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Marketers love the thrill of getting to ‘Yes!’ and they hate to hear the dreaded “No.” But what about ‘Maybe?’
Savvy marketers realize building relationships through multiple touches is essential to successful marketing. Sometimes the prospect needs more information or isn’t quite ready to buy. They might need to reach a comfort level with you and could move to ‘Yes’ if you can meet their needs or solve a problem.
On the other hand, some prospects are really ‘Fake Maybes’ that can adversely impact sales people, the Sales Director, and ultimately the entire organization.
Sales people begin to count on the business and ‘Fake Maybes’ repeatedly ask for more details, forcing marketers to spend precious time and energy providing information.
If each sales person has two or three fake maybes, a Sales Director might be counting on 15 to 20 sales that probably aren’t going to materialize. The numbers add up and the impact snowballs. The Sales Director pressures the team, people lose confidence and miss their numbers. It’s a vicious cycle.
The solution is to quickly spot ‘Fake Maybes’ and turn them into a ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ That’s right, a ‘No’ is actually better than a ‘Fake Maybe.’
So what are the signals? While each case is a little different, a telltale sign is when the prospect says mildly positive things about your product or service while putting off a firm decision with some sort of objection.
Unfortunately, some sales people continue to make small talk or mention more features of their product or service. Why? There’s no pain associated with talking to the prospect, leaving with a smile and an “I’ll follow-up with you on (Insert Date).” The marketer can enter the call as a ‘Maybe’ on their call report and keep thinking that they might actually close this one.
To overcome ‘Fake Maybes’, sales people should ask fact and emotion based questions and listen intently to both verbal and non verbal responses.
If you have done your Pre Call Prep, you will have a series of open ended questions ready to help you get rid of those ‘Fake Maybes.’ You owe it to yourself to move on to real prospects and provide them with solutions.
Then, you can hear more of your favorite word: ‘Yes.’
David M. Mastovich, MBA is President of MASSolutions, an integrated marketing firm focused on improving the bottom line for clients through creative selling, messaging and PR solutions. He’s also author of “Get Where You Want To Go: How to Achieve Personal and Professional Growth Through Marketing, Selling and Story Telling.” For more information, go to www.massolutions.biz.