This is #15 in a series of now 17 top sales tactics.
Sometimes you’re lucky enough to talk to a hot prospect – who is in the Window of Dissatisfaction – but you don’t even know it.
They may have described the problem or desired outcome using verbs, not the product they want to buy using nouns.
OR they say something like …
“I’ll be looking at this in six months so why don’t’ you call me back in May when I’ll have time to talk.”
These are the best often the best prospects – this article says why.
The problem is when you phone them back in May they have already made a decision.
Even if you think you’re smart and call back 4-6 weeks before they say, they’ve still already made a decision.
Every time something like that happens all the bells in your head should go off saying this a hot prospect.
They know they have a problem but have not decided on the type of solution they want yet.
It’s important to get in front of them (in person, zoom or phone call) in the next 21 days to help them define the problem and create an ‘initial consideration set’ that includes your way of solving the problem.
“Recent research indicates that nearly 70 percent of purchases are driven by an initial consideration set”
The initial consideration set is your competition.
Be careful not to confuse your competition with competitors
A competitor is someone who does something very similar to or exactly the same as you.
Your competition is something entirely different than your product or service that solves the same problem or creates the same outcome.
Here’s an example: A jewelry store’s competitors are other jewelry stores, but its competition are gifts people give their loved ones instead of jewelry, such as flowers or chocolate. The difference is not slight — while it’s often difficult to differentiate your product against competitors, it’s much easier to gain traction against your competition.
In my case for my ten-year anniversary, I chose a 10-day trip to Spain that included time at the food mecca of the planet San Sebastian that has more Michelin rated restaurants that anywhere else on the planet except for Tokyo.
Once I had decided that I was going to treat my wife to Arzak – the #16 restaurant on the planet at the time – you could have had the best jewelry on the planet that was heavily discounted and I still would not have bought from you.
The same thing happens with your prospects. First, they define the problem and decide on the type of solution they are going to pursue. If you are not there while senior decision-makers create the initial consideration set you miss out.
Three questions that get more meetings
If you passively wait six months prospects are highly likely to have already made a decision to use your competition, and you’ll lose the sale.
Instead, ASK for a meeting three times using the following method.
- “Let’s do that, but first I’d like to understand the problem more. Is there a way for me to get 30 mins next week so I can be more prepared in 6 months?” Our prospect is a busy person and says “I can’t.”
- “Would you have any time in 2 weeks?” Again, the busy prospect will say something like: “My schedule is full, and I’m traveling that week”.
- Here is where the magic happens. Most people won’t say no to you 3 times in a row – the problem is that most #sales people won’t dare to ask a third time.
Now we ask “What if I made it just 20 minutes, and in 3 weeks from now?”
Three weeks from now, the #prospect will likely have space in their calendar and you will get your meeting.
Now you have your chance to ask questions, understand the problem, reframe it creating urgency, and help with your solution.
Data says that you are 5 times more likely to win the business if you’re the first person the prospect speaks with while they are in the Window of Dissatisfaction and you influence the initial consideration set to include when you sell.
Remember to ask for a second person on the call because research by Donato Dario says you are 3X more likely to make a sale when you have a second person on your first call.
So the next time you hear a prospect say something like call me back in six months – DON’T. Instead, ask three times for a meeting so that you help (re)define the problem shape the solution and start developing a relationship before your competition even knows there is an opportunity.
In the next post, I’ll share five ways you can close more deals.