Peter shares insights on turning around proposal rejections.
Discover the fundamental reason clients won’t say Yes!
Many sales and business professionals wonder why after having a seemingly productive meeting they meet resistance to their proposals and a lack of enthusiasm to commit to taking things forward from their prospective client.
Obviously, there can be a number of reasons for this, however one fundamental reason is that the client does not see how your product or service can help them solve their specific problems.
Why may this be?
Often it stems from our lack of investigation into their personal situation and their real issues. It’s all too easy to hear the client mention an area of concern or interest and immediately rush to provide a solution or demonstrate our own capability in this area.
Especially if we are experienced, this is an easy trap to fall into as we probably have seen a similar situation before!
So what’s the problem with doing that?
Well, you may have extensive experience and even have an excellent solution in mind, but that is not enough. Let’s illustrate this:
Imagine for a moment walking into your GP’s office. Before you have a chance to tell him about your symptoms he whips out his pad and starts writing you a prescription…saying ‘Don’t worry Mr Holland I know your problem I’ve seen it before in a number of cases recently with men your age.
How would you feel?
Would you be confident in the solution provided?
Would you feel he had taken the time to understand your condition properly and…Would you be keen to accept the advice given and medication prescribed?
The problem lies in the fact that too little investigation into the client’s situation has been done. They see your solution as just that, it’s YOUR solution… too generic and not specific to their personal situation and needs. Even if you have got the right solution for them! Unfortunately, you will meet with resistance in them accepting the advice or solution given.
How can you overcome this situation and allow the client the opportunity to share ownership for any potential solution?
Firstly, fully investigate their situation, gently probe which areas they are happy with and what challenges they really face with questions such as……
Why do you think this area is a challenge for you?
Then be quiet and ACTIVELY listen. Their comments are the answers you are looking for and determine the direction for the conversation to follow.
By confirming back your understanding of the situation you make sure you have understood correctly. Secondly, you demonstrate to your client that you have actually taken the time to listen to them in detail and this builds confidence and trust.
Now you know the areas of concern you need to find out where they feel they are currently in resolving them…by asking.
Do you already have an idea for improving this area? Or What do you think it would take to improve or solve this situation?
Now you can transition over to discussing a solution by simply saying…May I try a few ideas?
Ask…Would it help you if when you had this issue you were able to….(add your suggestion)?
Confirm back whether your suggestion would resolve the issue fully or in part? ….’’Do you think this would give you the ability to resolve the situation?’’
By investigating properly initially in the conversation and using questions to create a better solution together you will meet much less resistance as your client has a shared ownership with you for the solution and they will be more likely to commit to moving forward with you.
Here’s what I’d like you to do in your next prospective client meeting.
Promise not to offer any solutions until you have fully investigated their personal situation.
Follow this advice in your conversations with clients and see the dramatic impact on the number of accepted proposals!
Because now your buyer has a clear picture of how your product or service will help them solve their own particular problem.