When You Are Asked Questions from Prospects Who Buy Elsewhere
In my travel business, I've got dozens of people who don't book from me but will send me e-mails, Facebook messages, or call me asking for advice. Often this happens when they have an issue with a booking they made themselves, or another travel advisor made for them.
I once had a guy spend almost $30,000 on a trip that he didn't book through me, and then call and wanted my advice about what to pack and how to get trip insurance on the cheap. It's a humbling experience, and it can be totally frustrating, too!
7 Steps to Take When Prospects Do Not Buy From YouYou've probably had this experience - someone buys a similar service or product to yours elsewhere, then comes to you with questions. Here are my seven steps to take when prospects do not buy from you. Click To Tweet
- For the moment, swallow your frustration. While it's understandable that you might want to make a pointed remark, that's not the best thing to do. Remember that your job as the CEO of your business is to sell to your prospect. If not this time, next time. Action Step One: Calm your reactivity.
- Reaction doesn't get you anywhere. Respond gets you somewhere. So set aside reaction and instead put on your CEO hat. Action Step Two: Adopt a CEO mindset.
- Quickly qualify this prospect in your mind. If this person is a prospect for you, an ideal customer, it's your business to build more relationship and look for the next sell. Action Step Three: Qualify the person for your business.
- Once you've qualified this person for your business, answer his questions to build a better relationship. In doing that it's your job to make sure he sees you've got expertise that he needs (and that who he just bought from isn't the one answering his questions). Action Step Four: Showcase your expertise.
- After you've built relationship by answering questions, remind him that you can offer quotes or proposals for what he already purchased. Take the opportunity to remind him that you are in business and can offer what he needs next time around. Action Step Five: Remind your prospect that you own a business that also can solve his problem.
- Follow up to see if your conversation answered his questions, and ASK for his business. This is CEO mindset. Don't be shy – you've given the person beneficial information and it's perfectly OK to say, in effect, “The reason I know all this and can answer your questions is because, as a reminder, this is my business.” Action Step Six: Follow-up and ask.
- Track what happens. The guy who bought the $30,000 trip and then called me with questions responded to my follow-up with, “Thanks, I'm all good now.” It's easy to be reactive, but that's not productive. My response back to him was, “I'm delighted my expertise was beneficial to you.” Remind him you are good at what you do. Action Step Seven: Track the relationship and keep your CEO mindset strong.
You've had prospects who don't know what they don't know, right? You could easily help them with more than just the questions they are asking you right now, after they have purchased elsewhere. Fight the urge. Answer what is asked, and do no more. Keep qualified prospects in your outreach strategies. Click To Tweet You have to keep your CEO mindset strong. Reach out and provide value so long as this prospect continues to meet your qualifications. Eventually, you will either make a sale, or you'll hear, “I'm never going to buy from you.” At that point, remove that person as a qualified lead, and don't reach out again. Un-qualify him. Bonus Action Step: Use a keep in touch strategy and continue to qualify the prospect until he buys or goes away. Then un-qualify him – and no more answering questions when he's bought elsewhere.
Grab this book on digital prospecting. It's ” required reading for front-line salespeople eager to bring their business development plan up to date … and for the executives who train, supervise, coach, and mentor them.”
Related: How to Find New Clients Easily
Also related: How to Have a Sales Conversation That Works
You can get more expertise to help your business in my 20 Questions for Your Business worksheet. Meanwhile, prospect like the CEO you are – even if you've lost the first sell.
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