You may be wondering if I’m crazy, but in fact I am lazy (hey, that rhymed). Anyway, when I first started shooting out proposals and spent time trying to close deals, I would spend hours and hours with prospects that really weren’t going to buy my services to begin with. Quickly I learned that one of the most important thing you should be doing is trying to lose sales.
Why in the heck would I want to lose a sale?
Picture this: you are a cheese salesman and you are trying to convince a customer to buy a crate of cheese. You spend an hour with them trying to convince them why they need your high-grade cheese, and they tell you to come by again next week. Each week they do the same thing until you’ve ended up spending a few months trying to sell to them.
Finally, after 3 months of trying to convince them, you’ve decided that you’ve had enough and lay into them in a flurry of anger. Out of necessity and fear for their life they let you know that they are lactose intolerant and didn’t want to tell you because they were embarrassed and because they didn’t want to hurt your feelings.
What the heck…?
Losing the sale saves you time and money
If you spent an hour every week for 3 months selling to someone, that’s 12 hours or more of your time that you’ve wasted. However, what would have happened if your goal was to try to lose the sale quickly?
- By asking a few simple questions up front you can immediately qualify or disqualify prospects.
- you spend a few minutes rather than a few hours with a prospect that isn’t willing to buy.
- You free your time to sell to prospects that are more likely to buy from you.
Pretty sweet, huh?
Are you afraid of losing?
By no means do I follow this every time. Sometimes I want so badly to close a deal and end up shooting myself in the foot. It’s a waste of time when they aren’t going to ever buy from you. Here are some recent sales I’ve lost quickly:
- A chiropractor that wanted SEO work done (he ended up going with the exact type of swindler company that I mentioned in episode 17 of my podcast).
- An engineeering consultant looking for a WordPress website for less than $150 bucks (uhh… yeah).
- A musician that wanted modifications to a failing Joomla site, but was looking for free or cheap labor.
Did my business crumble to the ground? Hardly, the time I freed up allowed me to work on my e-book, sign new clients, and enjoy my family.
What’s your horror story when it comes to trying to sell your product or services to someone that strung you along? Let everyone know in the comments!
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