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Tough-love Business Coach. Marketing Magician. Inner Imposter Buster. Cocktail Connoisseur. And Queen Of Unpopular Opinions.
There are lots of reasons you may lose a sale, and there are three that you can correct immediately.
#1 Failure to Be Ready to Close the Deal and Take Their Money
I was working with someone this week who, when I offered them payment, they said “no thanks, it will mess up our bookkeeping, next week is fine.” Are you kidding? I was ready to write a check right then and there, not later. How you manage your accounts and bookkeeping is of no concern to me, nor should it be. When your client is ready to buy, take their money! Don’t make it difficult.
Many years ago I was part of a Decorator’s Showhouse and we had a large collection of gears displayed on a wall. The entire display was being sold for $5K. My intern was at the house that day when a homeowner touring the place came in and wanted to buy the gears. They offered her a $1500 cash deposit. She refused because she felt unsafe holding onto that amount of cash for a few hours. (The house was in a very upscale neighborhood, no reason for concern.) Needless to say that cash in hand buyer never returned and I lost a $5K sale. OUCH! I’d have been comfortable with the deposit, my intern wasn’t. Where would you be?
#2 Being The Buyer’s Budget Conscience
This is NOT your job. If they have a specific amount to invest with you and declare that, then it is up to you to be respectful of that and show them what is in their range but also to show them what you know they want that may not be. You don’t have any idea necessarily (and please stop guessing) what they really have to invest. You only know what they told you (rarely, very rarely accurate.)
You are the cookie maker who fills the wonderful cookie jar with treats and treasures. You are not there to slap their hand when it gets caught in the cookie jar taking more than they said they wanted. Keep baking and growing the project or proposal until it fits the prospects/clients real desire and size. Most people find the resources to do exactly what they want to do when presented with it in the right way. When you impose your own limitations you are doing them a disservice.
Stop working off their perceived limitations and your own and step from the land of OR into the land of AND, it is a much more lucrative place where clients getting excited, happy, and totally satisfied because you are where they are going, not just where they have been.
#3 Selling From Your Own Limitations
Just because you wouldn’t invest $50K in a new car, doesn’t mean that if you are selling cars, you can’t sell a car worth that or a lot more. Get past your personal hurdles. Selling isn’t about you, it is about the buyer. Set aside your limiting beliefs (that’s too expensive, I’d never pay that for it, he can find it online for less, she must expect a discount . . . yada, yada, yada) and listen to and focus on the buyer. Let them tell you what they really want, not just what they need. And don’t stop them with stories about how you couldn’t afford that, they shouldn’t pay that much, they can save money if they buy it this way, and more.
Selling is providing information, education and the right resources so your buyer can make their own informed decisions. It isn’t making the decision for them (unless they ask you to and when you do it right, many will ask you to. It’s called the Know, Like, and Trust factor.) When you can establish your KLT factor at the beginning you will be called on to make decisions for your buyer. They are just waiting for you to ask for the money and they will gladly hand it over, you are proven value.
Selling isn’t something slimy or slippery to be dreaded. Actually it can be incredibly rewarding, fun, and fulfilling not just financially but also mentally and emotionally. To be of service and be compensated fairly or even outrageously is pretty darn cool and you deserve it. So step up and claim your gifts, your talents, your experience and your expertise. Ditch the self doubt, the confidence zappers, the budget word, and the discount mentality. You aren’t a WalMart special. Stop acting like one!
Okay, I confess I got carried away here, please dish your greatest either lost sale moment and what you learned, or how you blew the doors off a deal and doubled or more your client’s original investment (budget is an ugly word).