Sales Success Tip-Stop Chasing Your Prospects and Close More Sales Immediately

"Is it just me or are prospects becoming more difficult to close?"

This is a question I received from someone who had signed up for my free sales mini course. Obviously, this is a difficult question to answer without more details, but the general answer is yes, for the sales professional who fails to follow a clear, proven process, there is undoubtedly more failure than ever before.

We allow the prospect to set the tone because the "customer is always right." Sorry, not always. If we chase our prospects or allow them to dictate the process, while we bow to their every whim, allow them to abuse our time and talents, how much respect can they possibly have for us? Then you have to ask ourselves, "Would I want to buy from and open a relationship with someone I don't respect?"

"John" was tired of chasing his prospects via phone tag, delayed or unanswered emails, and delayed decision making, etc. Actually, each of these issues should be broken down into much smaller pieces and examined more carefully to determine where the breakdown is occurring. It would be impossible to address even one of them in a single article, but there is one common element that runs through each of these issues that can help you to avoid many of the frustrations that you may be facing.

The most important thing you can do in your sales process is to get a commitment from your prospect at every step in the sales process. Even a tiny one. This will keep you in control of the process and because of that will keep you in a respectful position in the eyes of your process. A reluctance or refusal of your prospect to make even a small commitment is a strong signal to you that it is time to move on. On the other hand, a prospect that commits and follows through is building a relationship and trust with you. It's a simple rule, but one that even the most successful sales professionals struggle with from time to time. Get a commitment for another step or get a no. It is as simple and complex as that. Just remember that even the tiniest commitment is a step forward. In almost every situation, these commitments must have time frames attached.

Consider this exchange:

Prospect: I'm covered up this week, I'll review the material and maybe we can talk next week.

You: Great! I'll call you next week and we'll talk further!

Now I have encountered many sales people who will insist that they "have one on the hook." Not likely. The most likely scenario is that they never speak with this individual again because the prospect ducks their calls, or if they do have another conversation, somehow the prospect still hasn't gotten around to reviewing the material.

Now consider this instead:

Prospect: I'm covered up this week. I'll review the material and maybe we can talk next week.

You: Great! I know how it feels to be busy. I've got quite a full schedule myself. Since neither of us have a lot of time to waste, let's make sure we don't end up playing phone tag. I can call you next week at 3:45 on Thursday or about 11:40 on Friday.

Then shut up. Let the prospect choose. Whichever time your prospect chooses, follow up with "Wonderful! That will probably work out best for me too. And speaking of time, make sure you have gone through the material and noted any questions or comments that you have. That way we can BOTH make the best use of our time. Can you do that?"

While the commitment may be the most important part, what you have just done accomplishes several things:

1) You have kept control,

2) You have established yourself as busy and efficient by offering odd times rather than the same old "around 3:30," that they will get from most others.

3) You've now built in a guilt factor for helping to get the task of review completed.

While none of these things alone will likely get you the sale, when they all come together, your chances for moving forward are much higher.


Greg Beverly has more than 21 years experience helping hundreds of entrepreneurs and thousands of sales professionals reach their true potential. He has a passion for helping others set and achieve goals allowing them to live the life of their dreams. He understands that a business is but a vehicle to achieve those dreams. In addition to expertise in marketing and sales, he is also a CPA and helps business owners get control of their financial situation.

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