Close The File?

You know the story - The prospect you thought you had ‘in the bag’ cannot be reached for follow up. For some reason they have disappeared - they’ve gone ‘dark’. They are off the radar. And by now you probably get the feeling that you’re not going to close the sale. Sound familiar?

 

These days getting prospects to make a decision is like herding cats and chasing pigeons. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, some prospects just seem to “fly away” for no apparent reason, never to be seen or heard from again.

 

Here’s the worst part… You keep calling and leaving messages and sending e-mails - none of which are returned. Time to get frustrated? No way - no how! You still have one more shot to take before you throw in the towel. It’s called suggesting to: “Close the File”

 

I have an M.I.A. prospect I’m working on right now. This prospect was a referral from a client and I was told he had genuine interest. I was given contact information, copied on e-mail, and a formal introduction was made by my client. Guess what? My so called prospect has not returned ANY of my calls or e-mail messages. Figures…

So… This morning I decided to take one more shot and sent a carefully crafted "Close the File" message to my “prospect”. Having done so, I feel much better.  At least I tried and I take credit for that. Now I’m on to my next sales prospect leaving the past behind.

 

Making the suggestion to “Close the File” may seem like a paradox at first, and may make you feel like you’re doing the wrong thing. You’re not! 

As a sales professional you must be objective at all times and face the facts. Some things are just not meant to be. So, if things are not meant to be, you simply want to know that as soon as possible so you don’t waste valuable time, and run yourself ragged trying to make something happen that wasn’t meant to happen in the first place.
The good news is that sometimes your sales prospect will reply back asking that you don't close the file, and then you're back in the 'game' again, only this time you have more control over the proceedings. 
As for how best to suggest “Closing the File” here’s a message I sent to my M.I.A. prospect this morning.

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Hello Steve,

Here’s why I’m writing you today… In mid-December I received a message from Cliff _____ through an associate of his, Michael _______ (both clients of mine). Cliff and Mike asked that I follow up with you to discuss what I might do to help you find your way to new business via LinkedIn. To that end, I have tried to reach you via e-mail and I have left a few phone messages - none of which have been returned. That’s OK - I understand that some people are not interested in pursuing new clientele through LinkedIn.

I’m just hoping that’ll you’ll do me a big favor and let me know if you’re not interested in speaking with me. That way I don’t have to continually call you, listen to your voice mail greeting, and leave more messages, and generally make a pest of myself. If you don’t have interest today, perhaps you will in the future, at which time I’d be more than happy to speak with you and see where we may have a fit. That said, if you’d like me to “close the file” because you’re not interested, feel free to let me know. I can take it, although reluctantly.

 

Thank you for your attention - I hope our paths cross someday!

Pete