I was out on a closing appointment with a sales professional that had been in the industry for some time. As we were sitting across from the potential customer I noticed a competitors card sitting on his desk. My immediate gut feeling was that we were not going to win this deal after all. Chit chat and niceties prevailed but no one was getting to the point of this meeting. I couldn’t handle it anymore and simply asked the client if we were going to be awarded the deal. The customer unblinkingly said no. Looking at the salesman I could see shock and disbelief. Definitely an awkward moment.
What had gone wrong with this now failed closing appointment.
I didn’t let the “no” objection end there of course. I asked what had changed as we felt pretty confident that we were going to be your vendor of choice? The client said price. They always say price. I knew there were other reasons so I asked the next logical question of “if our price was the same or better would we then be your number 1 choice?” He said no again. This was not going well for the salesman but at least we were getting to the bottom of this lost sale.
As a side note, but an important one, it was obvious that the client was uncomfortable going forward and that he truly liked the salesman I was out with. They had bonded at some level personally. He had felt obligated to meet one last time to let the salesman down softly.
Pushing a little further I asked what the real reason for not going with us was. What had we done wrong? And then the real objection surfaced. He said that the salesman had not asked the right questions and uncovered their problems. He did not feel that we understood his business and issues and definitely had not presented a solution that would help them. Wow.
You see this salesman had relied so much on the relationship part of the sale that he hadn’t focused on what the customers needs were.
Closing appointments should be a sure thing.
Seems like a no-brainer. The reason he did not close this deal is that he had not done his job. He skipped the most important part of the sales process, uncovering his clients pain.
More importantly, there was no way he hadn’t had hints that things weren’t going well. After a debrief, there had actually been plenty. He was simply in denial and had been lying to himself about the status of the deal. What a waste.
The good news is that this sales professional dusted off his bruised ego and used this negative experience as a learning opportunity. He never let this happen to him again.
A closing appointment should never be an “I’m not sure” appointment. Don’t skip steps.
If you don’t feel like you have a handle on the steps needed to win let me know. Learn more about what I can do for you to achieve the sales, business and personal goals desired? Call (206) 687-9628 or visit my web page at https://www.totallysales.com/chris-lott-sales-coaching-sales-training/ for more information.© 2006-2018 SalesBlog! | Photos courtesy of 123RF | Posted on