by Guest columnist, Jeffrey Gitomer
I grew up in Haddonfield, New Jersey. We lived at the corner of the busiest intersection in town. I was 15 years old when we got a puppy named “Thing-a-majig.” The cutest, friendliest puppy you ever saw.
One morning, about a week later, I opened the front door to get the paper — and the puppy got loose. She started running as fast as she could — right for the traffic.
I started chasing her hopelessly for five blocks across busy streets. My little dog was gone and I was panicked (and out of breath). I decided to run back home, and ask my dad to use the car and find the dog.
I ran straight to my parent’s bedroom. “Dad — dad,” I panted, “The — dog’s — run — away — car — chase — it!”
“OK son,” he said, “Let’s jump in the car and find your puppy.”
I turned to run out the door, took one step, and I tripped — over the dog. You see, as soon as I started to run the other way, the dog chased me!
Chasing your prospect too hard? People not calling you back? Pushing too hard for orders? Try running the other way — let the prospect chase you. It’s the best follow up technique I’ve ever experienced.
If prospects are not returning your call, whose fault is that? You’re chasing too hard. They’re running away. You couldn’t get their interest. You couldn’t get them to chase you.
Other tell-tale symptoms that the chase is going the wrong way:
- You’ve followed up a few times, and now you’re searching for a reason to call them — but you can’t think of one.
- You’re uncomfortable about calling. You are unprepared, or you have not established the needs of the prospect and are unsure of their status, or you don’t have much rapport with the prospect, or some of each.
- You call, get their voice mail, and hang up.
- You left your best message and they didn’t call you back.
- They told you a decision would be made Tuesday, and Tuesday has come and gone.
- The prospect is giving you a bunch of lame excuses. And worse, you are accepting them.
- And the worst symptom of all — you are blaming the prospect for you inability to generate enough interest, or create enough value, or have a solid reason to call you back.
Here’s 3.5 ways to get them to follow you…
- Create a sense of urgency by telling a compelling story. A story about achievement lost because of delay. Hint at a solution. Let them think about it.
- Give just a little information (one potato chip) about how they benefit. Things the prospect can put into his or her life or business that they are currently without. Ask them to take some action to get the reward or answer.
- Give information about their “why,” or what you believe to be their hottest reason for purchasing. Everyone has a “main reason” they want to buy. Offer a valuable solution. Something better than they have now. Maybe even something that makes them slightly uncomfortable about their present situation – that makes you look like a blessing — or at least an alternative.
3.5 Thing “profit” and “productivity” not “price” and “sale” — Your customers want to know how they will profit from doing business with you. They want to know the value of doing business with you. They want to be assured that they gain and earn more than they want to know that they “save money.”
It never ceases to amaze me that salespeople have no concept of what it really takes to get the customer to buy. Salespeople continue to think they have to “push” to make the sale, and nothing could be further from the truth.
Persistent, yes. Pushy, no.
If chasing prospects too hard makes them run away, why are you continuing to do it? The way I got my puppy-dog to come home was — run the other way. I led the dog home!
Your challenge is to lead your prospects so they will follow you — and turn into customers.
GitBit — If you need more persistence in your follow-up, I have something that will help you. I’ve compiled a list of 15 ways to be more persistent. Techniques and methods to help you get all the way to the sale — without being a pest. Go to www.gitomer.com (register if you’re a first timer) and enter PERSISTENCEin the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts internet training programs on selling and customer service. Subscribe to his free weekly sales ezine at www.gitomer.com. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2002 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer • 704/333-1112