There are few things more exciting in business than getting a lead that looks like a sure thing. The client comes to you, seems curious and wants more information, says he or she is excited about working with your product, and tells you everything seems to be in order. But then…silence. For some reason, the client won’t close, and isn’t being clear with you about why.
Clients who won’t close are a serious problem. Usually by the time you’ve reached this point, you’ve invested a ton of time and energy. You can’t exactly give other leads the attention they deserve when you’ve got a client who is already about to sign. It’s up to you to make sure a client closes as quickly as possible. When that doesn’t happen, there are some strategies that you can use to try to speed up the process.
When dealing with an interested client who won’t close, you may want to try the following methods.
Make Sure Everything Was Communicated Clearly
If you have a client who won’t close, it may be because they don’t have enough information. Some people are just naturally bubbly, so they’ll sound like they are more interested in your deal than they really are. They might also be a lot less willing to discuss their doubts and misgivings. The best thing you can do when you run into a client like this is make sure that everything is on the table and easy to understand.
Ask your potential client about any questions they have. Even if they claim they don’t have any questions, check back over everything that you’ve given them and make sure that you haven’t excluded anything important. Send them extra material if you find anything they may have missed. It may also be helpful to send them old information, but in a new context.
If you think that the client won’t close because he or she doesn’t have (or just isn’t reading) the information, you should consider doing some research. Look into exactly what your client does for a living, and examine how your product or service would change the way they do business. Rebuild your pitch materials around their exact circumstances, and try again.
Apply Some Pressure
Applying a little pressure can be a great way to close a deal with a reluctant client. This can be a very dangerous tactic though, so make sure that you proceed with reasonable caution. Before you try to exert any pressure, judge how close the client is to closing. Pressure is very risky unless the client is already extremely close to making a deal with you.
There are many ways to exert pressure, and many of these tactics are hundreds and even thousands of years old. A common tactic is to try to convince the client that the offer is only good for a limited time. If that isn’t plausible, you could at least argue that the pricing will only be available for a limited time. You may also want to suggest that you have other clients lined up, but only limited spaces to take on new clients.
If you feel the client won’t respond well to something that could be taken as a threat, trying appealing to their sense of generosity instead. Subtly suggest that it would hurt your business if you had to wait any longer to hear an answer, and think of a tactful way to remind them that you have already spent a large amount of time on them.
Look for a Way to Sweeten the Pot
Sometimes, all it takes to close a deal is to make the pot that much sweeter. You’ve probably already tried to give your client a great deal, but there is always something else you can do to make them more interested. As in most cases, you should start by doing a little more research into the client and what they might want.
When you are trying to make the deal a little better for the client, it’s important to target them with things that you know they want. If there was one particular part of the deal that they seemed very interested in, you should focus on that part first. If they don’t seem interested with any part in particular, look for low cost but thoughtful things to throw in as a bonus. Tickets for concerts, sporting events, and other fun events are good options.
Sweetening the pot is a good strategy, but you should be aware that there are some risks. For example, if you trying it more than once, your client may just assume that they can get more from you the longer they wait. That’s exactly the opposite of what you want, so always be careful with this strategy.
Develop a Closer Relationship
Trust is one of the biggest issues with closing a deal. Even if a client loves the deal and wants your product or service, trust may stop him or her from putting a signature on the paper. When you think your client may not trust you, your best option is to try to develop a closer relationship with them. With any luck, your client may trust you more.
Developing a relationship is already one of the oldest tactics of salesmen. It’s the reason that popular culture about business is filled with golf games and martini lunches. You take clients out so they get to know you better. When they know you better, it’s harder for them to turn down your deal because they see it as a rejection of you in addition to the deal. That’s a harder choice to make when you can stick a face on a deal.
Learn Your Own Secrets
The tips we’ve gathered for you are based on strategies that have worked a very long time. However, they aren’t even close to the only options. The only way to learn some of the most effective tricks is to try them out in real life. Once you’ve closed enough deals, you’ll know more tricks than anyone else could teach you.