I’ve written about how to be more effective at closing time, but what happens when the opportunity isn’t closing, doesn’t seem to be getting any closer to closing, and you know you need to move things along?  Here are some do’s and don’ts:

Don’t be a pest.
Don’t check in to see how it’s going – they’ll think you’re being a pest.
Don’t call without a good reason – they’ll think you’re being a pest.
Don’t provide more reasons to buy – they’ll perceive that as selling.

Do have a great reason for calling. What qualifies as a great reason?  Let’s discuss some here.

Questions: If you have a question to ask, like, “How did the management team respond to the additional information I sent you last week?” or “We didn’t talk about this before but what are the chances that your other branches have the same problem?” or “Who else cares about this problem other than you?” or “It’s been several months since you told me about the problem with the machinery causing downtime.  Have you initiated some kind of temporary solution that you didn’t tell me about?”

Intelligence: If you have something to tell your prospect like, “I was reading that other companies in your industry are having a challenge similar to yours and the article talks about what they’re doing to solve the problem.” or “I’ve been thinking about your problem and I came up with what I think is a more effective way to solve it.”

Referral: If you have a customer/client for whom you’ve recently solved a similar problem, call your prospect and let them know about what you’ve done and ask if they’d like to speak with this customer to get a better sense of what to expect.

Do be a resource.
Do be proactive.
Do stay in touch.

Baseline Selling addresses most of these issues in greater depth.  Refer to the chapter on Scoring.