Today, I’d like to share some helpful tips about how to deal with difficult prospects. These are valuable lessons I have learned from the School of Hard Knocks during the past 19+ years in the sales, network marketing, and entrepreneurial fields.
How to Deal with Difficult Prospects
As you talk to people about your business opportunity or products, you are bound to stumble across some people who are quite difficult to deal with. Either they have a bad personality, an attitude problem, or they are annoyed by your interruption. The tips you see below will help you ease the situation and convert some of these difficult prospects into enthusiastic customers.
# 1: Sometimes Difficult Prospects Are Good Prospects
First and foremost, don’t think of every “difficult” prospect as bad.
From personal experience, I can tell you that many of the “difficult prospects” I’ve dealt with were great prospects. They just had an abrasive personality or a protective outer shell you must break through first before you can complete the sales transaction.
While difficult personalities turn some people off, and might intimidate some salespeople, I’ve found these types of prospects are often the easiest people to sell to once you understand where they are coming from.
You just need to take a different approach with them. Remain calm. Ask questions and listen to them. Make sure they feel like THEY are in control of the conversation.
Once you break through that initial sales resistance, things normally go quite smoothly.
# 2: Fire Them
If someone is a constant pain in the ass, fire them. Replace them with someone else. You don’t need their negative energy. Remember, you don’t need everyone.
If you’ve spent a lot of time with a prospect, and they are still difficult, or a thorn in your side, let them go. Release that negative energy. You would better off using your time talking with someone else.
To be a healthy entrepreneur, you need to have healthy boundaries. This means saying no, being firm, communicating clearly, and even breaking if off.
The best way to do this is by being professional, clear, and concise. Do not be rude, mean, or angry. But stand up for yourself and your business and recognize that not all people are going to be good prospects and customers for your company. Remember, it’s OK to have boundaries.
Source: Startup Grind
# 3: Focus on Your Target Market
If you’re finding most of your prospects are difficult to deal with or are not interested in what you are offering them, it’s probably because you’re focused on the wrong group of people.
Take some time to reevaluate your target market. Are these people in the market for what you are offering? Can they make the buying decision? Do they have the money to buy what you are selling? If not, you’re probably focused on the wrong group of people.
If you aren’t focused on a target market yet, you should be. If you are focused on a target market, and no one is buying, you might need to tweak your sales pitch or selling style.
# 4: Stay Calm
One of the best salesmanship tips I learned was from Tom Hopkins. In one of his books, he taught me to “act like a lamb and sell like a lion.” In a nutshell, stay calm, cool, and collected with your prospects, especially the difficult prospects.
Be relaxed. Don’t use hype or pressure. Put your prospect at ease and make them think they are in control. I have used this strategy for many years now with GREAT success. It works.
It’s natural to feel frustrated when a prospect is giving you a hard time — but frustration will only waste your opportunity. After all, the prospect may be a bully, but he could still need what you’re selling. Don’t take anything personally, and commit to standing your ground. Keep your emotions in check and stay on track with your regular approach to closing sales.
# 5: Prequalify Them First
When it comes to difficult prospects, make sure you have prequalified them first. Never give a sales pitch until you have identified a need, know that your product or service is a good solution to that problem, and identified the person can make a buying decision.
The reason so many prospects get annoyed is they have no desire or need for what you are selling. Had you prequalified them first, you would have prevented a lot of frustration.
# 6: Improve Your People Skills
One of the best ways to deal with difficult prospects is to improve your people skills. Become more likeable. Be friendly and non-judgmental. Read books such as How to Win Friends and Influence People. Be a better listener.
You will discover that lots of people are difficult because YOU are difficult and hard to get along with. Ouch!
When you’re so anxious to talk about how awesome your company is, you send the message that you don’t really care about your prospect or their situation.
Source: Small Business Trends
# 7: Warm Them Up
Your prospects need to be warmed up to you, your company, and your products. Keep in mind the average person is bombarded with sales and marketing messages daily. To them, you are just another unwanted marketing message.
However, if you can warm them up to you first, you will have fewer difficult prospects.
You can make this happen with a good follow up and selling system. This will let you communicate with them a few times before and after your initial meeting. Those “follow ups” and “touches” do a lot of the heavy work for you and PRE-SELL them on what you are offering.
The best way to do this is use a combination of direct mail, texts, phone calls, and emails via a good marketing campaign.
# 8: Try to See Things from Their Perspective
Another great way to deal with difficult prospects is to try and see things from their point of view. While you are focused on making the sale, your prospect has many other things competing for their time.
They have demands from their boss, their subordinates, their family, etc. Put yourself in their shoes. The best thing to do is never show up unexpectedly. Plan your time to meet by scheduling an appointment. Value their time and start and finish your meeting on time.
My Best Tip to Deal with Difficult Prospects
My best tip to deal with difficult prospects is to be the welcomed guest, not the uninvited pest. If you take the time to learn and master lead generation and marketing, you can automatically filter out all the bad prospects BEFORE they even get to you.
That way you only have people contacting you, when they are ready to buy, or have a few simple questions. This is how I build my business. I only talk to people who approach me first. I do this by having a solid marketing plan. By doing so, I rarely if ever, deal with a difficult prospect.
In conclusion, these are my best tips on how to deal with difficult prospects. Most of these things are easy to do and easy not to do.
By following the tips in this article, there is no doubt in my mind you will improve your relationship with your prospects and close more sales. Plus, you will have fewer difficult prospects to deal with.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think about the best way to deal with difficult prospects. I look forward to hearing from you.