Marketing & Growth

Sales 101: How to Turn a Maybe into a Yes

By Gina Hall

You’ve read the signals and countered all the prospective client’s concerns. Sometimes you’re this close to closing the sales deal, then you hear, “Let me think about it.” Frustrating, right?

While a client often has the luxury of dragging his feet, you may need to land that account to make your quarter. So what can you do to turn that “maybe” into a “yes?”

Here are some methods you should try.

  1. Know their competition

    You should go into every prospective client meeting knowing who the top five competitors are in their market. If any of their rivals have engaged services similar to yours, make sure to highlight that in your conversation. If one major company in the industry has invested in what you’re selling, it’s likely to turn the conversation in your favor.

  2. Long-term commitment

    It’s hard for businesses to switch vendors or consultants, so make sure they know you’re in it for the long haul. Show them how you can save them time and money for months, if not years. What is the return on investment? Clicks? Customers? Demonstrate what your business can provide. If the client sees that you can build a solid relationship and deliver results, he’ll be less likely to nickel and dime you for your services.

  3. Passion

    There’s a reason you got into your line of work, so show it. People respond to passion and know you’ll go above and beyond for them if you truly love what you do.

  4. Be the antidote to a bad experience

    Companies often switch service providers because they were unsatisfied with a previous relationship. They frequently enter meetings with preconceived notions about certain proposals because another vendor poorly executed a similar strategy. Examine the client’s old plan or campaign and show how you can improve upon previously disappointing results.

  5. Provide a backup plan

    Sometimes your primary proposal just doesn’t work with what a client needs. If you’re comfortable offering an alternative, have it in your back pocket just in case the meeting doesn’t go as planned. Maybe it involves shortening time commitment, coming down on price, or offering a guarantee. If the client can’t afford your service, could you come up with a payment plan that fits their cash flow? If you want to win the account, you need to be flexible.

  6. Ask questions

    High-pressure sales rarely work. Instead, ask for clarification. Maybe you misunderstood your prospective client’s situation. Perhaps the timing is off. Asking questions can help you pivot the conversation to your advantage.

  7. Create urgency

    Don’t let your prospect end the conversation without some call to action. If there isn’t a reason to sign on the line, then they’ll either dismiss you or completely forget about the meeting. Let the client know you’ll follow up shortly or give them a deadline for the deal. If you can provide a discounted price or extra value with a quick decision, you’re more likely to hear back.

  8. Don’t rush the sales decision

    Nothing scares off a client like an ultimatum. If there’s no logical reason to make a decision today, understand that even if the person loved your proposal, they may not be the one authorized to pull the trigger on the deal. Ask when you can follow up.

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