You can't give up easily when meeting with a buyer and facing objections. You strategize, you come back, and you try again. However, there is a point when your energy is best served elsewhere to bring in business and sell to someone who will actually buy.
- As sales professionals, we've all been trained that we should never give up on our objective to bring in business. Our sales managers drilled into us the strategy that we must always keep pushing until we begin to make progress with the buyer. In every stage of the sales process, starting with prospecting, to lead qualification, and then from the presentation to closing the sale, it's certain that we'll face obstacles and objections along the way. However, we need to be tenacious. We can't give up easily and we must always always be looking for that opportunity to gain a customer and grow revenue.
I do believe in that philosophy up to a point. An essential part of sales pipeline management is the ability to recognize and then take action when a lead or opportunity stalls. The pipeline could get in a bad situation when the buy you're attempting to sell drags down your effectiveness and in essence, clogs up your pipeline. That then negatively impacts your results with other accounts. How do you know when to keep at it and when it's time to move on? Here are some important points you should consider.
First, every account and every buyer is different. There is no set-in-stone procedure to follow, but one thing is for sure. You have to know your customer. You need to be able to read from their actions, or inactions, when your time is best spent elsewhere. Second, don't be proud or stubborn. Ask for help from your manager or other sales representatives who've encountered a similar situation. The goal is a sale, so reach out to others who may be able to help break down a barrier and help you out.
Regularly review your short-term and long-term revenue assumptions frequently. I've seen sales people spend too much time trying to close small deals and get frustrated too soon with larger ones. Big opportunities take time to develop, so always give it one more try. However, small deals that never close are the biggest threats to your pipeline. Next, do an analysis of your time spent with pending deals. If you spent an additional hour cultivating other accounts or developing new opportunities, would it be better than treading water with those stalled deals? And finally, never shut out a customer completely and never burn a bridge.
Keep communication lines open, and I'm also a big believer in ensuring that there is another date in the buyer's calendar for you to follow up. You can't give up too quickly with a tough buyer hitting you with objections. You need to re-strategize, ask for assistance, and continue to be tenacious. However, there is a point when your energy and time is best served elsewhere. It's not an easy skill to learn, but you must know when it's time to move on. Always remember that following the money and closing sales is the objective.
Spend more time with those buyers and accounts who will help you achieve that goal.