Have you ever felt like you’re not quite clicking with a prospect? You’ve done your discovery. You know your solution can help their company improve a big problem. Yet, your contact person doesn’t seem to pay attention to you. They may rush to get off the phone. Or they may fail to communicate clearly with you about what they want.
Before you decide that this person doesn’t want to do business with you, take some time to analyze what’s going on. They could just be anxious, and you’ll need to develop an action plan to work with that tendency.
Gerhard Gschwandtner at Selling Power magazine is well versed in dealing with anxious prospects. As you attempt to move them through the purchase funnel, they could grow increasingly anxious. In the end, they might also tell you that someone else is going to make the buying decision. This scenario could spell disaster for you.
When you feel something in the business relationship isn’t quite right, look for physical manifestations of anxiety. Is the prospect speaking softly or fiddling with a gadget on their desk instead of looking at you? Notice how the prospect reacts when a co-worker interrupts them or when the work environment gets loud and boisterous. If they increasingly hunch their shoulders or wring their hands, their anxiety is taking hold.
Tips for Working With an Anxious Prospect
As soon as you detect that you’re dealing with an anxious prospect, it’s time to take action. Your goal is to put the person at ease. Gschwandtner recommends that you slow your speaking pace and lower the volume of your voice. If you’ve been meeting with the prospect at their office, it could be time for a change. Suggest a different place for your next important meeting. Find out if you can reserve a quiet conference room. Or suggest a restaurant or coffee shop you know the prospect likes.
Anxious prospects could be nervous that signing a deal with you will be a big mistake. Watch how they behave, listen to what they say and adjust your usual approach to put them at ease. These deliberate changes on your part can help you score a sale.