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A Thing Selling It the Second Time

Selling It the Second Time

I f you write detailed bids or proposals for your prospects, what happens to the ones you didn't sign? Instead of wasted paper, these might be a source of potential sales. Are they happy? Did they make the correct decision? Keep a file of the "ones that got away," with detailed notes on what they liked about your service, and why they went with the competitor. Then set a follow-up date for several months in the future.

These merchants won't call you; it's too difficult to admit they made a mistake. However, if you call them with, "I just wanted to let you know that we appreciated the opportunity to bid on your business. How is it going with XYZ Company?"

If the merchant raves about the check guarantee or conversion service, reply with a "Well, that's great." If the merchant loves the new loyalty program, ask, "What feature do you like most?"

Don't "bad-mouth" the competition. However, if the merchant should hint at dissatisfaction, probe for more details. Don't assume the "I told you so" attitude; rather, become the "problem-solver." Empathize with the merchant while you discover exactly what it is that the competition is failing to do. Allow the merchant to save face on making a bad choice and highlight the strong points of what you sell.

Remember: Your time is money. Don't write off your investment in time and energy for proposals that didn't sell the first time. Follow up and sell it the second time.





 Copyright 2001 The Green Sheet, Inc.