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Controlling Pace and Keeping on Topic

Some of my biggest customers are naturally some of the most difficult to deal with. Most times the difficulties are relatively minor and can be handled with a little "baby sitting" & good customer service. With a few of my customers I really have what I feel is a difficult time:( (they might not feel the same because I do quite well with them:)). The problem is basically this. Their personallities are fast paced often high strung and somewhat like a child who's had way too much candy before bedtime.:p Before I can even sit down in the office to talk with them I've been asked 5-6 rapid-fire questions, none of which had a pause after it to allow for an answer.:confused: I find quite often that this can throw me off my game and I leave feeling like I just made a terrible sales call. I normally handle this situation by letting them continue on until I can get a word in and address 1 or 2 of the questions mainly trying to slow the pace of the sales call while still letting him know I was listening. Then I'll usually try to switch topics to why I thought I was calling on him in the first place sometimes only to be bombarded with another round of questions. Is this just a control issue? Any suggestions on how to better handle this type of customer while still keeping the call on topic? - by Doc MC
Are these established accounts or new prospects? - by SalesGal
Mostly established accounts although it has happened occasionally on calls to prospects. - by Doc MC
Are the questions "off topic?" Do they relate to your product/service or is the client simply downloading his/her situation on you? - by SalesGal
The only times I can remember that happening to me was when either I didn't take control at the beginning or the customer had a bone to pick. - by MagicMan
@SalesGal, Most questions are off topic, with the occasional "what would my price on X be?" and generic "how's business?" questions. - by Doc MC
It sounds like you're not getting into your rhythm.

Example; thanks for meeting with me today... what I want to talk with you about today... let me ask you... let me show you... can you see the benefits...

In my mind this all sounds some much better than it looks on my screen. :D - by SalesGal
The only times I can remember that happening to me was when either I didn't take control at the beginning or the customer had a bone to pick.
I guess this is more what my question is about, how do you get control of the sales call once you feel you have lost it. - by Doc MC
In my mind this all sounds some much better than it looks on my screen. :D
So did my original post!:p :D - by Doc MC
...how do you get control of the sales call once you feel you have lost it.
IMO, you grab the bull by the horns and lead it to where you want it.

For instance, "Mr. Prospect, I want to answer your questions and before we run out of time I also want to make sure to let you why I stopped by today..." - by SalesGuy
In our industry, real estate, it's not uncommon for a "Seller" to try and control the conversation. After all, it's their home and you are being interviewed.

In anticipation of this, we train our agents the different stages where they can regain control if they get off track. - by AZBroker
I think you should look at your meeting preparation, not look at getting control back.
- by Bizal
I think you should look at your meeting preparation, not look at getting control back.
What do you mean? - by Gilbert
I think you should look at your meeting preparation, not look at getting control back.
Can you elaborate? - by MagicMan
Before any meeting do your home work



1: Provide an agenda

2: Get their input into the agenda

3: Find out how long they have

4: Confirm the meeting and agenda in writing ( email is OK)

5: Find complimentary incumbents and trade a good word in your prospects ear for a good word in one of your clients that they are not working with.

- by Bizal
Before any meeting do your home work


1: Provide an agenda

2: Get their input into the agenda

3: Find out how long they have

4: Confirm the meeting and agenda in writing ( email is OK)

5: Find complimentary incumbents and trade a good word in your prospects ear for a good word in one of your clients that they are not working with.
Bizal, I believe DOC MC's issue wasn't about the "Agenda" but about clients with fast paced and high strung personalities who ask a series of rapid-fire questions straight out of the gate. He mentioned that this quite often throws him off his game.

What are your suggestions on how to better handle this type of customer while still keeping the call on topic? - by MagicMan
Thanks to everyone for your input.:) Bizal, You make a good point in that if I were more prepared on some of these calls, I may handle these situations better. That being said, nobody is perfect, and the agenda preparation to the extent that you detailed above is IMO quite a bit of overkill for most sales calls.

MagicMan, you are correct about my question.:cool: No matter how prepared a salesperson is there are situations that each of us find difficult to handle. This customer type is the one that I have the most difficulty with. Have you come across this or other personality types that you have difficulty with? How do you handle those situations? - by Doc MC
Have you come across this or other personality types that you have difficulty with? How do you handle those situations?
This personality type is not uncommon. I think the number one tool in situations like this is "Rapport." Here's one example and I have many more:

Not long ago I was in the field working with a new rep. We had an appointment with a successful husband and wife management team. We arrive on time, are escorted in to the office and them BAM! Just as we sit down the husband goes to town about this that and the other. He's talking so fast there is no room to get a word in edgewise and nothing he is saying is complimentary, if you know what I mean.

Now this new rep who thought he was the cat's meow "before the interview" starts to get this worried look on his face and begins to show the outward physical signs of defeat.

So what did I do? I sat there and listened. The way I see it the more I let them talk the more they are going to like me. [Long story for another thread.]

Anyway, I was lucky enough to spot a break when the husband very adamantly proclaimed, "My wife and I have already discussed this and agreed that we will not under any circumstances be using your services."

You should have seen that new rep. He actually stood up to leave. :eek: :p

So what did I say? I responded to his statement by saying, "Yes you will and here's why." I then proceeded to detail my understanding of his situation. [I believe Jeffrey calls this "Mind Reading."] When I had finished "detailing" for these folks their situation [pain development] I then showed them a better way. Twenty (20) minutes later I walked out with a signed agreement.

My point: When "rapport" has been established you can say those things that need to be said but would normally kill the conversation. ;) - by MagicMan
...I then proceeded to detail my understanding of his situation. [I believe Jeffrey calls this "Mind Reading."]
Yes, those are what I refer to as "Mind Reading Statements." ;) - by Jeff Blackwell
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