Snagging customers who already said ‘no’

Prospects who told your salespeople “no” yesterday could be ready to buy today. It all depends on the salesperson’s approach.

Author and sales consultant Jack Daly recommends this strategy when approaching prospects who have turned you down in the past:

  • Think critically about what you did or didn’t do that may have lost the sale. It’s a good idea to use an outline to review what could have been done better. Try to list three things you learned and plan to handle differently when you revisit the prospects.
  • Approach these prospects as if they’re brand new. Avoid any reference to a prior rejection. Focus on where the prospect is now. There’s a chance he or she might not even remember your previous call, so you can start with a clean slate. There’s also the possibility that the prospect has retired or been replaced.
  • Examine why a prospect may have turned you down. It may be a good idea to put those who cited a tight budget as their primary reason for passing at the top of your new call list. Try to address budgets concerns early in your proposal, so the prospect envisions such a high value payoff that he or she can’t afford to pass.
  • Keep a journal of positive customer feedback and repeat sales. Compare that feedback to what you get from prospects who turn you down. It might lead to a breakthrough.
  • Be bold. It’s estimated that four out of five deals are closed with buyers who have previously rejected a similar offer. It’s OK that you were there for the first rejection, as long as you’re back when the prospect’s ready to buy.

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