3 Ways to Keep a Sale Alive Despite Complications

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3 Ways to Keep a Sale Alive Despite Complications

John Burleson | September 18, 2015

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Buying decisions can be difficult, especially for companies who are selling products and services to other companies. They don’t always travel in a straight line from initial interest to final purchase. Instead, you’re likely to run into some complications, interruptions, and delays.


Many decisions aren’t made by a single person. In fact, there are often quite a few people involved in making a purchase decision. Therefore, a good salesperson must be prepared to adjust to any complications they encounter.


Here are 3 common issues many sales teams encounter and how to successfully handle each situation.


1. The buyer leaves the company.


This is fairly common. If you’ve been working at your job for any length of time, you’ve probably come across this at least once. It’s not uncommon for people to leave their jobs for retirement or new opportunities.


Either way, you’re in a bit of a pickle. Your point of contact at a company is now gone. There may be a replacement, who you now have to build a new relationship with, or - worse - they might not have a replacement.


What do you do now?


If you have any other points of contact, you need to give them a call. Being informed in this situation is important to keeping the sale alive. Ask them if they know who is taking over responsibilities or who you might talk to instead. Once you know, you can reintroduce yourself and confirm a need still exists.


There will still be a delay. Even if you’re looking at an internal replacement, you might have to wait on interviews and approval and the replacement getting comfortable in their position. If it’s external, you could be looking at months.


The best thing to do is to get information and stay in touch. Don’t lose a relationship with the company. If you’ll stay present - without being annoying or pushy - you are in a great position once the replacement takes over.


2. The buyer loses their budget.


Maybe your prospect lost a project they were counting on or maybe they lost a major account, but now they don’t have the budget to make a purchase. It happens, and it can be a serious problem. It doesn’t, however, mean you’re losing a sale. Quite the contrary.


What do you do now?


Now it’s time to look to a longer-term strategy instead of counting your money. Keep yourself top-of-mind in a way that isn’t annoying. Ask open-ended questions like, “What can I do to help you get the equipment you need until funding comes back?”


Depending on your company, there are a few ways to help the situation. This could take the form of a free trial (if they’re a larger prospect or customer), creative discounts, rental programs, or maybe even lease-to-own programs.


Whatever you decide to do, design your strategy to keep the conversation alive. If you can keep building a relationship and providing value, you’ll be top-of-mind when they’re able to buy.


3. The buyer chose a competitor.


This is the ultimate interruption. Your prospect, who you’ve been talking to for weeks, nay months about buying your equipment, has bought from the competition. You feel betrayed. You want to make angry phone calls. But that’s a bad reaction.


What do you do now you’ve lost the deal?


Simply put, don’t freak out and don’t burn your bridges. What happened has happened, and there isn’t anything you can do about it. However, you can maintain the relationship and bide your time.


Sure, this isn’t going to earn you any money in the short term, but you still have an opportunity here. If you continue to help and maintain your relationships, you can open up new opportunities for service, aftermarket parts, and even big sales for other equipment.

Interruptions are an unavoidable part of the sales process. Often, you have to hurry up and wait. And it’s easy to let a difficult obstacle derail a deal. But if you can prepare and keep your composure, interruptions become nothing more than objections you can overcome.

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