Home > Social Influence > What do I do when the prospect "takes over" the conversation?

What do I do when the prospect "takes over" the conversation?

OK, I admit it... I'm a total newbie!

So... I have come across some pretty persuasive prospects, and I find myself getting influenced by them instead of them getting influenced by me. That's not good :(

The difference between me and some of the prospects is that they are used to deal with people like me... I'm not used to deal with people like them, especially not when it comes to selling!!!

Until now,I have just done calls. But soon I'll also have to go door to door selling, and if I don't find a way to stop my current response to their "negative influence", it may be huge trouble.

I manage fine with those just saying "no thanks" and so, but there are also some who are challenging my arguments, and it becomes a "power thing". It's those people who are able to switch the "leadership" of a salesconversation who are my problem.

Any advice/tips is appreciated :)

Take care,
Louise - by cleocatra999
You could consider... "Twenty Steps to Power, Influence and Control Over People".... ;st

My ex-partner Greg used to tell me about business owners that would try to own the conversation and how to deal with it..

Greg would after the second or third challenge... sit or stand quietly till the guy finished.... and would wait.. then ask "is there anything else?" When the response to that was whatever it was... didn't matter, Greg would say "we were getting off track.. may I demonstrate why you gave us this few minutes of your time?"

This was much easier for Greg than for me... Greg was a 6' 3" Blond Prince Valiant.... but fun to watch....

Aloha... :cool: - by rattus58
Thanks Rattus :)


Greg would after the second or third challenge... sit or stand quietly till the guy finished.... and would wait.. then ask "is there anything else?" When the response to that was whatever it was... didn't matter, Greg would say "we were getting off track.. may I demonstrate why you gave us this few minutes of your time?"
Sounds like fun! Do you know what kind of tone he was using? was it working? Do you think you'll have to look like Valiant to achieve any positive outcome from that? -Sorry for all the questions. I just want to know as much as possible in case before I try it out myself :)

But what is the guy is telling you why your product/service is of no use to them? -that's kind of my primary problem... Especially when the discussion suddenly is all about why it doesn't seem to work... yeah, I know... still lots to learn :)

Thanks for your idea. I like it :)

Take care,
*Louise - by cleocatra999
I like informing the client they have valid reasons however if we take a look from this perspective we find a different result would you like to know the reults? - by rich34232
\I manage fine with those just saying "no thanks" and so, but there are also some who are challenging my arguments, and it becomes a "power thing". It's those people who are able to switch the "leadership" of a salesconversation who are my problem.
One tip is to drop the concept of "arguments". Selling is not about arguments. It is very difficult to wrest control by arguing. A strategic principle in selling is to FIND COMMON GROUND. Don't mistake that however for "petting the goldfish". I'm referring to common ground within the parameters of the product/service/idea discussion, not the "rapport" stage. - by Ace Coldiron
Easiest way to maintan control of a conversation is ASK QUESTIONS. Whoever is asking the questions is the one steering where the conversation goes. Keep it simple. - by jrboyd
Thanks Rattus

Sounds like fun! Do you know what kind of tone he was using? was it working? Do you think you'll have to look like Valiant to achieve any positive outcome from that? -Sorry for all the questions. I just want to know as much as possible in case before I try it out myself :)

But what is the guy is telling you why your product/service is of no use to them? -that's kind of my primary problem... Especially when the discussion suddenly is all about why it doesn't seem to work... yeah, I know... still lots to learn :)

Thanks for your idea. I like it :)

Take care,
*Louise
I've not run into that scenario exactly so I'm quite sure how I'd respond the first time. The second time, though, I'd have rehearsed some sort of redirection to get me back on track to my original pursuit.

When someone suggests that your product won't work, I think I'd want to get concrete examples of what the objection is first. Sometimes that may even be the case, that is why I've been schooled to know everything that our products can and cannot do, and how people use our products and also products that the competition has and how they work.

Rich, Ace and JR all have what I think are appropriate approaches to meeting the client who is or possibly is adversarial, and ACE is absolutely correct in that we cannot make this an arguments dialog, this is sales dialog... which is another form of education in MY OPINION.

