Lost sales can and do happen, and when a sale is lost that formerly seemed as if it were a certainty, sales people are often at a loss to explain why. However, it is within the sales person’s power to keep prospects in the buying cycle until the close, which means that you can prevent losing a sale before the prospect starts to disengage from the sales process. Follow these tips to learn how to prevent lost sales and keep your sales numbers growing.
Engage the Prospect Better Than Your Competition
When you want to prevent losing a sale, you must always be at least one step ahead of your competition. Always be aware that the ideas and concepts that a prospect discusses with you could be inspired by discussions that he or she has had with your competitors. Never miss an opportunity to engage your prospect and avoid losing sales to the competition by:
- Finding out early whether the prospect is working with or is considering reaching out to competitors to consider similar offerings. If you know that the prospect is keeping his or her options open you will be encouraged to work harder for the sale, which can create engagement that helps you prevent losing a sale.
- Always asking follow up questions when the prospect is discussing his or her needs and areas of pain; if you can show that your offering will meet more needs more thoroughly than any competing offer, you can prevent losing a sale.
- Working to bring more decision makers into the buying discussion and connecting to more individuals within your target organization, can increase your engagement and shift the buying decision in your favor.
Prioritize According to the Needs of Your Prospect
Prioritization is an important skill to prevent losing a sale. The ability to prioritize includes not only being able to determine when and where to follow up and make call backs in your work flow, but also being able to determine what is most important to a prospect. Sales people frequently miss out on an opportunity to prevent losing a sale when the priorities of their workload or their organization become misaligned to the priorities of a prospect. Prevent this from occurring by:
- Being aware that your key selling points for an offering might not be the highest priority for a prospect. The prospect’s needs may lead him or her to focus on particulars about an offering that aren’t typically highlighted; listen closely to the prospect and choose your selling points accordingly.
- Considering where prospects are in the buying cycle when prioritizing your own workflow.
- Keeping the need to prevent losing a sale topmost on your mind and setting aside uninterrupted time for follow up for all of your prospects on a daily basis. Don’t fall into the trap of waiting for interested prospects to follow up with you.
Analyze Your Sales Process – Wins and Losses
If you want to prevent lost sales, understanding your sales process and the points at which sales losses occur can help guide your efforts and prevent losing a sale in the future. This type of self-analysis is one of the ways that the best sales people reach the top of the sales pyramid – and manage to stay there.
Look at your sales wins and losses over the past year to determine the ideal sales process for success, so that you can aim to cultivate the same process with future prospects. Also look closely at the resistance points where your lost sales typically occur, and what you can do to pass those resistance points smoothly and keep the prospect in the sales funnel. By doing this, you can prevent losing a sale when it truly counts.