Let’s talk about sales since that is our primary focus. One version of “waiting” that a salesperson can engage in is waiting for prospects to call them back.
We discovered several years ago through our research at SELLability that when:
• the prospect does not call you back
• the prospect does not email you back
• the prospect does not answer any kind of communication either in person or electronically
it is a symptom of only one thing: you have not created trust with the prospect.
The first step of the sales process in which you actually interact with a prospect is the Contact and Interview step, and it is in this step that trust is created. We can always tell when this step has been skipped or skimped on because there is the evidence, every single time: no communication back.
Establishing trust is the first job of the salesperson, which is why it comes under the Contact and Interview step of the sales process. How does the establishment of trust come about? It comes down to breaking through the barrier between social and real communication.
An example of social communication is this: think about the last time you came into a Starbucks, or someplace you regularly go, where you have casual acquaintances. What happens when you ask people there how they are? They almost always give you the same answer: “Fine.”
Are they? Maybe so, maybe not, but it is just a social answer, isn’t it?
Now, what about your prospects? Because of their previous bad sales experiences and lack of trust, people tend to resist salespeople. As part of this resistance, they tend to act as if everything is “fine.” They are not telling you everything they are thinking until you start to develop trust, and they start to develop hope that they can trust you.
At that point it is fragile, so you need to continue to develop that trust, causing the prospect to develop more and more hope, up to the point where they realize that it is real, and they can truly trust you.
You need to have a real conversation, not a social one. The reason that most sales processes do not end up in a sale is simply that, by the time we get to the “close,” we are still having a social conversation.
So, if you or your salespeople find yourselves waiting for prospects to call back, there is your answer! You need to go back to them, take them back to the Contact and Interview step of the sales process, and establish trust.
To learn more, sign up at SELLability.com.