After several conversations, presenting an online tour or two, submitting a sales proposal or contract, and setting up a free trial, you’re now confident that your prospect is ready to become a buyer.
But days, weeks and months go by, and all you are hearing are lame excuses, or worse, crickets.
No returned phone calls. No responses from your repeatedly sent emails. Your voicemails are getting deleted.
Then it dawns on you –
Your prospect lied to you.
I’m sure you have heard the old saying “All buyers are liars.”
Well, that’s not always true. Of course.
But enough customers do lie.
Several reasons –
First, your potential buyer was never a decision-maker. Yes, we have all heard that you need to vet a prospect to ensure they are indeed a decision-maker. If you are afraid to ask a potential buyer directly, you can always ask “Can you please explain to me your purchasing process?” or, “How does your company make purchasing decisions?”
And there’s always research. Check LinkedIn. Is the potential buyer a CEO or a summer intern? You see my point.
But no matter how well you think you determined who the key decision-maker is, something always falls through the cracks. Maybe the key decision-maker was demoted and he’s too embarrassed to tell you. Maybe there is more than one key decision-maker, but your prospect is afraid to inform you.
Regardless, you wasted time speaking to the wrong person and got your hopes up high for nothing.
Second, your potential buyer can’t pay for your service or product. It happens. You’re told the budget is there. You think the budget is there. But then, when it comes time for the close, the budget isn’t there. Ouch. Maybe the potential buyer was interested in the beginning, but when he discovered he didn’t have the money, he was too ashamed to tell you.
Third, your potential buyer was never a serious customer. Sure, he gave you all the right signals and said all the right buzzwords. But in the end, he was just window shopping. Or, worst he was comparing your service and product with a competitor that he was more interested in. It’s like going to your local Best Buy to check out electronics, and then going on Amazon to buy the same electronics at a lower price.
Unfair? Of course. But it happens in sales all the time. Yes, I know the price isn’t everything, and you should focus on the value you are offering your prospect. Unfortunately, not all prospects read the same sales books you’re reading.
And finally, your potential buyer is too busy. Despite what you may think, you’re not the only vendor in town contacting your prospect. Depending on the industry you’re in, prospects are constantly being bombarded with sales calls. Or, maybe your potential buyer was interested when you spoke to him, but he got pulled away with more pressuring demands. It happens.
Like it or not, customers lie all the time. The key is not to take it personally. Move on. You can always circle back later.
Note: If you like this post, please read my book — Advice for New Salespeople: Tips to Help your Sales Career.