Where is my sales process failing?
I am a professional headhunter specialising in middle and top management search in advertising and marketing. Now there is a problem with new clients. I find a new client (company), we meet and negotiate rates and staff needs. Then the client says: "I have to think" and disappears OR we can't approve a contract (client begins to impose its conditions of work). No client as a result OR pointless negotiations.
Without knowing more, you may be positioning your services wrong or ineffectively. Sometimes using the wrong terminology or wording can cause mistrust, uncertainty or other reactions that you might not notice - especially if you use the same approach over and over and are too close to it.
At the end of the conversation, the other side should be so compelled, interested and motivated, that they ask, "How do we get started working with you?". If that's not happening, review your presentation in detail and test various changes to it.
A big mistake is in telling prospects what YOU want them to hear instead of what THEY want to hear and what they NEED to hear. Those are 3 very different elements in a presentation, they all play a part in advancing your value throughout the communication, and all need to be used correctly in a specific sequence according to who you are presenting to and their needs/wants/priorities.
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The rates you are proposing may be very high and you must be more flexible when it comes to the client conditions imposition.
Do you have already a proven track success on your recruiting activity? This is to show your clients of course. Do you have satisfaction stories by your other clients? Do you have clients that stay with you for several years? Do you have previous references?
What is your presentation like towards your client? What is your images?
Maybe the services you are offering are not conducive to the clients needs and you are trying to push it when they don't see eye to eye with you. Maybe you can consider thinking about your approach to your services or go in with a kinder, softer approach to find out what your client needs. Services are need based. You find your niche there, then you can convert your clients into sales. If your services are not what the client needs, then you won't convert your clients into sales. Clients you want, know their business better than you do. Remember that. You cannot assume that your services are the bomb when you are bombing in sales and conversion. Take EGO out, be humble about what you can or cannot do and figure out how you can help your clients achieve what they see and envision.
I have tried to analyze the question and comments on where Alexey Markov's sales process seems to be failing, and what he could do to achieve a turnaround. As with cases where you don't have sufficient information, one can only make a calculated guess. It does appear to me that in addition to some extraneous factors, the key failing point has been in the area of prospecting for clients ab initio. Prospecting accurately helps to minimize rejection and increases the chances of getting and concluding a deal. Alexey Markov could do well by reviewing that stage of his sales process with a view to finding out what works for him.
From your writing, I observed that there is no problem with new clients. Your clients are benefitting from your experience. They are laughing all the way to the bank. If I am permitted to say so, the problem is you! You are the business problem to your own business. Believe it or not, from what I have read in your writing, you are acting in a consultancy role sharing all of your knowledge and expertise with your potential customers before you get a single dime from them. You need to change the way you do business. If you need additional help, please contact me.
In your analysis of the company's needs have you:
- established exactly how critical it is for them to have you help them? Have they told you what negative impact it will have on them if they don't get you to fix their problem?
- actually asked them what do I need to do to win your business?
It may be that you are going to the solution stage of your selling process too early in the relationship.
It sounds like you are getting the road block getting your terms approved which is then stalling the briefing process. From my experience (in Australia) Advertising and Marketing companies are very price sensitive, also if they are part of large multi-national agency networks they will often feel that it is a 'privilege' to work with them thus driving the price down even further.
I think you need to be up front and ask what the issues are because 'I have to think' is just a polite way of saying no without saying no. There is a problem with the terms or they just dont like you. Good luck
Have you considered the problem to be the sector you are trying to sell?
The advertising and marketing sector is one of the most difficult sectors to do business. It is filled with folks whom are unscrupulous.
Alexey, what are you doing before negotiating. It's difficult for me to answer your question without getting more information. Please, tell me about your process. Give me the steps and hopefully I could help.