The cancelled sales call is one of the most dreaded aspects of a salesperson’s work. The end of the quarter is looming, your pipeline is struggling and you need that deal to bring home commission. So, what can you do to salvage the cancelled sales call? Here are five techniques to save the day—and the deal.
1. Reschedule immediately. Allowing your prospects and customers to forget about your appointment is sales doom. Instead of merely responding via email, immediately pick up your phone and set a specific date and time for the make-up meeting. Can’t get them on the phone? Show up at the office with an “I was in the neighborhood. Can we get that make-up meeting on the books?” Don’t pull that trick too often, but also don’t take a cancellation lying down.
2. Think outside the boardroom. Just like you, working in an office for 8-10 hours is a constant barrage of distractions and interruptions for your prospects. If they cancel your conference room meeting, offer them an alternate outside business hours at a nearby coffee shop before work, food truck at lunch or happy hour after work. This gets them out of the distracting environment and also provides a more informal way for you to build rapport to close the deal.
3. Give them a virtual alternative. In-person meetings are fantastic for building rapport and reducing the time-to-close. Yet, in-person meetings typically go for an hour—longer for lunch meetings—and sometimes your prospects just don’t have the time. Give them an easy, yet effective, alternative with web-based sales collaboration software, like iMeet by PGi. This gets you face-to-face on video, but makes it easier for them to accept a meeting that doesn’t require a ton of effort on their part. Just one click of an URL, and they’re in your meeting.
4. Meet in near-time. If a real-time meeting just isn’t happening in-person or virtually, look to some fantastic near-time communication apps that can help you achieve your ends. Presentation tools, such as Prezi, enable you to record a presentation in a really cool way, so that prospects can watch your pitch on their own time. Instant messenger is also a great tool for chatting outside the traditional email setting and saves time from email back-and-forth. You can also use a collaboration software like iMeet Central for better project management, so that prospects can see where you are in the negotiation process, accept or reject terms, request more information and even share documents.
5. Go around them. Sometimes, the prospect you’re trying to engage is a dead end. They’re constantly cancelling and giving you the runaround. If they cancel on you more than three times, go around them. Find someone else on their team or in their business unit that can be the ultimate decision maker or get you to the decision maker. Caution is required here, however. To avoid peeving off the abandoned prospect, include them in meeting invites with your new prospects. They might not show up, but including them insures that office politics are swung to your advantage.
How do you save the cancelled sales call? Share your insights and advice with the thousands of salespeople here on the PGi Collaboratory.