Lose Quickly, Effortlessly and with Minimal Time and Expense
you find yourself prospecting and you run into intractable, deeply entrenched
negative prospects, usually your best tactic is to take them to ground
zero. Ground zero is the place of “no return” and is your last-ditch
effort. The problem with stubborn prospects is the more you persist
with them the stronger they will resist you.
you are getting stonewalled after many futile attempts to engage them,
then it makes sense to cut your losses and get one final confirmation
that you are going nowhere quickly. This helps you maintain your dignity
and helps eliminate any nagging doubts that they can be converted. Keep
in mind, the best-case scenario usually for taking someone to ground
zero is you don’t continue to waste any more of your valuable time
and energy chasing a phantom prospect.
the following questions and statements are fairly loaded, make sure
you ask them in as non-threatening and graceful a manner as possible.
Also be prepared for the worst; a quick and definitive negative response
from your prospect.
- "Has your
company made the decision not to look at any other alternatives?"
- "Can I
ask you a silly question? Do you believe that what you've got, within
reason, is as good as it gets and doesn't get any better?"
- "Can I
ask you a loaded question? If there was a better and more efficient
way out there to improve your results, and I'm not sure if we even have
it or not, are you even open to taking the time to look at it?"
- "Are you
at all open to extending me the professional courtesy of a few minutes
of your time to discuss any possible shortfalls or issues in your organization?"
- "Is it
the case that you don't have any problems or is it you don't have any
problems that are worth your time discussing with me?”
you certainly can't argue with success. However, what if you have some
of these issues but you aren't even aware of them? It's the classic
four-wall syndrome. You're too close or too accustomed to your problems
that they no longer register. Or so long as you don't hear about them
they aren't meaningful."
- "I may
be pushing my luck, but it sounds like you have these problems but they
are manageable or tolerable and you can live with them quite well. Don't
fix it if it isn’t really broke."
- "I assume
you don't owe it to yourself or your company to further investigate
issues that aren't perceived as a priority for you?”
you reached the conclusion that you have everything to gain and nothing
to lose by staying with what you have and what you know?"
- "At this
stage of the game have you concluded that what you don't know can't
you in that enviable position that we all seek, where your success is
assured by your present course, you don't have to look over your
shoulder, and constantly push the envelope to improve?"
you decided beyond a reasonable doubt that it isn't in your best interests
to take any time or resources to explore other options?"
- "I assume
there is no question that what got you to be successful today is the
same that will allow you to be successful in the future?"
following questions and statements are not as forceful and definitive
but can be very effective with prospects who love to talk and are always
projecting optimism. These are the type of prospects who aren’t forward
thinking, objective and willing to emotionally step aside and take a
constructive look at their problems. Instead of resisting them, use
the following questions and statements as a way to nudge them. Overly
optimistic prospects may not be willing to admit problems, but they
may be willing to admit imperfections.
- "I can
see where that would make your life very easy."
certainly are in an enviable position."
certainly can't argue with success."
must make your job very secure and fulfilling."
- "I can
see why you would have no motivation to change."
- "It must
be very gratifying to be in that ideal position."
must consider yourself very lucky."
must give you a lot of job security."
like smooth sailing at XYZ Company for you."
certainly, for the time being, have a lot to be grateful for."
in mind that selling often has more to do with picking your battles
wisely and cutting your losses than it does with asserting your will
and trying to convert intractable prospects. Going to ground zero will
more often than not save you time and energy but won't result often
in forwarding your cause and moving you positively forward. This time
saving strategy will also allow you to achieve closure on prospects
who aren't open-minded, therefore minimizing lingering doubts about
their feasibility. In sales there are always two winners. The first
winner is the salesperson who was awarded the deal. The second winner
is the salesperson who lost quickly, effortlessly and with minimum expenditure
of valuable resources.