How to Let Prospects Close Themselves
By Field Vice President Phil Guido
One key thing I have learned over the years that helped me journey from new UnFranchise® Owner (UFO) to Field Vice President is to focus more on getting my prospects to lead me to other people rather than just trying to register those prospects.
After you have shared your SHOP.COM business with one of the possibilities from your names list, met with them several times, and brought them to see the UnFranchise Business Plan, you might expect them to jump up and ask, “How soon can get I get started?” But that’s not always the case.
They’re on the fence – now what?
Sometimes you just get a big no, and that’s OK because sometimes the timing isn’t right (and some people are just closed-minded). You will come to find, though, that a lot of people don’t say no — but they don’t say yes, either. They sit on the fence, unable to make a decision. From these individuals you frequently hear, “Let me think about it.” This drives UnFranchise Owners crazy. Everyone understands “yes” and we all understand “no,” but many UnFranchise Owners do not know how to deal with indecision.
One way to deal with indecision is to give your prospect some breathing room. You let them walk away, and try to catch up with them days or weeks later after they have thought about it for a while. The problem with this is that all the information is fresh in your prospect’s mind right now. The longer you let them think about it, the more the information and emotion fades.
Another way UFOs deal with indecision is by working hard to overcome every objection the prospect raises in an effort to push them onto your side of the fence. But there’s an old saying: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” If you push your prospect in by cleverly “closing” them to the decision to start their business, what guarantee do you have that your new partner will ever lead you to other future business partners? The answer is, there is no guarantee.
What can happen when you take off the pressure
If the prospect cannot make a decision, stop trying to close them, and focus instead on getting them to lead you to other people. By doing that you can prove to the prospect that this will work for them, and prove to yourself that this is a person who is worth the investment of your time.
Acknowledge their indecision and ask, “What did you like best about the presentation tonight?” This is a question they cannot answer with a simple yes or no. It requires them to provide a positive answer. They may answer that they like the opportunity to earn ongoing income, or they like the teamwork, the SHOP.COM website, etc. You can now build some rapport by agreeing with them. Rather than pressure them to a decision, now is the time to take the pressure off and setup a situation that is a win-win for you and your prospect.
Example: “John, it’s clear that you recognize some of the positive aspects to the business, but I can also sense some hesitation. Our speaker tonight is successful, and other UFOs at the meeting are achieving success, but you are probably not 100% sure this will work for you. Am I right?” Anyone who is struggling to make a decision will not only agree with you, they will be relieved to know you understand their predicament.
Now, the solution: “John, there’s no decision to make right now. I have a sure way to help you figure out if this business is going to work for you, and at the same time help me to decide whether or not you are someone I am willing invest my time in. Very simple: Get a few people together at your place next Tuesday or Wednesday to evaluate the business. I’ll come over with one or two of my business partners and we will explain it, and answer questions. If two or three of them are interested, that will solve your question about the business working for you, and it answers any questions I may have had about whether or not you are the right person for me to work with.”
Take the smart path
Contrast those two different ways to deal with the same situation of indecision:
- One UFO closes his undecided prospect with fancy techniques but no guarantee that new partner will ever lead to others. This UFO in fact might spend weeks, months or longer with that individual only to finally realize they were the wrong person and all that time was wasted.
- The second UFO focuses more on getting his new person to lead to others rather than closing him. By doing so he finds out right at the beginning how serious and coachable this person is, and the new person removes all doubt from their mind about the business working for them.
Learn to be that second UFO, with a smarter path to good prospects who will be more likely to succeed in their own businesses — and help you succeed in yours.