Why the sale falls apart: Overlooking client concerns
Waiting on or dismissing a concern is like running through a red light when you’re driving. It might work out, but you could also get yourself killed. Stop at the red lights and makes sure you look both ways before proceeding.
We’ve all had sales fall apart unexpectedly. If we are early in the sales process and the sale goes south, well, that’s not too hard to take. However, when the sale falls apart in the latter stages of the meeting process, or after the paperwork has been signed, then it can be pretty tough and very demoralizing. While it's always possible for clients to pull something out of their hat last-minute, the truth is that most of the time, the reason for the lost sale was right on the table for you to see. You just missed it and were blindsided. In fact, you blindsided yourself.
Selling professionals blindside themselves by falling asleep during the process. Thinking that everything is OK and that the sale is solid, salespeople tend to drop their guard. They stop paying attention to the sales process, believing that all the landmines have been diffused and that they can start counting the commission in their head. While there’s nothing wrong with counting commission in your head, there’s a lot wrong with assuming the sale is solid. Here’s the rule: The sale is never solid until the delivery requirements have been met.
To stay awake during your sales calls, you need to adopt a little bit of paranoia. You can do this by paying attention to the littlest detail that the client either hints at or tells you directly. Now, I’m not suggesting you become full-fledged paranoid, but I am suggesting that you adopt a healthy dose of fear about something you missed in the process. Keep your mind diligent by asking yourself questions like the ones below.
- Did I really take care of their current advisor, calling them when they told him they are moving their account?
- Did I fully satisfy their resistance to my fees?
- Am I giving them too much information too early in the process?
- They seemed a bit gun-shy about annuities, and now they are buying one. Will that come back to bite me?
- Are they moving too much money? Should I suggest a lower amount?
- Are they as positive as they seem to be or are they hiding from me?
- The wife seems too quiet; do I need to worry about that?
- He wants to read the contract during the free look period, is that something to worry about?
- They really don’t seem too excited, but they are moving forward. Is that just their personal style or are they not telling me something? (For example:They are actually on the fence and are just saying they are going to move forward to please me or not hurt my feelings.)