No one buys on the spot...

by kemdev
9 replies
Well, not for me at least. It typically takes me a week or two to get paid after I meet with a prospect. Even people who are qualified in the meeting. Even referrals. Even though I rarely run into objections about my price or service or references, it's very unlikely for a prospect to pull the trigger when I ask for a sale. They'll come back with...

"I need some time to get the money together."

"I'll get back to you next week, I need to think about it."

Most times these responses are brush offs I think, or so I've been told. But many of the times (for me at least) these same prospects will come around and pay me. This is usually after I call, and call, and call and finally reach them and they agree to make the payment - sometimes a week or two later.

My qualification questions are typically...
-- Do you want a website that provides a positive ROI?
-- How soon did you want to get started (they usually say right away???)

But then the sale stalls out when it's time for them to write the check on the spot. What could/should I be doing to qualify prospects better from the beginning... and how can I overcome these non-objections when it comes time to close the sale and get the check right there?
#buys #spot
  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    Originally Posted by kemdev View Post

    Well, not for me at least. It typically takes me a week or two to get paid after I meet with a prospect. Even people who are qualified in the meeting. Even referrals. Even though I rarely run into objections about my price or service or references, it's very unlikely for a prospect to pull the trigger when I ask for a sale. They'll come back with...

    "I need some time to get the money together."

    "I'll get back to you next week, I need to think about it."

    Most times these responses are brush offs I think, or so I've been told. But many of the times (for me at least) these same prospects will come around and pay me. This is usually after I call, and call, and call and finally reach them and they agree to make the payment - sometimes a week or two later.

    My qualification questions are typically...
    -- Do you want a website that provides a positive ROI?
    -- How soon did you want to get started (they usually say right away???)


    But then the sale stalls out when it's time for them to write the check on the spot.

    What could/should I be doing to qualify prospects better from the beginning...

    and how can I overcome these non-objections when it comes time to close the sale and get the check right there?
    Those are not really qualification questions.
    They are more in tune with weak tie downs.

    Depending on where you say them at in the pitch depends on how effective they would be.

    "and how can I overcome these non-objections"

    That is what the tie downs are for, to get them to commit before you ask for the money.
    The sale has to lead them down a path, the tie downs are to get them to commit
    to the path, when executed properly the "non-objections and the blow offs" don't happen.

    There is a distinct possibility that them not paying you right there and then
    has to do with your pitch not being structured properly.

    or, your not asking for the money properly. ( That will kill a sale faster then a poorly
    structured pitch )

    "What could/should I be doing to qualify prospects better from the beginning... "

    You have to engage the prospect, not just in the beginning ... through out the entire process.

    The best way to do that is by asking questions, lots and lots of questions.
    Listen and take notes. All of the questions they answer will provide you
    with the info you need to close them on the spot. They will also provide you
    with the appropriate ammunition for rebuttals. They will also help you decide
    what areas to avoid and to press hard on.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    What types of businesses are you pitching to? The most organized companies in the world won't write you a check on a spot - there's a chain of command/approval procedure in place. Someone has to fill out a purchase requisition, and that needs authorization.

    So the first thing is to get your invoice in the hands of the person who's authorized to approve it, so they can get it over to accounting. Then you can follow up with the accountant directly.

    Second... you probably aren't the only company they're receiving pitches from. You could be one of five or ten. They won't be moving forward until they've made their selection. And they won't tell you how many others they're talking to until you're one of the finalists.

    Third, and this one will depend on the nature of what you're selling them, it helps to mention YOUR busy schedule to create urgency. Even when I had nothing else going on, I would always explain how I allocate my time to open projects. I will block off a certain amount of time for a project, but if I don't have everything I need then I have to move on and that time won't necessarily be available. I had a customer once that waited a month to pay an invoice, then expected me to jump through hoops to rush and finish their project by the deadline I originally projected. I told them that delivery promise was based on the invoice date - that time block has passed, and now I have to work them in when I can.
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    • Profile picture of the author kemdev
      Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

      Those are not really qualification questions.
      They are more in tune with weak tie downs.

      Depending on where you say them at in the pitch depends on how effective they would be.

      "and how can I overcome these non-objections"

      That is what the tie downs are for, to get them to commit before you ask for the money.
      The sale has to lead them down a path, the tie downs are to get them to commit
      to the path, when executed properly the "non-objections and the blow offs" don't happen.

      There is a distinct possibility that them not paying you right there and then
      has to do with your pitch not being structured properly.

      or, your not asking for the money properly. ( That will kill a sale faster then a poorly
      structured pitch )

      "What could/should I be doing to qualify prospects better from the beginning... "
      I'd say generally those two are some of the first questions I ask. When I ask for the money, I say let's get started, I can accept cash or check.

      Originally Posted by ronrule View Post

      What types of businesses are you pitching to? The most organized companies in the world won't write you a check on a spot - there's a chain of command/approval procedure in place. Someone has to fill out a purchase requisition, and that needs authorization.

      So the first thing is to get your invoice in the hands of the person who's authorized to approve it, so they can get it over to accounting. Then you can follow up with the accountant directly.

      Second... you probably aren't the only company they're receiving pitches from. You could be one of five or ten. They won't be moving forward until they've made their selection. And they won't tell you how many others they're talking to until you're one of the finalists.

