My Wife, Son & I were travelling back to Bangalore from Chennai in a night train once. We got in to the train about 15 minutes before departure. That’s because we don’t like to board a moving train.
We got in & found our berths. But there were people already occupying them. There were bags & suitcases all around the place. Finally, we managed to squeeze in. We didn’t complain. We are Indians, you see. Before we could squeeze in, forget settling down, we had a request from a fellow passenger, as usual.
“Which is your berth?”
I answered that.
“Can you take the side upper berth?” she asked.
A “please” in that sentence could have been nice.
I said “Let’s see”.
I should have said “No” right then. But I didn’t. Just like most customers in India who don’t say yes or no.
There is a popular phrase in tamil movies – “vachu senjuruvanga” that translates roughly to “they will take revenge”.
Some clients do that. They engage with you till the end. And you project it in your reports & promise your manager that you will close that deal this quarter.
There was one such customer. They negotiated big time. We submitted a proposal. We revised it thrice before losing the deal. We gave them what they asked for. Yet, we lost the deal. They didn’t disclose what they bought. But from the market, I got to know what they bought.
Some cues that can help you walk out of the account early:
- No interest shown by the client.
- No involvement from the leadership team.
- They don’t ask any questions.
- They don’t use the trial given.
- You are not allowed to meet the decision maker & your interaction is with a junior person.
- All they want is price.
Don’t waste your time with such a customer.
But not all customers who don’t say yes or no will not buy from you.
There are four negatives in that sentence. Laugh out loud. But you get the point, right?
Some customers will still buy from you. Now, that’s easy to understand.
If you keep knocking off those who will not buy from you, you will get closer to those who will buy from you. This is part of qualifying a prospect.
Coming back to the train story, I swapped my berth with that lady eventually. I took the side upper berth. Somehow, it was not comfortable. The back pain that I had kept under control for many years made a comeback. A simple “No, I am sorry” at the very beginning could have saved me lot of trouble later.
- Learn to say “no”.
- Ask the prospect
- Why they want to buy
- Why they want to buy from you
- What are the other options they have
- What will happen if they don’t buy
- What’s their budget, timeline etc
- Who is the decision maker
- Get something in return when you give something. For ex, tell them you will give a discount only if you meet the decision maker. Fair point, right?
- Make the customer commit to something.
- Find out the “why” [why your product, company etc.] from customer’s perspective.
#b2bsales #kkrocks #sayno #prospecting