In The Disguise Part 1 we discussed the 3.5 outcomes following a sales meeting or sales call and I offered as a tactic to go and find “nos”.
I suggested that in order to find out where your prospect sits in relation to their true motivation around your offer you need to;
a) Ask the right questions,
b) Observe and listen to the answers and
c) Challenge anything that doesn’t seem congruent.
Here are some questions to ask at the close of the meeting:
“Jane, we have spoken now for [an hour], based on what we have discussed, where is your thinking about whether this opportunity is valuable for you or not?”
“Derrick, be straight with me, what’s your appetite like for pursuing this further?”
“ Margaret, I am imagine you get approached all of the time to invest in opportunities, how does this opportunity stack up? Genuinely, does it look like something that is worth doing?”
These questions are quite direct; and they require a direct and congruent answer.
Real Life Case Study:
This is the actual conversation that played out at the end of a sales meeting.
Note, we had good rapport, on paper they were the perfect fit for the offer/opportunity, we enjoyed a thorough conversation and we were heading into the next steps of me sending a proposal. However, by asking the right questions and challenging what didn’t appear as congruent I found a fast “no”.
Me. “ John, Let me be honest, you don’t sound excited about this.”
John. “I am not.”
Me. ”Fair enough! Why not?”
John. “While we have an offering for this space, this service line, in this geography is just so low down the priority list to promote that, no matter how compelling your business case, I am not going to spend any money on marketing it. I have other priorities where my time and money will go. [John expanded further and I explored further]”
Me. “ That makes sense. What would you spend money on…?”
Now, some of you might be thinking that I was “sold to”; that I simply bought the objection. I contest that. I found the real business reason for why this investment didn’t make sense for that customer at that time.
How am I sure of that? Through John’s level of congruency.
Also note that the deal didn’t end there. While I found the “no” quickly, I also created another opportunity for us to do business together.
Find the real status of your deals by asking the right questions.
Don’t fill your pipeline with “No in disguise.”