The Word That Prevents Bookings and Appointments

Oftentimes I hear a tone of indignation when salespeople report how their prospects say they are interested, but then often fail to ever book anything, whether that be an appointment or a home show. What I'll be sharing with you today is why a particular word you use rather frequently often sets you up to miss the target you seek.

It really is not that these people, who say they are interested, are not good for their word, and it is not that they are insincere or disingenuous. The problem stems from the word "interested," a word that salespeople constantly use.

Interested is a word that salespeople use when they do not want to hear their prospects tell them, "No." But guess what? Interested is also a word that prospects use when they do not want to tell the salesperson, "Yes."

Have you ever had a conversation similar to the following:

Salesperson: Would you be interested in taking a look at this?

Prospect: Sure, I might be interested in doing that.

or

Salesperson: Would you be interested in hosting a party?

Prospect: Yeah, I might be interested in doing that.

If you really look at either of those conversations, you will notice that nothing changes at the end of the conversation. The sales process has not moved forward at all (although many salespeople mistakenly think it has). Prospects can tell you that they are interested, but interest does not put them on your calendar.

Expressing interest is not commitment. Haven't you ever told someone that their business was really interesting, but you knew you had no intention of ever calling them and buying their products or hiring them for their services?

The way to prevent this irritating standstill is to come out and ask questions that move both you and your prospect forward. If you discover that your prospect does not want what you are selling or offering, you will still move forward because you will know more about your prospect and the obstacles that stand in the way of him/her wanting what you are offering.

Salesperson: How would you feel about taking a look at this?

Prospect: Hmm... I don't know. I don't really like Network Marketing.

Salesperson: Oh? I hear that sometimes. Can you tell me more about that?

Prospect: Well... I've actually tried it before but I ended up not doing anything.

or

Salesperson: How do you feel about hosting an ABC party?

Prospect: Well... I don't know.

Salesperson: I sense some hesitation. Is there something that concerns you that you'd like to share?

Prospect: Yeah, I guess it's just that I've never been successful at getting many people to attend.

The salesperson in either of the above scenarios is actually much better off than the salesperson that has a prospect who "might be interested" in taking a look at the business opportunity or hosting a party.

The reason why is because this salesperson knows exactly what is in the way of his prospect taking a look at the business or hosting a home show. By providing the prospect the opportunity to share more about that obstacle, the salesperson makes it possible for the prospect to overcome the barrier that seems to be in the way. 

Just for argument's sake, suppose the salesperson says absolutely nothing after the prospect admits that she's never been successful at getting people to attend home parties. It is highly unlikely that this direct seller will see this person as a hostess to count on for next month! In other words, knowing the true state of things can actually be good for you and your business.

You often hear that sales is a numbers business, but those of you who have read my first book know that I believe sales is a value business. I believe it is deeply important to show your prospects and you customers that you value them. When you show people how you value them, you will not need to plow through so many numbers!

This week, observe how you talk to your prospects and your customers. Notice how often you fall back on the word "interested" and choose instead to step into real conversations that make a difference for you and your prospects or customers!