WOW a Prospect in Five Minutes or Less!


How many times have you met a new prospect, only to be told, “I only have five minutes, so tell me what you got”? A salesperson faced with that situation will often try to get as much information across as they possibly can in that short amount of time. We all know how this scenario plays out. The prospect says, “I’ll get back to you,” or “Give my office a call” and you are never able to reconnect with him or her. Before we talk about what you should do, let us talk about these prospects for a minute.  The reason many prospects say that they only have five minutes, is because they have their guard up against pushy salespeople and they want an “out” if your sales pitch is a dud.  These … [Read more...]

How do I find out who the decision maker is in a new organization?


As you have probably realized, you cannot just come out and ask, “Are you the decision maker” when you meet a prospective client. The question can seem too forward and rude, and most people will answer with “yes” even if they are not really the decision maker. So, how do you find out the information you need to know about the organization and its process? You need to rephrase the question in an open-ended manner.  You can start with this:  “Help me to understand your company’s decision making process.” When you try to engage someone this way, you are more likely to get the information you desire, such as: The other people who are involved in the buying process How decisions are made … [Read more...]

How do I pin down my customer’s time frame, when they claim to not know when they will be able to make a decision?


When asking a customer about their time line, you need to be a bit of a detective. Let’s imagine that you ask a customer when they will make a decision, and they answer, “I am looking to make a decision by the end of the year.” Then you need to respond by saying, “That is great. Share with me more about your evaluation process and what actions will need to occur by the end of the year.” What you are doing here is trying to find out the process that will occur before a final decision is made. You want to uncover who will be involved, how they will be making their decision, and what benchmarks they will need to meet in order to move the process forward. As you are wrapping up the … [Read more...]

What do you do when your client tells you he/she needs to think about it?


The next time someone tells you that they need to “think about it,” I suggest you have the following response: “I can understand. After all, it is an important decision and you need to do what is best for you and your organization. Tell me, what specifically stands out from our conversation that is of interest to you?” The goal of this question is to get clarification on how much the prospect is really interested in what you have shared and whether or not the prospect feels they want to move forward. Is there sincerity in the response, or are you being blown off? You should follow up by saying, “Since you need to think about it, it tells me that you have some concerns. What are they?” … [Read more...]

How do I make a lasting impression?


As salespeople, we need to be able to stand out from the crowd. I have seen a lot of gimmicks over the years that salespeople have used in order to be more memorable to prospective clients. They have run the gamut from salespeople bringing in homemade brownies, wearing quirky bow ties, or even handing out bumper stickers with their faces on them. The problem is that gimmicks only work for a short time, and they do not often create a lasting connection. So, what should you do if you want to make a lasting impression on a prospective client and you only have a few minutes to do so? You should ask your prospective client a question about how he or she became successful. One of the most … [Read more...]