alt text image of two hands reusing an offer

Why Your Dream Client Refuses Your Request for a Meeting

  1. Wasted Time: Your dream clients refuses to give you their time because they suspect that you will waste it. They have experience that suggests that this is true. Salespeople visit with no plan, no real idea as to what they want, and no plan to create value. So, they refuse you–and every other salesperson possible. Promise not waste their time.
  2. Not Different Enough: Face it; you aren’t the only one calling your dream client in an attempt to gain their time and attention. Your request sounds a lot like the thirteen other calls they received this week. The offer is easy to refuse. Share what makes you different and why it matters.
  3. Too Much Work: It’s hard to change the tires on an automobile that’s moving fast–and being urged to go even faster. Stopping to meet with salespeople takes time away from the never-ending urgencies piling up around your dream client (with no need in site). Your dream client has too much work to do to meet with members of their own team, let alone a salesperson. Offer to meet them at the time that works for them. Offer a working lunch.
  4. No Hint of Value: Your message does’t even hint as to what’s in it for your dream client. Sure, you get to try to do a needs analysis and dredge up some pain that you can use to create an opportunity. But what does your dream client get our of letting you in? If there is no value proposition that they can easily discern, you can look forward to hearing “no.” Tell them what they get out of meeting with you–even if they never buy from you.
  5. You Might Bring Real Change: What you say to gain an appointment may be compelling. But real change is scary. Your dream client is perfectly comfortable with the devil that they know; you’re a whole new devil. Even if you have the ability to improve things, what’s the cost of doing so? Build trust and nurture relationships over time.

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  • Justin Anderson

    I think the last one is the most frustrating- as a sales pro, I can pass the “so what’s in it for me” test and make a compelling case as to my actual value for a meeting, but if my case is too compelling, I get shut down because it seems risky. Mitigating risk is a HUGE part of modern selling, and one I find not as discussed as value creation (I dislike that term) or presentations or cold calling. I have built damn fine business cases for how I can positively impact my prospect and have them walk because it seems too risky for them to be a part of that much change. That is why I think it is so important to focus not just on pain, but also on goals for the prospect- come in and solve a problem and I risk my prospect deciding it’s not worth solving. But come in and paint a picture of a better future, and that is hard to walk away from. It’s about painting a picture for the prospect to show them how THEIR story changes after they do business with me.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      You’re right to point to risk. There is no doubt it’s critical to creating opportunities. Change generates natural resistance, and it makes it very difficult for us even when we can create value (I love the term, sorry). What’s interesting to me is that sometimes even when you can prove your case the resistance still exists.

  • Nils Wirell

    Amen to that. My experience in many cases has been that you can paint a compelling picture, you solve a clearly defined pain, you see that the potential customer is losing money and you can help them work on that. But your solution is too much to take in. It’s easier for the client to say no, because at least they have not done anything wrong. What typically works for us, which is easier since we have no physical products (it system) is to do a minor scope pre study.

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