There are a lot of reasons that your dream client might reject your request for a meeting. Those reasons include the fact that they already have someone providing them the same product or service, they’ve met with salespeople who provided a less than stellar experience, or they are simply overwhelmed with work. But there is another reason, one that lives at the subconscious level, something that your prospective client isn’t aware of now. They worry that you will mistake the commitment to meet (what we call The Commitment for Time) for the commitment to buy (what we call The Commitment to Change and the Commitment to Decide, in that order).
Even though you have only asked for a meeting, your dream client knows that you are going to want to talk to them about what they’re doing now, what needs to be different, and why they should consider swapping out their current provider for someone they just met for the first time. Naturally, they’d like to protect themselves from this experience (and if you are reading this, you might reflect on how you guard yourself from this every same scenario when your brother-in-law the financial planner visits you on holidays).
There is also something else going on inside your prospect’s subconscious. They know deep down that they need to make change. There are areas where they need better results and, because they are shared with improving those areas, they feel some need to do something. This creates an internal conflict. Right now there are areas of your life you would like to improve, but you also resist taking action (this is true if you’ve ever made the same New Year’s resolution more than once, or if you ever promised yourself that you’d change “starting tomorrow.”)
This is why you need to trade something of value for your dream client’s time. You must make it worth their while to talk about the things that are—or should be—casting them to change. This is something you need to do “even if there isn’t a next step” and even if “we never do business together.” To go fast, you need to go slow. The Commitment of Time and the Commitment to Explore need to be nothing more than that, if you want to make these commitments easier to gain—and if you really want to help your dream client.
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Filed under: Sales Acumen