Don't Sell to People Who Don't Want to Buy

Some clients just don’t bite. No matter how good you are or how well-suited you are to meet their needs, there are clients who just won’t buy from you. Successfully selling professional services is largely based on personality and chemistry. In any given professional services sector, 60% to 70% of decision makers are a match for your skills and—more importantly—your personality. With the other 35%, something just doesn’t click.

It is good business to pursue the best (and highest spending) clients, but sometimes the chemistry is missing. While it’s hard to resist the lure of the one who got away, be careful to not let fantasy take over when there’s real money to be made elsewhere. Too frequently, we take refusal as a personal challenge. There’s a push to spend our limited resources on converting disbelievers who never intend to buy instead of focusing on the majority of buyers who are a good match. 

Are You a Chemistry Major?

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The 3 Rules of the 80 Percenters

The typical firm wins just 1 out of 3 RFPs or pitches they participate in; a less than inspiring 31%.

When it comes to RFP and pitch win rates, the playing field is divided. On the low end of the scale is a group of firms with win rates hovering around 12%; on the other end is a select group of firms boasting win rates of 80%. 

What do the 80 percenters know—and do—that the 12 percenters overlook?

Pitching and the RFP process are an inevitable part of business development, but the key lies in approach.

The 12 percenters are proud of the number of proposals they issue and their quick, efficient responses. These firms rarely meet an RFP they don’t like and chalk up success rates to ‘you win some; you lose some.’

The 80 percenters avoid RFPs like the plague. Instead of spending valuable time and resources on a numbers game, these firms strategically develop their leads with clients.

Their approach to pitches and RFPs is calculated and direct.

The 3 Rules of the 80 Percenters:

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The 11-Minute Resolution

In the New Year, resolve to use 11 minutes a day to seriously understand your top clients. The operative word being seriously.

Demonstrating the deepest understanding of your clients’ business is a proven method to win new work and increase client retention. Yet too often we get caught up in everyday tasks and projects. We have so many legitimate reasons to defer the investments needed to truly understand how clients think, make decisions, and where they are headed.

A consistent and systematic 11 minutes a day will transform you into a walking encyclopedia about your client; giving you the ability to approach your client and start a conversation targeted at solving their most pressing (and often undisclosed) issues.

Finding data enabling you to divine insights—and opportunities—others miss takes going beyond visiting company websites, conducting Google searches and setting up client news alerts.

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