First time around you often hear reps say “as requested, I’m calling back today, any news yet?” and take it from there.
Although it must be said that this is a bit shoddy for a phone call premise, as the call should really be structured around some definitive next action.
Nevertheless, when you find yourself off-guard saying this, the odds are that you’ll end up in the loop of repeated calls once a week/month/millennium asking “any news yet?” with the once-certain customer-in-waiting moving slowly back to vague prospect and beyond, both your forecasting reputation and commission statement in tatters.
To try and break this rapidly downward spiral, three approaches can come into play (there can be some commonality between them too). This is because if the deal was indeed ‘done’, then there’d be no hesitation, so something must have happened to stop our train in its tracks. The aim must be to isolate what it might be, then create an action that overcomes it:
The Change – You were sure there was a great fit for their need and your product, if this has been dulled, then how come?
The Hurdle – With everything seemingly gung-ho to progress last time out, what obstacle has possibly appeared from nowhere to sidetrack the initiative?
The Omission – Thinking everything was considered in detail, has therefore something on reflection been missed from the proposal?