Sales Prospects
And What Makes Them Wince

All sales prospects you call on have built in wince-o-meters. Yup - that's right. The meter is activated every time salespeople do or say something stupid or pathetic.

Here's a list of things to avoid if you don't want to activate your sales prospect's wince-o-meter:

Wince - when calling for an appointment, avoid saying you're going to be in their area and you want to stop by and introduce yourself. Instead, tell them when you're scheduled to be in their city.

Wince - when you're talking with someone and they seem agreeable to seeing you, never ask, "When would be a good time for you," - you're giving up your calendar. It's something only an amateur would do. It won't make a sales prospect wince - but it makes me wince. Suggest a convenient time based on your schedule for effective time management.

Big Wince - don't show up late for an appointment without calling to give a good reason why. It's the right thing to do if you want your prospect to see you as a sales professional.

Wince - don't begin your sales presentation by saying, "I know you're busy, so I won't take up too much of your time." Everybody says this.

Wince - don't end your sales call by saying, "Before I go are there any other problems I can help you with?" Why in the world would end with a negative?

Wince - don't use sales questions that begin with are you, do you, can you, and would you, because they invite one-word responses. It's also the language of the mediocrity brigade.

Humongous Wince - never start talking about your product/service until you know how it solves a specific dollarized problem.

Wince - don't talk too much - because the less you say, the smarter you'll sound.

Wince - never say, "How soon do you need it," because it triggers an "I need it yesterday response," which puts you in a reactive fire drill mode. This one will make you wince!

Wince - never leave a sales call, with a qualified prospect without setting up and confirming the next appointment. Failing to do this, guarantees you'll be jettisoned into the telephone tag zone. This may not activate your customers wince-o-meter but it sure does activate my cringe-o-meter.

Let's switch roles for a moment. Imagine you are one of your sales prospects and you are scheduled to see 14 salespeople during the next week.

What can you expect to hear and see?

=> you'll see salespeople twitching and sneaking a peek at their vibrating blackberries and cell phones.

=> you'll hear salespeople, before they ask the first question, tell you how they can save you time and money.

=> you'll hear salespeople talk sales babble because they really like the sound of their own voices.

=> you'll hear salespeople bring up the subject of pricing before you (the customer) can raise the price objection.

=> you'll see salespeople who show up without a written sales call objective - you can always tell.

=> you'll hear salespeople pepper their conversation with seal talk - "Ahs" and "Ums."

=> you'll hear and see salespeople get discombobulated when they try asking for the business - Closing the sale.

These behaviors are enough to make anyone wince.

If your sales prospects are wincing you won't be doing any convincing!

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