Show up unannounced…say you have something to show…and more
So the prospect (possible buyer) is refusing to see you. What to do? First, it is not necessarily a given that him not seeing you means he is avoiding you. He could be genuinely busy with other more pressing matters, or, waiting to give you something concrete, or, doesn’t feel the pain of purchase as intently as you, the pleasure of a sale. So. What to do? Try one, or all of these.
Show up unannounced. Say, as a bank sales representative your job includes tracking your clients’ movement of deposits. This morning you find one has just withdrawn Kes. 70,000,000. You call him to find out why. He says he’ll call you back. Same thing happens the next three days. Instead of, thinking, “He’s avoiding me”, quit calling. Show up unannounced at his office (or, favourite lunch spot, or pub, or, parking). “Sir. What did we do wrong? I saw you withdrew 70 million shillings.” “Haha… don’t worry. We’ve been busy servicing an unexpected contract and had purchases to make. Expect it back in ten days’ time.”
Next, respond to, “Send it via email” with, “I can’t. I have something to show you.” (And you best have something to show). This could be anything from a brochure or new product and how it may be of use to him. It could also be the proposal you sent because you suspect that he has never opened it, let alone read it. And so you take this opportunity to give him an overview and what is required of him to progress the sale. Don’t be surprised if he says, “Thank you for this. I honestly have not had time to look at it. In fact, please resend it and I’ll add my comments.” Being the veteran you are, you expected this, and already had it in your drafts folder. So you whip out our phone, email it right there, and guide him as he composes his comments and hits ‘send’.
Sometimes, though, intrusion may not be the best option. In this case you bide your time while still ensuring you remain in his mind. Say you lost an online communications account this year. It’s been yours for three years running but this year, for whatever reason, you lost it. The buyer isn’t angry with you but doesn’t see the need to meet. So, you opt to occasionally send business-related links with information that is useful to him; you also monitor their online presence (as you did when the account was yours) and point out areas they can improve upon-like the link they have in the advert that doesn’t open to the exact page on the website they are referring to. Seven months later of doing this, a client of mine got a call. “We have a problem we think you can help with. I know we aren’t your clients any more but can we meet…”
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