Observe The Prospect Or Starve!

A few years ago I was working with a salesperson whom we shall call Pete. Pete liked to talk and talk and talk. Luckily he was a very good guy and people loved him even though, on occasion, their eyes might glaze over when they listened. Pete did okay in spite of the handicap but……

Pete and I had several come to Jesus meetings about his propensity to ramble ad nauseum. My question to him was, “How does the prospect communicate?” Do they like to argue a point? Does their mind wander? Are they the reincarnation of the sphinx? Do they bore a hole into your head listening? Each one of these styles means that you have to adjust how you conduct the sales call.

  1. The observer might want details
  2. The arguer may want details that can’t be debated. Let them think of reasons to buy
  3. The wandering mind needs to be brought back by being silent
  4. The sphinx needs to be asked open end questions

Back to the call a few years ago. I was along with Pete when we made a call on a current customer who was a combination of the observer and the sphinx. The gentleman spoke softly and used his words with an eye on economy. All of a sudden I noticed that there was a rather long silence. Holy vocal chords Batman! The silence lasted about 45 seconds, which in Pete’s world of yak-yak must have seemed like an hour. The outcome was very cool. The customer agreed (with what Pete had last said) and decided to replace a competitor’s product with Pete’s. Pete’s smile showed all 32 teeth. End of anecdote!

Be patient! Observe the prospect to see if they fall into a certain communication style and adjust to that style. There are only so many personality styles. Research styles on line and document 4 or 5. Have a game plan ready for how you are going to react to prospects with a specific style.

The Final Word: Mediocrity can talk; but it is for the genius to observe. Benjamin Disraeli.


One thought on “Observe The Prospect Or Starve!

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