Have you ever had a hot prospect ghost on you? Maybe you even sent them a proposal. They seemed excited. Then, all the sudden, silence.
We can blame the client for ghosting, but that's not very productive. It's better to take a hard look in the mirror, and ask what we could have done different.
Opportunities go cold for may reasons. But, if we're blindsided when they leave it's likely we've jumped to a solution too soon, without really listening to what they need.
Can You Pinpoint Your Prospect's Pain?
Prospects are less likely to ghost if we can pinpoint their pain. Companies don't set out to make major investments on a whim. They're driven by numerous reasons, both business-related and emotional. They're driven by challenges like:
- Meeting aggressive sales goals.
- Offering a benefit that will make or break their ability to retain employees.
- Needing to reinvent their business before it's driven into extinction by their competition.
If you're in sales, it's your job to figure out what their specific challenge is and why they're motivated to solve the challenge. The only way to do this is by asking good questions...and listening.
A Framework For Listening
The first thing that you need to do in the sales process is convince the prospect that making a change is better than maintaining the status quo. Until you know what challenges they face, it's impossible to do that.
When you first begin to explore the possibility of working with a prospect it's time to ask a lot of questions. GPCT is a good lead qualification framework that will help you stay organized:
- Goals: Ask questions that will help you understand what the prospect is trying to achieve.
- Plans: Ask what is the prospect planning on doing to reach those goals. Maybe dig into what they've already tried.
- Challenges: Try and understand the specific challenges they face.
- Timing: Dig into what urgency, if any exists.
As you gather this important information, remember one thing. Your goal is to help the prospect, not sell them something. By taking time to understand a prospect's motivations, and only moving forward if you can truly help, you'll dramatically reduce the number of proposals that get away.