A salesperson called me last week and complained that every once in a while a prospect asks a tough question or gives an objection that stumps him and he just didn’t have the magic to turn things around. As a result, the call ended without a sale and it’s difficult to get back in and turn things around.

Does that ever happen to you? It happens to most salespeople. There are two culprits at play.

1) The Salesperson gets emotionally involved. In other words, as you begin to strategize on the fly you talk to yourself and actually listen to yourself – instead of your prospect. This causes you to lose control of the call. It’s important to stay in the moment and not start thinking. It affects your ability to listen to the single most important thing your prospect will say in the entire sales call — their follow-up explanation of the objection or question that had you stumped in the first place.

2) Not Prepared For Everything. You weren’t totally prepared for the question or objection, hadn’t rehearsed it, and couldn’t handle it mindlessly. In the Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson comedy, Anger Management, Buddy, the character played by Nicholson, makes Dave, the character played by Sandler, stop his car on the middle of a bridge. With traffic backed up all around him, horns blaring, motorists cussing and Dave’s stress at the highest level possible, Buddy requires him to sing “I Feel Pretty” to calm down.

This becomes Dave’s safe routine to control his anger. In sales we all need a safe routine we can go to when we are stumped. In my book, Baseline Selling, I provide a complete, customizable, safe sales routine for just such occasions. It’s called “The Cycle” and you can find it starting on page 95, complete with instructions to make it work for you.

Do you have a situation that has stumped you? Email me and I’ll respond to as many as I can. I might even address it in a future Baseline Selling Tip.