Top Hacks for Selling to the ‘Nightmare’ Prospect

BY Kathy Crosett
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Is there anything worse than knowing you’ve got to sell to ‘that’ prospect – the one who chews sales reps into little pieces before they’re five minutes into a meeting with her? These kinds of prospects are enough to make you rethink your career choice.

On the other hand, if you handle ‘that’ prospect the right way and manage to close a deal with her, you’ll have the respect of your manager and your colleagues.  Even better, you’ll have the confidence to succeed with the next nightmare prospect. All you need is a game plan.

A post on sales​-training​-lead​-generation​.com explains how to successfully handle tough sales questions. These types of questions aren’t always from a hostile prospect – sometimes they come from an individual who’s determined to get the best deal for his company. Other times, tough questions come from a prospect who thinks he knows more than you do on a specific topic.  The point is, tough questions can come from any direction, when you least expect them, and they can throw you off your planned presentation at the worst time.

Slow Down

The last thing you want to do is get flustered in these situations. If you’re fairly new in your sales position, you may frequently be asked questions you don’t know the answers to. In these cases, slow down the conversation. Ask the client to restate his question, or repeat it, to be sure you understand. This tactic also buys time, and allows you to shift your thinking.

Don't Lie

If you don’t know the answer, don’t lie. Explain you’re new to the product or service, and that you’re still learning. Even if you’ve been in your position for a while, there’s no shame in not knowing the answer. Assure the client she’s asking an excellent question, promise to get back to her, and then be sure you follow up with a thorough answer.

Plan Ahead

Then there’s that other type of question. We all know products aren’t perfect. As a sales rep, it’s your job to help the prospect see the best features of what you're selling. The tough prospect is going to know what the competition is offering and will compare your feature set to theirs. They’ll ask why your product doesn’t include a specific feature. They may even ask for a price concession.

Prepare in advance for these situations. Do some legwork to know the common issues regarding your products. Explain the rationale behind the design of your product and never concede to price breaks without prior approval from your manager.

No matter what happens in these situations, don't lose your cool. Stay positive and professional when you're in front of the client or prospect. Conducting yourself in this way will allow you to maintain your reputation and give you the confidence to score the deal in your next meeting.