and runarounds personally, and help your prospect get to the truth behind the hesitation. At then end of the day that’s our job. We guide our prospects through a decision making process to get to the bottom of the truth. You’ll probably find that nine times out of 10, it has nothing at all to do with YOU.
No solution is the perfect fit for everyone. Maybe other coaches, mentors, or programs are a better fit for the person you’re talking to. That’s what the sales process is all about: to determine whether or not it’s a good fit for BOTH parties.
As the salesperson, it’s your job to help your prospect come to that decision as quickly and confidently as possible. If it’s a YES, get going as soon as possible. If it’s a NO, it’s best to part ways. That way, you free the prospect to find the better fit for them. And you create space for the clients who are right for YOU.
How do you get to the truth of genuine objections, false objections, and stalls? How can you proactively sift through the people who you can sincerely help and the ones who are wasting your time by being too nice to tell you NO?
It’s all about communication. And asking the right questions.
Join me and my esteemed colleague Denise Mandeau as we help you navigate the field of client objections! Denise is a Business Growth Strategist and co-founder of P3D Consulting. She’s got 35 years of experience in sales, and she’s joining me for a NEW Mini NO BS Workshop!
Denise and I are sharing our combined sales experience to save you time, stress, and money with those indecisive clients. You won’t want to miss this!
Learn how to tell a genuine buying question from a blow-off. Hear some of our wildest stories of sales gone south. And let us share with you how you can help your clients get to the TRUTH behind their own objections faster and with less pain!
Click here for my NEW Mini NO BS Workshop “How To Get To The TRUTH of Your Prospect’s Objections.” Make sure that you get to the TRUTH that will set both you and your prospects FREE!