What’s the word most people associate with salespeople.
Ouch! Persistence is part of being a salesperson. In fact, 80% of sales require five or more follow-ups. And there’s an obvious difference between consistently adding a bit of value with each check-in and doggedly pursuing prospects who have, in no uncertain terms, told you they’re not interested.
So how do you avoid coming across as being pushy. Here are some suggestions.
1. Never call or email without new updates to share.
You’re keeping yourself top-of-mind, all right — as that annoying salesperson who won’t stop calling. Don’t reach out unless you have something new to share; otherwise you’re taking up your prospect’s time without providing any value.
2. Avoid talking about your product right away.
Never lead by talking about your product. Unless your prospect is already quite familiar with your product’s value proposition, starting with the value it brings and how it will change your prospect’s business is a more effective way to get a conversation started.
3. Ask questions instead of making statements.
Even if you have a pretty good sense of what the answer might be, asking questions such as, “So I’ve seen X problem a lot at companies like yours, are you experiencing something similar?” shows your prospect that you care about their unique perspective, while simultaneously showing off your expertise.
4. Treat all objections as unique.
Not all objections are created equal. Some can be resolved simply by educating your prospect. Some are a result of inertia and can be mitigated by creating a sense of urgency. But there are always objections that stop a deal in its tracks, and treating those like minor concerns that can be talked away won’t endear you to your prospects. Learn to spot the difference between brush-offs, points of confusion, and true blockers.
5. Let your prospect off the phone.
Your prospect is busy. Really busy. If they’re a good fit for your product, schedule a longer call when they have more time and follow up with helpful resources so you stay on their radar.
6. Know when to quit.
Let’s be honest … you won’t win every deal. At some point in most closed-lost deals, it becomes apparent that there’s no more you can do, and continuing to pester a prospect will leave a bad taste in their mouths. Your time is better spent on prospects who stand a good chance of closing.
7. Speak slowly and allow your prospect to respond.
You’re understandably excited about your product and eager to share its value with prospects. But blazing through a conversation creates the impression that you’re just waiting until your prospect’s done speaking so you can talk again.
8. Vary your outreach.
After a while, your buyer will completely tune out your messages. The same holds true no matter which channel you’re using. If you keep calling them or nudging them by email, you’ll quickly become a nuisance.
To avoid this issue, spread your outreach across multiple mediums. Here’s a sample schedule:
• Day 1: Email.
• Day 3: Call (leave a voicemail.)
• Day 4: Like their post on LinkedIn.
• Day 6: Call (don’t leave a voicemail.)
• Day 8: Email.
• Day 10: Send a “last attempt” email.
Simply mixing up your outreach decreases the chances you’ll seem stalkerish.
The behaviour that comes off as pushy to buyers likely sparks from your excitement to share insights with your prospects and help as many as possible. This isn’t a bad attitude to have. But realise that you won’t get through to prospects who are frustrated with yet another pushy salesperson. Avoid these bad habits so you never lose a deal for the wrong reasons.
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