Salesmanship – Hold Your Tongue!
A buyer, seller or an associate wants to meet with you. They’re frustrated about an issue and they want to discuss it. You’re familiar with the concern and agree to meet with them. You can tell during the meeting that they are passionate about their position. It seems like they have been harboring a good deal of pent-up frustration. You understand where they’re coming from, but you know their argument isn’t logical, so you’re confident you’ll be able to win them over in the meeting. Unfortunately, there is no room for compromise because your position is so much stronger.
How do you handle this situation?
- You prepare for the meeting by reinforcing key points that justify your position. Then meet with them. During the meeting you present your points in a clear and concise manner. You hold your position, but remain firm without losing your patience.
- You respond by e-mail, clearly mapping out each key point. You offer a solution you know they won’t like and wait for their response.
- Because their position is so ludicrous, you ignore their objection to see if it goes away.
- You meet with them, listen carefully to their position, and put them off telling them you’ll get back to them.
You may have looked at the options above and chosen “A”, “B” or “C”. In most cases, believe it or not, they are not the best answer. If you chose answer “D” above, congratulations, you have just selected the best answer. Why is answer “D” above better than the others? There are a number of reasons.
- Time Management – You’re not spending time preparing for a meeting that won’t address your client or associate’s concerns. Why not wait until after you hear their concerns before you prepare your response?
- Respect – You’re giving your client or associate the courtesy of giving serious thought to a response before you open your mouth. Thinking before talking is always a good strategy.
- Emotions – Instead of responding to emotion with emotion, you’re giving yourself a chance to remove the emotion before you respond.
- Quality of Answer – You’re sleeping on the issue and subconsciously processing all possibilities. This allows you to identify the best possible answer.
As you can see, there are a variety of reasons why it’s important to deal with emotional issues using a 2-step approach. Proper presentation of your approach is critical. After you’ve had a chance to listen carefully to their concerns, you can use the following script to defer discussion to a second meeting:
“Joe, I can appreciate how important this issue is to you. I can also see that you have given the situation very careful thought. It only makes sense for me to give the matter very serious thought as well. Let me think about it tonight, and let’s get back together tomorrow and figure out the best way to move forward.”