>So here you are, you have made the sales call, delivered your best pitch, and you feel sure the next step is to simply close the deal! Nothing happens. You call the prospect, you follow-up and they say they are interested but still no movement – no close. What do you do?

In sales, patience is a virtue and stamina is vital! Prospects buy when they are ready and when what you are offering becomes a priority for them. In this busy, fast paced world, prospects may very well be interested in something you are selling, realize they need what you are selling, but your timing to sell and theirs to buy is just a little off.

You have to understand your product or service does not solve their most pressing concern. Put your “buyer’s cap” on and you can easily relate to this. Think about it, there are a number of things you would buy right now, if your schedule was not so full of other priorities. For example, I want a new cell phone carrier, I want to update my homeowners insurance, and I need new tires on my car just to name a few. All of these are things I want and need, but they are not my most pressing concern when I look at my daily schedule. However, if a well-skilled and authentic sales person targeted me, invested in building a relationship and followed through with me, those are all purchases I would make in the next few months. Why, because this sales person would make the process easy. As sales people that is your job – to make it easy. To stay in touch, stay connected and be visible enough so that when your prospects are ready you’re who they come to; or your mere presence and gentle reminders makes it so easy for them to purchase they quit putting the decision off.

This sales roller coaster, cycle or process is completly normal and natural. If you recognize that, you will have the edge over your competitors. Sales people, when put in this situation, usually do one of two things – they give up or they get overly aggressive. Either way the sale is lost. So how should you handle this?

Last summer I attended the National Speakers Association Annual Conferece, and heard one of the best sales professionals speak on this topic. His name is Ed Robinson, www.edspeaks.com . I learned from Ed, that in our current economic environment, it can take as many as sixteen contacts or touches to move a prospect to a client. Sixteen! Just a few short years ago, that number was more like seven or eight. Now people want to be assured of value, they want to build trust, and they want time to make decisions, thus the sales cycle lengthens. So how do you stay in touch without being annoying? I left Ed’s lecture motivated to develop a list of ideas and ways to stay in touch, in front of and connected to clients without being annoying.

In tomorrow’s post we will talk more about this list, how incredibly well it is working, and share details of how you can nudge your prospects along!