What do you think? Yes or No?

Do you make a New Year’s Resolution?  Y/N

Do you have a 2011 sales plan?  Y/N

Have you ever won the lottery?  Y/N

Did you ever get a speeding ticket?  Y/N

Are you involved in the community?  Y/N

Yes or no questions are easy to answer. Sales folks want to hear yes but more oftentimes hear no. Sales pros can handle no. We know that no might actually mean no. Sometimes a client stalls on making a decision for days, even weeks. The sales person is forced to make a difficult decision: should I follow up again, and again and again? Or should I forget about it  and move on? The sales pros will always follow up because there is still a chance for a positive outcome. It took me two and a half years to seal the deal at one Kroger division. What we really want is for the client to buy our program or have the courtesy to say, “No, I am not interested.”

Have you ever been a victim of stalling tactics? Of course you have, and I’ve seen them all.

  • Our revenues are not meeting expectations.
  • My boss has been traveling and we can’t seem to connect.
  • We’re still looking at a couple of options.
  • We think we’ll be making a decision in a couple months.
  • I’ll be meeting with the owner soon to discuss your proposal.
  • Call me back when the plant expansion is completed.

Some prospects do the ultimate in lack of courtesy: they are non-responsive. Voice mails, text messages and emails are not returned. Certified mail, faxes and FedEx packages could all be piling up in the in-basket. Bad form.

Sales pros never ask a yes or no question but we want a yes or no answer. The best of the best closing questions include:

What do you think?

In your opinion, what do you think will delay your company from moving forward with our program?

Wait for an answer. Listen to their response. Do not interrupt but let them explain and you may hear exactly why they are not going to buy. If there is a slim chance they will move forward, you will finally know the answer.

If they are still stalling, don’t waste any more time; concentrate your efforts on prospects ready to purchase.

What other stalling tactics have you experienced?

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