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Orphan-Selling® Can Make Your Future a Success!

One of the greatest strategic selling ideas in your professional selling tool-kit – Orphan- Selling®. When effectively and successfully deployed will afford you greater market connectivity, than your competition will realize. Orphan-Selling, illustrates the habits most selling organizations fall into and illustrates just how lazy most professional selling individuals really are!

Great sales professionals don't miss a selling opportunity, nor do they miss an opportunity left by other short sighted selling professionals in the marketplace. Here is an idea so powerful it is alarming!

I recall a conversation with friends and occasional columnists to my www.ProfessionalPerformanceMagazine.com, Harvey Mackay and Tom Hopkins and the discussion revolved around the amount of lost business growth opportunities that there are for selling professionals if they would remain connected with past clients.

Orphan-Selling®, the strategic concept of adopting the sale that someone else made, and staying professionally connected to them as if they belonged to you all along. This is a universal strategic concept and works whether you are a sales professional, recruiter, client services representative, business development specialist or order taker. Consider:

  • Archive and track every lost sell you (and your organization) have to the competition. Recognize the amount of time and intensity you invested courting that prospect and once they have made a decision to go with your competition, don’t get mad, get better. Here is where most selling professionals believe it is time to dis-connect from that person, as they believe the selling process is lost and done. You adopt them and stay connected to them as you would if you had sold/recruited them into your organization. Determine when their next buying (next purchase time line or for example in the military when re-enlistment would take place) time line would take place and then by maintaining your adopted relationship as a support agent, go to Subject-Matter-Expert, trusted advisor or agent to their well-being, you would be poised to make the next sale.

    Imagine you create an excel spreadsheet or run a report from your data base of all lost sales in the past 12-months and go backward for the past decade, as appropriate, and now you have a new list of “warm leads” to reconnect to and see about adopting them into your next selling campaign of opportunities.

  • Notice every sales transaction by your competition and record their new customers into your data base as if they were your new customers. If you are a recruiter, then notice the individuals that join your competition as if they were a new member to your organization. If you had built some degree of rapport or relationship with them, don’t just walk away from that, stay connected as if you were adopting them into your selling pipeline, and just as you would check-in with your new and existing clients for needs, updates, how you can help them, serve them, and earn their respect, now you can garner business from that relationship.

    And, when it may be time for them to buy/enlist again, if they are not satisfied with the organization or agent they previously did business with, you as a professional that had adopted them and not abandoned them, may get the next selling opportunity.

So here is what typically takes place in the selling world. Most new customers once gained are quickly discarded by that organization in terms of after action follow-up, client-care, cultural-connectivity, etc., the energy is for the hunt for the new customer.

So, let me get more specific. What you do is “Adopt” the new customers that you lost to someone else, as an “Orphan Account” and treat them as if they had just done business with you. Several things that you can do for these “Orphan Accounts Adopted” to potentially convert them into Centers-of-Influence (COIs) and even potential future “Clients” is to:

  • Immediately send them a CONGRATULATIONS CARD for their purchase, affiliation or enlistment with the product/organization they just bought or joined into!
  • ADD THEM TO YOUR ELECTRONIC DATA BASE SYSTEM to receive any future (Rule 1-52-X®; Rule 1-2-3-4-5-X®) informational items, promotional offers, institutional/trade/industry updates or correspondence that you would send to “your active” prospect pool and client base!
  • Send them future ANNIVERSARY CONGRATULATION cards on the anniversary of their purchase/enlistment for the first three years (or for an enlistment through to their first re-enlistment date as a minimum)!
  • Send them, call them or face-to-face facilitate a SURVEY (an Exit Interview of sorts) to find out what their buying motives were for what they did. You could ask three simple survey questions: (1) “What did you like most about the purchase/enlistment you just engaged into?”; (2) “What do you hope to gain from this decision and why?”; (3) “If there were one thing that you could eliminate from the action though, what would that have been or be?” or “Is there anything I did or did not do, that lead you to select the other option for your decision?”
  • Make sure you send them a PERSONAL CONTACT follow up that if they have a problem with their buying decision, ever need to just talk about their decision once implemented or need a last-minute alternate choice option you would be excited to assist them or share your service/product option with them as a substitute.

Selling is hard enough, finding qualified prospects and new clients (customers, new members, clients, soldiers, users, students, buyers of what you have to offer) is the daily challenge for every professional.

Here is another powerful selling behavior that on the front-end may not render any results, but over the long term may generate significant results. By absorbing and adopting those new clients of your competition, you will find that most customers never have contact with the person that sold them once they buy or commit. Never have contact!

Now you become their adopted “Orphan Connection” and many times they will come to see you as their sales professional.

Another way to capitalize on the “Orphan Selling” strategy is to make sure every sale you know you have lost to a competitor that you make sure you stay in contact with that person like the foster-parent to that orphan, they have been abandoned in the selling system. Adopt them and send your follow-up mechanisms to them as if they were your client. In many cases they may start to realize that they person they have selected to do business with has abandoned them, and that you care more about them, thus causing them buyers remorse and they may in fact change their business transaction to you, or send leads to you in the future!

This is a long-term business growth strategy, while it may occasionally yield an immediate result in future business opportunities, you would invest in this endeavor as a long-term business growth differentiator in your market place for life long success!

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