For some reason you’re not having success on a sales call. So, because you think there’s nothing left to do, or because you want to get off the call quickly and painlessly, you simply blurt out:
“Well, please keep us in mind if you ever need any help.”
“Here’s my number, just in case.”
“How about I give you a call in a couple of months to see if anything has changed?”
When I’m the customer, I typically say, “Sure, I’ll keep you in mind”. I then hang up, and immediately forget that the call ever took place.
The truth is, that customer has no intention of “keeping you in mind”, or “giving you a call if something changes”. When these ‘bad calls’ happen, there are better ways to wrap them up.
Make a determination if there is any real potential with this particular customer
Clinging to a prospect where there is no real opportunity is a time and money waster. On the other hand, letting a prospect go when there really is potential is a big mistake too. You must find out for sure. Ask something like, “Kim, under what circumstances would you consider switching to another service provider?” Pay particular attention to that wording. It’s a question that not only asks if they would ever use someone else, but it also asks for the circumstances that would make this a possibility. For example, I’ve heard of prospects responding, “I guess if I ever got into an emergency situation and my current provider couldn’t deliver, I’d have to know what my options were elsewhere.” That gives you the opportunity to take that remark and continue asking questions.
Make sure that you give them something to think about
“Keep us in mind” is a worthless statement. It’s a waste of words. If you truly want someone to keep you in mind, you have to give them a reason. And, that reason usually means matching it into a problem they may experience….a problem that you could solve. That may prompt them to not only think of you, but to actually give you a call.
What if you know that you can provide your customer with the same or better service they’re currently getting, but you feel sure that you can provide more frequent updates and information that they have said they want and need, and you’re sure that what you offer is better than what they’re getting? But the prospect hasn’t seen it demonstrated, or doesn’t believe it. You should end the call with, “I still feel sure that I can help you. Here’s something to consider: please take the time to review the shipment information and updates you receive from your current provider. If you feel that you simply aren’t getting enough information, and you’re not getting it when you need it, keep in mind that it’s one of the benefits you’d get from working with me and my company. Timely updates is one of the benefits we’re known for. I’ll send you my card to keep on file when you feel you need my help”.
Do your best to never make a liar out of your customer. Don’t make them say – “Sure, I’ll keep you in mind”, or “Yes, I’d like you to call me back in a couple of months (so you can waste my time again)”. Determine if there will ever be potential with them. Give the prospect examples of situations to be on the look-out for when you could help, and make sure that they associate you with that solution. Then, when they do experience those problems, there’s a greater chance that they’ll think of you.