      Third, and this one will depend on the nature of what you're selling them, it helps to mention YOUR busy schedule to create urgency. Even when I had nothing else going on, I would always explain how I allocate my time to open projects. I will block off a certain amount of time for a project, but if I don't have everything I need then I have to move on and that time won't necessarily be available. I had a customer once that waited a month to pay an invoice, then expected me to jump through hoops to rush and finish their project by the deadline I originally projected. I told them that delivery promise was based on the invoice date - that time block has passed, and now I have to work them in when I can.
      I don't work with companies that large - the decision maker is the owner, in almost all cases. I've also found that very rarely am I ever competing with someone else - either they go with me or they don't get it done. This is mostly because I'm calling these prospects and asking them... they're not already searching for what I'm offering.

      The third point you made makes a lot of sense. I should be using some type of way to explain my time commitment to each project and how that affects my turn around time.
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  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    kemdev

    When you are attempting to qualify some one, what is your objective(s)

    Tell me the questions you use, and the reason you ask them ( another words what
    your looking for by asking the question(s) )

    Type that out for me. If you want help we need to figure out
    if your qualifying is wrong or your close is. Or if its some where else in your pitch.

    BTW, if you record the conversation and then listen to it later,
    you will hear where things went wrong. You will literally cringe.

    It can be a great tool for learning.
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    Just don't do "Be-Backs"

    Yeah, I'll be back on such and such
    Ok, just come back on .....
    Just give me a call and I'll come right back....

    F ' all of that.
    I'm here, pay me. Don't want to?
    I will go to one of the other 24,999,999 businesses and help them.

    If I didn't get paid, I didn't close them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      80% buy at the first meeting and pay me then. I don't bill. I don't use proposals or invoices. 20% don't buy, and I don't follow up. This is on a $6,000 service, paid up front.

      This is a guess, but it may be that the prospect is thinking of your service as a commodity. They may just think of you as one of many suppliers.

      It may be that they are not sufficiently invested in the presentation. Do they come up with all the figures? Do they give you reasons that your service will profit them?

      It may be that they don't know enough about you before you see them (if you see them in person). I want them to be thinking about my offer...and me...for a couple of days before I see them. So they get sample articles I've written, a copy of one of my books, maybe a DVD of a presentation.....anything to show value before they see me.

      Somehow, they are just not excited to get started. And if this is happening more than a third of the time, you are doing something to make them want to wait. No idea what it is.

      It may be positioning.
      You may be talking too much about the service, and not enough about how they will benefit from it.

      Don't know. But if they don't say "How soon can you get started on this?", you haven't sold them.
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      • Profile picture of the author chg
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        80% buy at the first meeting and pay me then. I don't bill. I don't use proposals or invoices. 20% don't buy, and I don't follow up. This is on a $6,000 service, paid up front.

        This is a guess, but it may be that the prospect is thinking of your service as a commodity. They may just think of you as one of many suppliers.

        It may be that they are not sufficiently invested in the presentation. Do they come up with all the figures? Do they give you reasons that your service will profit them?

        It may be that they don't know enough about you before you see them (if you see them in person). I want them to be thinking about my offer...and me...for a couple of days before I see them. So they get sample articles I've written, a copy of one of my books, maybe a DVD of a presentation.....anything to show value before they see me.

        Somehow, they are just not excited to get started. And if this is happening more than a third of the time, you are doing something to make them want to wait. No idea what it is.

        It may be positioning.
        You may be talking too much about the service, and not enough about how they will benefit from it.

        Don't know. But if they don't say "How soon can you get started on this?", you haven't sold them.
        VERY important to build value ahead of time. I also like the final line "How soon can you get started?"...We're asked this question dozens of times, and it always leads back to the fact that you want to make the person feel like they are majorly missing out on SOMETHING (Whatever you offer) if they DON'T sign with you right away...especially lost profits or efficiency (time = money).
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Yup, they are shopping you.

    Many people act interested just to get your proposal. Then they take it to their existing supplier, or competitors, and say, "Look! Look what I'm getting for this price! You want my business? Beat that!"

    Be wary. Interest in what you're saying by a prospect does not directly translate into interest in you doing the work. They could be trying to get a free education.

    If you have the right order to the steps of your process, you can protect yourself as a seller. If you don't have a consistent sales process, you're at the mercy of buyers who know all about traditional features & benefits selling--and usually they know it much better than the salespeople.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    What's your price point? Is it higher than what people perceive as what it should be?

    Originally Posted by ronrule View Post

    Third, and this one will depend on the nature of what you're selling them, it helps to mention YOUR busy schedule to create urgency.
    That only works when they're interested to some degree. Urgency doesn't create interest.

    Originally Posted by kemdev View Post

    I'd say generally those two are some of the first questions I ask. When I ask for the money, I say let's get started, I can accept cash or check.
    Not the best form of a close. Especially if they're not sold. It comes off as if you're pushing for the sale.

    First you have to make sure they're sold on the service. Then you have to see they're OK on what it's going to cost. Only then you nudge forward with, for example, "how are you taking care of that? Cash or check?"

    The difference is I'm assuming the sale. You're assuming they're sold.

    I don't sell web sites so I can't state specific qualifying questions though sales are sales and it looks like a BIG one you're missing is finding out what they're willing to pay.

    And that isn't done by asking "what's your budget?" You need to work out some questions which help your prospect understand the VALUE of having their site done right.

    How much more business would that bring in? Do they want that additional business? How much do they feel they're losing on their site now?

    Then give them ranges. You can set expectations of how much this will cost. Then ask if that's what they have in mind. If they say yes, you make the appointment.

    I found that shifting a lot of the value building, investigative type questions from the actual sales consult over to the initial phone qualification stage vastly improved the quality of the prospects I'd meet with.
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