Sales and Sales Management Blog

December 27, 2008

Top 12 Sales Articles of the Year–November: “While You Have Their Attention,” by Keith Rosen

Filed under: sales,selling — Paul McCord @ 6:28 am
Tags: ,

The November monthly winner at Top 10 Sales Articles was Keith Rosen’s “While You Have Their Attention,” originally published at Salesopedia.  Keith’s article is one of 12 monthly winners vying for Sales Article of the Year.

Top 10 Sales Articles selected the 10 best out of the thousands of articles published each week.  The weekly winners then went to head to head competition with each other, the best being named the Article of the Month.  Now, out of the over 500 articles nominated, the 12 monthly winners are now competing for Article of the Year honors.

Each day I’ll be posting one of the monthly winners.  Read them and then head over to Top 10 Sales Articles and vote for your favorite.  Better yet-go there now, read all 12 and cast your vote (for my article, of course).

While You Have Their Attention
by Keith Rosen

Wouldn’t it be great if every prospect became a new customer around our timeline? Now that I’m back down to reality, it’s a safe bet that some of the prospects you call on will not be ready to take that next step with you, at least not just yet.

So, like many prospects, they get put on the “callback” list of prospects to call on in the future. A typical conversation would sound something like this:

You: “Okay, Mr. Prospect. Based on what you’re telling me, it sounds like this isn’t the best time to explore what we can do for you in more detail. When might be a better time to reconnect with you?”

Prospect: “Give me a couple of months to clear off what I already have on my plate. Then I’ll be in a better position to discuss this with you.”

You: “That sounds fair. So, if I quickly check my calendar, you are suggesting to touch base with you again in early March, is that correct?”

Prospect: “Yes, that sounds fine.”

At this point, you thank the prospect and create a reminder to call on Mr. Prospect in March. In March, you reconnect with Mr. Prospect only to find that not only is he no longer with the company, but they bought a similar product that you sell from another vender!

While there’s no foolproof method to prevent this from happening, here’s something you can do to dramatically reduce the chance of this happening again. Let’s now continue the conversation between you and the prospect where we left off.

You: “Mr. Prospect, thanks again for your time today. Before we rap up this conversation, I’ve noticed that in the past, when I have attempted to reconnect with someone months after our first contact, many things have transpired. Changes in their position, in their company, or in their life often have tendency to divert even the best-laid plans. Since there are so many things that can happen in two months, I was hoping that I could stay in contact with you without stepping over the line and being annoying about it. With your permission, can I contact you from time to time with updates about our product or valuable information that you may find of interest as it relates to your business?”

By asking this question and gaining confirmation that it’s okay to stay in touch, you now have a prospect that has given you permission to continue to prospect them instead of sending out unsolicited information that will do nothing more than aggravate and turn off a prospect.

Sure, it may sound like they are not in a position today to explore your offering in more detail. However, that doesn’t mean they will be in the same position in the future.

A monthly newsletter, a free trial, an article of interest, collateral material, or a great new product feature are just a few ways to deliver value during this “down time” and keep your finger on the pulse of every prospect you speak with.

This way, if things change on the prospect’s side, you won’t be the last person to find out.

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2 Comments »

  1. I remember these articles. Always some good stuff. Thank you for your blog.

    Comment by Troy Bingham - Sales Force Dialer — December 29, 2008 @ 2:38 pm | Reply


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