News: Report

Advice for the seller in search of a 100% win rate

04 June 2020  
Share |

Thursday 4 June 2020

How do you know it’s time to walk away from a client?

Lively chat on the subject of “qualifying out” was one of the highlights of today’s APS webinar titled Understanding The Customer.

Nobody likes to admit defeat and the temptation is strong to carry on chasing, even when rivals are slashing prices and the customer is sounding indifferent.

“Eventually you must walk away from something where you’re not getting success, because hope is not a strategy,” advised Mike Hurley, in the second of four masterclasses looking to the future as the Covid-19 lockdown starts to ease.

Win rates of 90% are achievable if best practice is followed, Hurley continued. He recommended no skimping on the vital preludes of information gathering and relationship building.

Once the request for tender (RFT) is out, the most successful salespeople are the ones who rigorously qualify. Key questions include:

  • Is the potential customer’s company a good fit?
  • Have you worked with them before?
  • Can you talk directly to stakeholders?
  • Is the timing good?
  • Are the right leadership and resources in place?

“If you can’t respond to these questions positively, don’t waste your time or your company’s resources by responding to the RFT,” advised Hurley.

In spot polls of the webinar audience, 37% said their company fell down at the qualification stage, with 4% admitting they didn’t attempt to weed out less likely sales at all.

A striking 70% admitted that their company was sometimes or always drawn into price-cutting in an attempt to win business, something Hurley described as a mistake.

Always try to sell on value, he advised. Assign one of your team to handle the client’s procurement team, and beware of procurement tactics like setting a too-tight time limit to tender, or trying to block access to the ultimate decision maker.

Finally, if you realise in your heart of hearts it is not working, don’t waste any more time. “There are plenty more customers out there,” said Hurley.