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Selling To Difficult People - Articles Surfing

We all have people whom we find difficult. We don't understand them, connect with them, or even talk comfortably with them. But, for sales people, seeing someone as difficult gets in our way of our selling effectively and their buying wisely.

It is easy to blame the other person. They are the ones that are difficult. But, the truth is, if you find someone difficult, for sure they will find you just as difficult. And, if you are difficult, they don't want to work with you. You lose the sale. They take their business elsewhere.

It is just human nature to dig in our heals when we are irritated. We get demanding. We want them to change. We want them to be like the folks we find easy to deal with. And they feel the same way. They dig in their heals. They want us to change. When we don't change, they leave. They do not buy, even if we have the perfect solution to their needs.

Selling to difficult people works best when we step back and let them set the stage for our sales call. Follow their pace. Give them information in the way they best understand. Speak to their needs. When we start where they are, it is more likely we will lead them to the sale.

Sally told her prospects so much, so fast, everyone was overwhelmed. She was stuck on fast forward. She truly believed the faster the sales presentation, the more sales a day she could make. Yet when she finally slowed down, she made fewer presentations but many more sales.

Howard was determined to sell the Johnson family a new computer. He had the perfect model for them. He explained all the details of the high powered chips and large memory caches. This model was big, lots of room for a variety of programs could run at the same time. Young Bill hung on every word Howard said. Mom and Dad's eyes glazed over. They just wanted a computer that would be easy to set up and use. And, they wanted to connect to on-line services. The model Howard was selling was perfect for the Johnson's family's needs. But Howard focused on the features he found exciting. They didn't understand how those features fit their needs. Finally they said they would keep looking. Howard lost the sale.

Both Sally and Howard made the same mistake. They went with their own comfort and needs, not their customers' comfort and wants. They demanded their customers change. If they had met the customers' comfort and wants, they could more easily lead them to the sale.

The easiest customers to be with are people like us. Selling to someone not like us is harder. We have to choose how to approach them.

Most fast paced, high energy sales people prefer fast paced prospects. If this prospect is task oriented, they quickly cut to the bottom line. No small talk here. Give the facts first and fast. You have what they want, they buy. You don't have it, they leave, often with a disparaging remark as the door closes behind them.

If your high energy prospect is people oriented, you may think a new best friend just walked in. They chat, ask about your family, your life, your business, but not what they are looking for. Be friendly, but take charge of the conversation. Turn the questions to what they want, how you can help them, how they will use your products. Be assumptive with your close. Tell them about your return policy to give them a way out. (They won't take it, but are reassured that it is there!) Slow paced prospects challenge fast paced sales people. Slow down! Slow both your body and your words. Be prepared with details and specifications. Focus on the product, not small talk. Don't take the penetrating, demanding questions personally. They really do want to know the subtleties and nuances. Don't let their silences unnerve you. It takes time to think through buying decisions. They need to be thorough to be right.

By taking the time to analyze just which customers give you trouble, which customers you find difficult, you will be prepared for them the next time you want to sell to them. Preparation pays off. Think about who you have difficulty selling. Then spend some time developing a script to use with them. Practice words that start where they are, and lead them to a closed sale.

Then, when you recognize one of your difficult prospects, take a deep breath, reassure yourself you know what to do, and put into action your preparation and practice.

Submitted by:

Pat Wiklund

Pat Wiklund is known as the One-Person Business Turnaround Specialist. She works with professional services business owners so they can make more money and get more personal satisfaction from their work. Contact her at Pat@leadinganorganizationofone.com http://leadinganorganizationofone.com



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