Qualified prospect won’t respond to your proposal – What to do?

I frequently get anxious calls from reps that say “I have been meeting with a great prospect. They have had nothing but positive things to say every time we talk but we can’t get a response to our proposal. What can we do?”

The answer, probably not much. Why? Because the early stages of your interactions have a disproportionate impact on your closing. It is not what you say or do at end of your discussions that most impacts the close, it is what you said and did in the early stages of meeting that get you the close.

Desired accounts of substance are usually closed after multiple interactions. If you think about how you obtained your best accounts three or five meetings (or more) may have been necessary to reach mutual agreement.

So right away we see that if three, five or more meetings is typically required to close a new account, if there is not a 2nd meeting, there will not be a 3rd, 4th or 5th meeting. If you don’t conduct the first meeting well, say sayonara to that perfect fit prospect. It may have cost you a good amount of time and money in prospecting effort to sell that first meeting. Say goodbye to it all. The future business from a perfect fit potential account, and the time and money invested to earn that discovery call. Simply because that perfect fit prospect didn’t see the value of meeting with you again.

If you do sell the 2nd meeting but don’t end up closing a good fit prospect, the reason is typically found in what you did or didn’t do in the early stages. It is in your first conversation(s) that you lay a solid sales foundation of credibility and trust. It is in the early stages that you discover the real buying motivations and extract the details upon which you can communicate sufficient value to earn that new business.

Most sales wins are not won by a mile, they are won by a nose. Buyers have choices. It is in your discovery call and early interactions that you build the trust and extract the details necessary for you to be 2% better than competitors or the status quo.

Say the right things and ask the right questions in the early stages and qualified prospects won’t ghost you. Your closes will seem more like the natural result of mutually beneficial conversations rather than a hard fought win.

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