You must know what it’s like. You work hard on getting a deal approved for a prospective client only for them to change their mind and decide not to go ahead when you make them the offer.
You feel really annoyed! The thing is to not let it show if you ever want to have a chance of doing business with that person in the future. Let me give you an example;
Last year I spent a lot of time working with a financial planning firm making sure that my investment strategy was working for me and it took the best of a year and several meetings to get it done. I paid them for their work at the agreed rate and then decided not to go ahead with their recommendations for a variety of reasons.
When I thanked them for their work and told them that I wouldn’t be proceeding, how do you think they reacted? They sent an invoice, which was fair enough, but then nothing else. Not a “goodbye”, not a “sorry the time is not right for you”, not a word. And I’ve heard nothing from them since.
Now, it might not have been the right time for me then, but that’s not to say it won’t be right in the future and I might reconsider and want to implement their recommendations. But the question is; would I want to work with them again? The answer is a definite no. Not because of the work they did but because of how they responded to my decision and then what they didn’t do afterwards.
There are three things you must do when you don’t get the deal if you hope to have a chance of getting the business in the future;
- Be understanding. Don’t get all huffy and throw your toys out of the cot. You don’t know all the circumstances of the business and there may be good reasons why they don’t go ahead – that’s not your issue. You need to keep calm, accept the decision and be understanding. Say things like, “I completely accept your decision” and “I fully understand that you feel the time is not right for you to go ahead with this”.
- Keep the door open. This is the time to make sure the client understands that you really want to do the business and that you’re not annoyed (even if you are really). Say things like “I really hope we can do some business together in the future”.
- Keep in touch. In selling, out of sight is out of mind. If you don’t keep in touch regularly (which is not the same as frequently) they’re going to forget you. It’s also a good way to confirm to the client that you really are okay with their earlier decision not to go ahead and they’ll feel that you’re more interested in building a relationship than making some money out of the deal. Which is what good selling is all about today.
In summary, it’s all about being personable, friendly and not coming across as a money-crazed hard-selling individual who’s desperate to a deal at any cost. Separating yourself from the competition is difficult, but being relaxed when others are frenzied is one way to do it that clients will respond positively to.