Personally, and in "prince valiant" fashion, I'd evaluate if one or more of the objections were valid. Sometimes they are, and if they are, they need to be addressed. My son has his first disability policy being issued with a rating and an exclusion for back problems. There are going to be lot's of objections and especially one of "but it's my back I'm worried about!"

Somehow my son is going to have to illustrate that insurance companies hate to insure burning buildings. He's going to have explain that it's tough to insure a building with open flame present, but that we'd be happy to insure all the rest of the risks he faces, such as flood, hurricane, mechanical breakdown, etc etc, just not the open flame.

In the case of disability, it's not just a pre-existing back problem that will potentially disable you. Heart attack, stress, stroke, pneumonia, cancer, accidents many other risks are also potentials to stopping a paycheck... and my son has this challenge before him.

Back to prince valiant.... "is there anything else?" is generally a claims question but if you've gotten all the "argument" out of the client you can then start on your quest of questioning to explore areas of vulnerability that he has where your product has the potential of offering solution so that you can suggest a remedy that you both can accept as being the right approach to using your product/service to solve his need.

Aloha... Tom :cool: - by rattus58
You really only loose control when you ae answerign questions, you want to ask them.

In the process, simply ask a question at the end of answering one without a pause. This can be done neatly by saying;

"<don't pause> I have a few questions that will help speed this process up, you don't mind if I ask them, do you?"

There are far more advanced ways to do that but the simple one will work for anyone most of the time. - by Gold Calling
OK, I admit it... I'm a total newbie!

So... I have come across some pretty persuasive prospects, and I find myself getting influenced by them instead of them getting influenced by me. That's not good :(

The difference between me and some of the prospects is that they are used to deal with people like me... I'm not used to deal with people like them, especially not when it comes to selling!!!

Until now,I have just done calls. But soon I'll also have to go door to door selling, and if I don't find a way to stop my current response to their "negative influence", it may be huge trouble.

I manage fine with those just saying "no thanks" and so, but there are also some who are challenging my arguments, and it becomes a "power thing". It's those people who are able to switch the "leadership" of a salesconversation who are my problem.

Any advice/tips is appreciated :)

Take care,
Louise
Louise

I can identify with how you feel because I was very much like you when I first started in media sales about twenty-five years ago. You have to realize that most of what you are going through will disappear only with time and experience. You will slowly but surely begin to build your own self confidence to the point that you are no longer intimidated by these strong willed business people. Until that time you will have to wing it. Learn all you possibly can about your industry so you can fell confident with questions you are asked. When you call on someone try to know as much about that business as possible before you go there. This will also help to build your confidence. Don't get discouraged you will overcome this.

jrboyd was right when he said ask questions. Ask questions and listen intently. A very wise man told me once "if I listen I know twice as much, I know what I know and I know what you know" Everyone loves to talk about themselves and they especially love to have someone that wants to hear what they have to say. Ask questions and listen and the client will tell you everything you need to know about what it will take to make the sale!

Warmest Regards - by MPrince
one more thing Louise...when you are asking leading questions and, giving the client plenty of talk time it seems,(to the client) he is in control of the conversation when in reality, you are in control. You are asking questions with an end in mind and that end is information. I have done this and literally watched a client talk himself into the sale when he had said no a few minutes earlier. Just be yourself, don't be intimidated, ask lots of questions and let the client talk!

I can tell from your post that you have all the qualities and I know you can do it!!!

Warmest Regards - by MPrince
Hi Mary... :)

What exactly do you mean by a "leading" question when you are discussing questioning techniques?

Much Aloha,

Tom :cool: - by rattus58
OK, I admit it... I'm a total newbie!

So... I have come across some pretty persuasive prospects, and I find myself getting influenced by them instead of them getting influenced by me. That's not good :(

The difference between me and some of the prospects is that they are used to deal with people like me... I'm not used to deal with people like them, especially not when it comes to selling!!!

Until now,I have just done calls. But soon I'll also have to go door to door selling, and if I don't find a way to stop my current response to their "negative influence", it may be huge trouble.

