Reality Check – That Prospect Just Isn’t Into You

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You met with the prospect and thought you ran an effective meeting. The prospect seemed engaged and interested. He said all of the right things:  “This looks really interesting. We know we need to do something.”

You follow up with the prospect and hear radio silence. He stops returning your phone calls and emails. You start to wonder if your prospect has retired or moved to Antarctica. Unfortunately, you are now in “chase mode.”  How did you end up here?

Chances are clues were given along the way, but you did not pick up on them. You saw things as you wanted them to be, not as they really are. Many salespeople make that mistake. Fortunately there are things you can do to improve that emotional intelligence skill. Here are three:

1. Don’t Confuse Interest
for Action 

I have never seen a prospect invest time or money because of interest. Unfortunately, when salespeople hear a prospect is interested, they stop asking questions and assume they have a real opportunity.

A salesperson who has high reality testing goes on alert at this point and asks more questions. “What makes this interesting? What have you done thus far? What is the reason you haven’t done anything?” Great salespeople know the prospect must convince them that they are not just interested, but that they are also committed to changing, growing, and improving.

2. Don’t Confuse Information
for Evidence

Say, for example, your prospect says, “We are tired of poor customer service.” You heard information, but you have no evidence that the prospect is really experiencing poor customer service. Is the problem big enough to cause them to change vendors or invest more dollars? Without asking further questions, a salesperson may also miss that the prospect could be the problem, not the existing vendor. Perhaps, the prospect isn’t getting information to their existing vendor in a timely fashion, and this impacts the existing vendor’s ability to service the account.

3. Make Sure There is a Clear
Next Step

Here’s a reality check. You don’t have a clear next step unless it’s on both persons’ calendars. A vague request from a prospect, such as “Give me a call in a couple of weeks,” does not suffice. Vague next steps such as that one lead to chase mode and vague sales pipelines. Instead, apply another emotional intelligence skill, assertiveness, and book a specific date and time to call the prospect back. Serious prospects have no problem scheduling the next appointment.

Apply emotional intelligence skills and consultative skills during the sales process. When you do, you will eliminate chase mode and wasted time. You deserve to work with prospects that are “into you.”

Colleen Stanley is a leading expert on Sales Force Development and best-selling author of Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success. She is the CEO of SalesLeadership, Inc., a training firm specializing in accelerating revenues by leveraging the power of Emotional Intelligence and consultative selling skills. Visit: Follow: @eiselling

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