How many times have you heard "I don't have time right now" or "Now's not a great time" and been left wondering - what next? Maybe the first few times you thought it was fine...and then you kept hearing it. Let's solve this issue for you right now.
“I don’t have the time.” really means “It’s not a priority for me.”. We’ve all heard this excuse before and we've all used it! Sure, on the surface, it seems like a legit thing to say when we can’t, won’t, or don’t want to do something. But what message are we truly delivering? In business, it’s your lead saying that this is not important enough for them to change.
How Do You Respond?
Respond with value, I’m not talking about discounted prices and promotions, that undermines your worth. I’m talking about real value.
- What do you have that is going to improve their life?
- What about your product improves their bottom line?
- Can you quantify proven results (do you have testimonies, statistics, social proof?)?
- Why should it be a priority to them?
To answer the question in the best possible way you should understand your market, the individual prospect if possible, and what you’re up against.
Let’s look a little deeper at the issue of priorities, when you are asking a prospect for their time, remember, you are asking them to give something up.
You need to ask yourself, why is your product important enough for them to give up America’s Got Talent on Tuesday nights? Would they trade their gym time or even give up sleep to spend the time doing what you offer? The point is we all have busy lives, routines, habits, schedules, and priorities.
Some priorities can’t be replaced. Paying your bills, eating, doing homework with the kids, hours spent at work, and laundry are a few examples of things that must happen. The time that’s left for your product is often the valuable time someone chooses for themselves (exercise, entertainment, R&R). Bottom line, it may be hard to convince someone to reorganize their schedules.
The greater the perceived value the better the odds your prospect will move forward. Respect the time they’re already giving you by listening to your offer. Make sure you share that you appreciate it and won’t waste it. Prove your value quickly.
Know Your Audience
Knowing who you are selling to, your niche provides you the opportunity to focus your marketing efforts, so you don't waste your time and effort reaching out to everyone and instead, reach out to people who are looking for your solution. Often, entrepreneurs are told to "go for the no" (heck, there's a whole book and philosophy around it!) and while there is a place for going for the no, it also can be a huge waste of your time (and giant annoyance to people).
As an entrepreneur, you aren't doing this as a full-time gig, you aren't making the money (yet) that you know you can, so why waste your time chasing down 100 no's when you could be chasing down 10 yes's instead?
This is where your niche comes in, by narrowing your focus to specific concerns, problems, or lifestyles that you're interested in and that you represent, you begin looking for people more likely to say "yes" than practicing your sales pitch on people who are bound to say "no." Check out what experts say on having an audience you focus on, here.
Manage Your Follow-Up
Decisions are often event-based and driven by fixing pain points. Properly following up with your potential customer will keep you front of mind for when the time is right. The first step is asking when a good time to connect would be or if they would prefer to receive information another way. Never leave a meeting open-ended, always have a next step.
When following up you want to transition yourself away from being a salesman and into a consultant or coach. Address the needs and concerns of your prospect. Give them some useful information and tips to make their lives a little better.
During your follow-ups, ask your lead for suggestions or opinions to help guide the conversation. They can help you fine-tune your approach by telling you exactly what they want. Listen to what they’re telling you. Not only will it be really valuable, but it will also help you build trust. When you have their trust they will come to you when they’re ready to buy.
Use multiple touch points when following up with your prospects. Use email, phone, send a video link, or even get crazy and actually send something in the mail like a letter. People get prompted and motivated by different things so if you’re covering all the bases you’ll be thought of when they're ready to go.
When Is It Time To Move On
There you are debating whether or not to send that 6th email. Will it be the magic one? Will it take 8? Was 5 too many? Some folks will tell you to never give up on a prospect and to change your approach. That’s a great aggressive salesman approach but the reality is that sometimes you just have to stop chasing.
- Have you been ghosted? Has the prospect been completely ignoring you? It’s a pretty good sign that if no calls are being returned, emails aren’t opened or replied to, and they removed themselves from your mailing list that you can move on.
- If you seem to be stuck in the same middle of the road conversation over and over and the prospect won’t get over the hump, it might be time to have the conversation elsewhere.
- If you recognize that they don’t have the budget or don’t want to try and fit it in then they either can’t or won’t spend the money.
You losing value in yourself by spending too much time chasing leads that will never become customers. If you're wasting time getting nowhere you have to realize when your labor and time is better spent on new leads.
We don’t like to admit it but every once in a while someone is just too much of a pain in the keister to deal with. I know I’ve turned away business because of it. Obviously not a habit you want but it’s bound to happen from time to time.
Time is a commodity that we all have equal access to. We all spend it a little differently but we all see it as precious. We all make time for what we deem a high priority. The trick is convincing your lead that what you have should be a priority for them.
Sometimes you just need to cut your losses. Examine all the variables that are influencing your prospective customer and make the right decision when the time comes.
You’re asking someone to choose what’s more important to them. Their time is precious and so is yours. Use them both wisely.
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