I manage fine with those just saying "no thanks" and so, but there are also some who are challenging my arguments, and it becomes a "power thing". It's those people who are able to switch the "leadership" of a salesconversation who are my problem.

Any advice/tips is appreciated :)

Take care,
Louise
Hi Mary... :)

What exactly do you mean by a "leading" question when you are discussing questioning techniques?

Much Aloha,

Tom :cool:
Hi Tom

Leading questions would be questions that are leading them in the direction you want the client to go and to gather information. In my business I would ask all kinds of questions such as;

What led you to get into this business?
How long have you been doing this type of business?
How did you get to the top of your field?
How is it possible that you have accomplished so much?
What are your plans for future expansion ?
How many employees do you have now?
If there is anything about your present advertising plan you are unhappy with, what would that be?
If you could change it how would you change it?
What does your customer look like?
Who are you trying to reach?
Do you feel your present advertising investment is giving you the return it should?
If I can show you a bigger return on your advertising investment is this something you would be willing to look at?

Tom, the questions can go on and on but you ask and then give them plenty of time to answer. In my opinion I believe most salespeople talk way too much. I believe if a sales person is talking more than 25% of the time they are talking too much. Ask then shut up and listen. That's my opinion. - by MPrince
Hi Mary... :)

Thank you for your examples. You and I have similar goals with our questioning just different terminology for similar objectives... We call our questioning exploratory.

Thank you again...

Much Aloha,

Tom :cool: - by rattus58
Thank you all so much for your great advice and support :)

Never thought it was possible to learn so much in just a few days!

After reading your posts, I really start to believe that my questions are the main problem... They are a problem no matter what though. I don't have any idea of what to ask, especially when it comes to the job ads.

Martha, thank you for making that list. It gives me a great idea what to aim for when I do my "thing" :)

Oh... and I think I got the words wrong.
When I say "arguments", I mean something like... Well, this one isn't bad, but I called someone and asked what it could do to their business if they got more visitors for their job ads, and then she started giving me a huge list of reasons why it was a bad idea... I got very confused what to say next because I understand why there, in a small busy kitchen, isn't time to answer the phone all the time because they got more calls if their ad got more visible.

...That's sort of what I meant with arguments... Maybe it's "statements" in English?

I appreciate all the input and advice you guys give me :)

Take care,
Louise - by cleocatra999
Louise

If you feel your prospect is too busy to talk then say, "I can tell you are busy, when would be a good time to call you back?" Then make an appointment to call back when they have time to talk. That way you are more relaxed because you have their permission to call. It will mean another phone call for you but it is worth it if you make a sale.

Warmest Regards - by MPrince
We don’t want objections landing in our lap with out a proper response. Allowing the prospect to voice themselves is important. Allowing them to talk acknowledges the fact that they are important, it also communicates to you where you are going with your client, as well let’s them feel as though they are in control. This is what you want. Moving forward from there & putting it back in their lap without arguing with them is a critical step.

Asking them any simple question puts it back in their lap, & knowing where they are going to go with their response & being prepared with a proper answer will put you in Samurai mode. ie Validate their concern & ask “is this important to you” “yes”, certainly, this is how this product does that, moving forward from there with “Is there anything else”, serves a multi fold purpose, (1) it demonstrates a concern for their complete satisfaction,(2) keeps you in control of the conversation (3) it starts taking the wind out of their sails.(4) Bridges you towards your close. This is one of my favorite lines both professionally & personally.

The fortunate thing here is, you will start hearing the same objections (disguised requests for more information) over & over. Which is great, you can prepare for these objections with a pat response that’s well rehearsed. - by DIAMONDSTAR
Thank you so much guys :)

“Is there anything else”, serves a multi fold purpose, (1) it demonstrates a concern for their complete satisfaction,(2) keeps you in control of the conversation (3) it starts taking the wind out of their sails.(4) Bridges you towards your close. This is one of my favorite lines both professionally & personally.
I will start using that whenever I can put it in as a natural thing.
Great perspectives :)

Take care,
*Louise - by cleocatra999
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