“I need some more time,” “let me think about it” and “call me back next (month, quarter or year)” are three of the most frustrating phrases you’ll ever hear in sales. The worst part is, these aren’t even valid objections you can deal with. They’re stalls. And stalling is twice as frustrating because it almost always masks a real objection. When you get a stall, you have to figure out how to dance around it, find the real objection, handle it – and then get the deal back on track.
So what can you do to stop your prospects from stalling – and put an end to the summer time sales blues? The best solution if you suspect a stall may be coming is to do something about it BEFORE it happens. Preventing stalls and objections is the single most powerful – and least used – sales technique I know. If you have a client who regularly seems to get cold feet around this time, try some of the following patented stall prevention cures:
1. Bring up the stall first and have an answer ready. Say: “Mr. Customer, you may be thinking that it’s best to wait until after the year-end to buy. I’m concerned that if you do that, we won’t be able to guarantee you these prices.”
2. Keep your pipeline full. If you have a pipeline with at least 3-4 times as many prospects as you need in order to meet your goals, you (and your manager!) will feel far less pressure. When you feel less pressure, you’ll close more deals. Ironic? Yes. True? You bet.
3. Start calling customers early on in the period to create a greater sense of urgency.
4. Set price increases in June to take effect September 1st. This 3-month window of opportunity will encourage your customers to buy now.
5. Create a unique holiday special. Hold a sale at the beginning of August or for Canada Day / Independence to boost sales in Q3.
6. Have a “closing blitz day” at the office or, better yet, arrange a longer contest to see who can close the most deals.
7. Hold a series of seminars on issues that are important to your prospects and customers. Start it first thing in the morning at a desirable location, schedule the best session just before the end of the period – and make sure to serve great food!
8. Build relationships all year long by staying in touch with your customers on at least a monthly basis. Send them a “thank you” or “thinking of you” card, take them out for coffee, or just give them a call. Try to stay away from email, as it’s not the most effective relationship-building tool.
I’ve mentioned this before, so if you have not tried it already check out www.sendyourcardnow.com. You can set up a free gift account by logging in with username: engage and password: selling to send up to 2 cards no charge. Your client gets a real card in the mail….and you get a hassle free way to stay in touch!
Your homework this week is to find a way to reconnect with a 5 clients that you have not talked to in a while. Chat about their business, not yours, and reconnect in a professional yet friendly way.
Dedicated to increasing your sales,
2 responses to “Getting past the Summer Time Sales Blues”
Greta blog as usual I love the concept of holding the seminars.
The truth is that people do go on vacation during the summer months. But… business does not stop. Companies do not close their doors (at least not in the US). Payroll gets processed. Support calls get answered. And we can be certain that our customers continue to invoice and try to collect money from their customers!
A huge thing in our favor is that summer is not a surprise. June, July and August come at the same time every year. Right after April and May! This means that we can anticipate the issues that are coming up and plan for them.
I like your suggestions Colleen on how to be proactive – that is the key. Don’t ignore the problem… stare it down and tackle it head on!