Monday, February 8, 2010

The Cost of a Lost Opportunity to Make a Sale

You call a potential customer and they say, “Gee, I love what you’re selling but I wish you had called yesterday before I bought this from your competitor.” Those words are an instant downer because you missed out on an opportunity.

I thought about this because I received a letter from a salesperson at the local BMW dealership that read:
Dear Linda, Congratulations! In a few days you will have driven your BMW for two full years. I trust that during this time your vehicle has proven to give you many miles of satisfaction. On the chance that you may be considering another vehicle, I’d like to offer my services.

The letter finished with contact information. Nicely written as it was, I’m not ready to buy another car so it is now in the recycling bin.

But it did get me thinking about the cost of lost selling opportunities and how to eliminate “you’re too late” conversations about just-lost sales.

If you sell hamburgers, every new day creates new opportunities to sell. Same is true for coffee, candy bars and paperback books. These are low-cost, low-risk consumables we buy again and again.

When we buy cars, carpet, or computers for home or a business, the cost of a lost opportunity today has bigger ramifications for sales professionals because it may be one year or many before the customer is ready to purchase again.

So what can you do to insure you don’t miss out? Stay tuned.

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