Recently, I’ve noticed that a few of my clients have an extremely narrow focus when it comes to closing deals. Some are so caught up in the numbers and what their prospects response will be today, that they lose sight of a long-term strategy. Yes, we all agree that one of the main goals in business is to convert prospects to clients, or opportunities to contracts, that is how money is made and how business thrives. And there are skills and strategies to help facilitate this process. But the minute you or your sales team starts relying on pressure as a selling tactic and closing strategy, will be the minute you lose potential prospects and clients for good.
According to Marketing Donut, 80% of prospects say ‘no’ four times before they say ‘yes.’ So why apply pressure? Nobody likes feeling pressured to buy anything. Think back to a time you felt pressured to buy. It most likely triggers a negative response to that experience or company. You have memories of a pushy salesperson desperately trying to make the sale, pushing you to decide before you were confidently ready to move forward. You’ve given them a reason, or excuse, why you’re not ready to buy and they still won’t take no for an answer. They still won’t listen. They continue to apply pressure. Who enjoys this experience? No one I know.
So, what causes a person to use pressure selling as a tactic? Is it attachment to the outcome? Pressure from the boss? Unattainable sales targets? Shortsightedness on the long-term strategy? Or all the above.
If your prospect is not ready to buy today, it’s best to leave the discussion on a positive note, so when the time is right, they think of you. I’ve had many clients turn me down the first several times I’ve presented an opportunity. And I’ve had many clients return when they were ready to buy because I could detach from the immediate outcome. I had left the door open. Instead of relying on pressure selling to close the deal, take time to evaluate if you’ve done everything in your power correctly, leading up to the ask.
Here are a few things to evaluate:
- Is this prospect my ideal client? (for example, can they afford your product/service?)
- Was I clear on budget and buying timeline?
- Did I effectively communicate the benefits of choosing to do business with me?
- Did I overcome their objections with solid proof and better information?
- Was I consistent in my messaging and approach throughout the sales process?
- Did I build rapport?
- Did I learn as much as I could about my prospect?
- Do I have a follow up strategy?
- Have I communicated a concrete time that I will plan to circle back?
- Have I asked the reason why they won’t be purchasing today?
These are just a few things that will allow you to take the stress out of sales and avoid the need to apply pressure. Salesperson or buyer, we can all agree that pressure selling is never an effective strategy.
By Jody Euloth
Jody Euloth is the CEO of The Mesh Media Network and Founder of The Dynamic Soul of Selling. She helps entrepreneurs, business and sales professionals and creative visionaries get over their fear of selling so they can generate more revenue and make a bigger impact in business. Social handles @jodyeuloth www.meshmedianetwork.com