How to Always Respond Appropriately to Your Prospect

Momentary panic can spell the end of a call, meeting or opportunity. I’ll explain how to always respond appropriately to Your Prospect.

I pulled up to pump number five at my usual Cumberland Farms convenience store/gas station.  I use their smart phone app to select the pump and authorize the dispensing but after the third failed attempt to authorize payment, I realized the app wasn’t working.

Panic.  Now what? Pay inside?

I had actually forgotten that before the app, I simply inserted a credit card to pay.  Luckily for me, I remembered to bring my wallet on this particular visit so the card was handy, I paid, and gassed up.

This is exactly what salespeople go through when a prospect pushes back, objects, displays lack of interest, or attempts to end the call.

My momentary panic didn’t matter because my circumstances didn’t change and my delayed reaction didn’t prevent me from getting gas.  But when a salesperson experiences momentary panic, or forgets what to do or how to do it, that call, Zoom, or in-person meeting is over.  It could even spell the end of that opportunity.

Three ingredients influence events like these:

  1. One of the six Sales Core Competencies in your Sales DNA is called Stays in the Moment.  When you panic, think, strategize, worry, get excited, plan your next move, or think about something that was or wasn’t said before, you are NOT in the moment.  Your mind is wandering.  You are in your head instead of focused on what your prospect is saying.  This prevents you from quickly, easily, and purposefully responding appropriately.  When you are not in the moment you are more likely to react.  Consider how different your words and tonality might be when it’s your reaction versus your purposeful response.   According to data from the assessments of 2.4 million salespeople by Objective Management Group (OMG), this negatively impacts 63% of salespeople but it is even worse for the bottom half where 81% of all salespeople fail to stay in the moment and 95% of the bottom 10% have this problem.  If you are looking for correlation to sales performance, you don’t have to look much further!  If you are wondering how the best salespeople fare in this competency, only 34% are negatively impacted.

    The top salespeople are 1320% more effective than the least effective salespeople. 

    You can see all 21 Sales Core Competencies defined here and also see how average scores change by industry and sales competence.

  2. Tactics and strategies are important too and when a salesperson doesn’t know how to respond, when to respond, or if they need to respond to something a prospect says or does, that too can trigger panic.  This is where training and coaching come in because both provide the tactics and strategies needed for responding to every possible scenario.
  3. Practice is the sure fire way to commit those tactics and strategies to muscle memory.  The key is not having to think about this, or anything, for that matter. You should not ever have to think about your next questions, response or answer.  The way you commit these tactical and strategic responses to muscle memory is through role playing for 30 minutes per day.  The responses should come as naturally as knowing your name.

So there you have it.  Improve your ability to stay in the moment so that you are a more effective listener, learn the strategies and tactics for every possible situation, and practice through role-play for 30 minutes each day.