Own The Process
In sales, as in life, I'm a big believer in taking responsibility for your results. Whether you're making the sale or you're drawing blanks, you need to own the process, the tactics and the results.
Take, for example, the sales call. (Not the cold call. These are worthless.)
I'm talking about the 'slightly warmed' call. You meet someone at a conference or an event, you have a brief conversation, mutual pleasantries are exchanged and you suggest connecting in the near future.
Next day, you go back to your office and either send the prospect an email, reminding them of the meeting, what you do, how you can help, asking for the meeting. Or you give them a call, leave them a brief message reiterating the same. And then...
Crickets. Nothing. Nada.
No response. You call back a short while later, still nothing.
The most obvious explanation of why this is happening is simple.
You haven't shown them enough value to return your call.
Sure, I understand the emotions that accompany this scenario - How discourteous of the prospect! Especially after we had such a nice conversation! Especially after they agreed to a call/meeting/get together!
I hear you on all of those counts. I've lived through them myself. And I'm here to tell you, it doesn't matter.
Own the process, own the tactics, own the results.
If they're not returning your call, you haven't shown value. Think harder. Learn more about their business. About their department. Consider whether you are talking to the right level - can this person make the decision? Have you mitigated any perceived risk for them? Are you solving their most pressing problem today? Are you even aware of it?
There are other considerations, too. And it's worth noting that as much as you want to make the sale, sometimes the individual you are prospecting simply isn't ready or willing to hear your message. Because they're immersed in other issues. Because they have entrenched beliefs about what you offer. Because they're threatened. For whatever reason.
It doesn't matter. You still need to own it. (Not beat yourself up over it, unless you're not doing your homework).
And build a broader portfolio of opportunities that you are chasing all the time. Because not everything you chase will close. Even the best laid ones.
Just own it. Then work to fix it.