One of the most important lessons that successful salespeople learn is when to "let go." This is particularly difficult when you've worked so hard to get that first appointment with a prospect, invested time in getting to know the organization and its products and spent significant time with the prospect, establishing rapport and trust. You've grown comfortable with the relationship . . . and find it much easier to spend the morning with the prospect than with your phone, making cold calls.
The problem is that this sales relationship is going nowhere. The signals are all there. If you are one of my clients, you probably have a "red light - yellow light - green light" job aid that allows you to filter sales conversations, looking for phrases that signal a prospect's intentions. And the lights you have seen for weeks have all been red. But you keep going back for yet another meeting.
If you're having trouble breaking away from non-productive relationships, take a look at Paul Trout's excellent article, Tech Salespeople Should Say ‘No’ to Prospects Much More Than They Do . As Paul tells us:
"It may seem backward – salespeople saying “no” to prospects – but salespeople should say it much more often than they do now. By claiming “the power of no,” technology salespeople are allowing themselves to free up time to focus on opportunities that have higher likelihoods of closing. By saying “no” to the wrong opportunities and “yes” to the right ones, making your quota becomes much easier because you become more productive."
Saying "no" to prospects who will not convert into customers should not come off as an act of arrogance. Instead, it should come from a place of respect . . . both for your prospect and for yourself. You know what to do . . . now do it.