Missed a sale - and a question for you

by abo28
11 replies
So today I've missed a sale. No tragedy, since I have another 2-3 leads in the pipeline, but I decided to post this message because I have a question.

As I understood from the business owner, after a 5 minute phone conversation, their budget was the only reason that stopped them to move on. That company sells ice (yes, ice ) and since the weather was pretty cool and rainy these weeks, their sales dropped. They hope to pick up later this summer.

Now my question is... should I have offered them a discount on the spot, just to force the sale? I hesitated to do so, because I think my services are priced correctly and decently, and I wouldn't like to sell myself short.

So what's better in this case:

(a) offer a discount hoping they change their mind or

(b) do what I did, thank them and move on

Thank you.

#missed #question #sale
  • Profile picture of the author rodsav
    It's a difficult call, was this a prior customer that you had done business with before? If so, then you made the right decision. On the hand, if this is a possible new customer, you may have wanted to discount him for possible future sales. Their business seems to be more seasonal, so it would definitely affect their budget. Good luck - focus on the next lead.
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  • Profile picture of the author StrategicCheetah
    If budget was the only objection and you've established it by asking that exact question...

    Rather than discounting your services, which shoots your credibility to pieces, you could offer them a downsell.

    Something less valuable than the package you had initially offered which they couldn't afford but will still provide a desired outcome all the same.

    Then they can upgrade to the full service when you prove yourself and they have more money due to the service you've performed.

    Precision beats power
    Timing beats speed

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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Budget is a condition of fit. If it drops out of your fit zone because of circumstances, that's not your fault and not your problem.

    You didn't "lose" a sale here. The opportunity is merely delayed.

    PositiveVibe is totally correct about you losing credibility if you drop your price. Especially without cutting services if you choose to do that.

    Wait until your prospect's financial situation improves and stick to the original price, which they seemed comfortable with.

    Feast and famine prospects like this are a bit scary. They can only afford your services based on upcoming cashflow? Make sure you get 100% payment up front. Leave a completion payment out there and there's a good chance it will get left dangling in the wind because of another temporary sales downturn. After that, their money will be tied up in catching up with regular bills instead of paying you.
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  • Profile picture of the author MaxwellB
    The truth is that there is never a right time to invest in marketing for a growing business. The right time is always now and that has to be your attitude.

    How much were the services you were providing and what were you providing?

    It sounds to me like a complaint instead of an objection or a reason for not moving forward.

    Let me explain. People are always naturally on the look out for an excuse to not make a decision today. His was that business is slow and it will pick up LATER and he can do it then.

    The truth is yes business may be slow but he has simply constructed that excuse/complaint as a way to put off making a decision.

    I don't think you would have lost it if you rebutted and closed again.

    "John I feel ya, it's tough to make decisions while business is slow and I've had clients actually thank me for not letting them give up on themselves in the past. See this is what happens, if you take the step to invest in marketing services now, you'll be in prime position in a month or two to capture way more sales than you would have! If you don't do this for yourself and your business you'll go into the season with average sales results and I know your not an average results kind of guy, so lets do this!"

    Hand him the pen and paperwork and sit there until he says something.

    Sometimes an extra rebuttal and close is all it takes. But you have to stop accepting peoples COMPLAINTS as legitimate reasons why they cannot work with you.

    There really should be no reasons someone cannot work with you unless that ice guy is one guy in his basement making ice cubes with his refrigerator.

    If you qualified him correctly from the beginning he has the money somewhere, credit card, savings, credit line, probably right there in the business checking account but he's just scared....so do the extra work to pull the sale back and don't let him give you wishy washy reasons.
    Get featured on Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg and other major media publications - Gain instant trust, credibility and close more sales!

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  • Profile picture of the author curationsoft
    If I were you, I think I'll still consider. You are in to business and so they are. You understand that sometimes business owners have difficulty during off season.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      If I get the "Can't go ahead now, but later is great" objection, I offer terms.

      I don't discount, I just spread out the payments, or take two credit cards, or take a post dated check....Anything to get some money that day, and a signature to allow monthly credit card billing.

      Why? Because if the prospect is really going to do anything, they will take the deal.

      If they aren't really going to do business with me...they won't.
      One Call Closing book https://www.amazon.com/One-Call-Clos...=1527788418&sr

      What if they're not stars? What if they are holes poked in the top of a container so we can breath?
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      • Profile picture of the author Jack Gordon
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        If I get the "Can't go ahead now, but later is great" objection, I offer terms.

        I don't discount, I just spread out the payments, or take two credit cards, or take a post dated check....Anything to get some money that day, and a signature to allow monthly credit card billing.

        Why? Because if the prospect is really going to do anything, they will take the deal.

        If they aren't really going to do business with me...they won't.
        Bingo. Claude nails it (as usual).

        The prospect actually was begging you for a creative solution to his problem. He was looking to you to lead him to the way he could get out of his weather-induced sales funk. You just didn't recognize it at the time.

        Unless, of course, his answer was really 'not interested' and he was letting you down gently.

        Either way, his budget excuse was masking a much clearer 'yes' or 'no' answer. You need to find out which it was so you can either fix the offer or cut him loose to focus on your better opportunities.
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  • Profile picture of the author J R Salem
    I am a firm believer in the "puppy dog" technique.

    Someone goes to the puppy store and tells the owner, "I dunno, I'll think about it."

    Owner says, "why don't you take the puppy home for the night, see how it does in the house, and then you can decide. No charge or no pressure."

    Customer says, "sure, why not!"

    Business owner knows once that puppy goes to the customer's house, it ain't coming back. Especially if there are kids and such that would be devastated if the parent brought the dog back without buying.

    Use it in your business:

    "Bob, normally I charge $775 for this service as you know. But I really like what you're doing, and I sympathize with the current conditions you are facing. So why don't we go ahead and get started, and after 30 days we'll start charging the normal rate. Does that sound good to you?"

    You may hesitate because it's free, but if it is someone you know would be a good client, trust me, it works. If it's a tire-kicker, don't ever offer this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jacob Anthony
    Bogdan, there is a lot of great advice on this thread. I personally use the downsell option on a day to day basis so that the value of my offer is maintained. What changes is what the client gets from me as part of that downsell. This really helps my conversion percentages and means I'm still getting the same amount of money per hour as I do without the downsell if that makes sense?

    Need help building your reputation as a single person, business owner? I can help by teaching consistency in simplicity for building your better business reputation.

    Join my free business mindset group on facebook

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  • Profile picture of the author abo28
    Thank you for all the responses so far. Very valuable advice indeed. I was taking notes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anthem40
    Another anecdote for your to consider: Isolate the objection, "is your budget the only thing holding you back right now, be honest- I can take it".

    If that is the only objection then go back to why he reached out to you, which is to increase sales. "We aren't talking about losing money here, we are talking about getting you a flood of new business. It seems to me that we are both on the same page about how well XYZ product can perform for you. The return on investment is there (assuming you've gone over this already), the customers are waiting, I'd hate to push this thing off when we both can be making a lot of money here together."
    95% of IM'ers have great relationships with clients who also advertise offline and with other people. Stop missing out on that cash and leverage into it. PM me if you are an established marketer and want to find out how.
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