At some point, all of us have walked out of an appointment or hung up the phone and said, “Wow that was a difficult meeting.” It’s easy to shift blame to the prospect. “Gee, she was having a bad day.” Or, “Guys like him don’t just don’t respect salespeople.”
The next time you encounter a tough prospect, own the outcome. Don’t complain about tough prospects. Be grateful for difficult prospects because they are your best teachers. Tough prospects elevate your selling skills, keeping you competitive.
Heck, you may even want to write difficult prospects a thank you note! Here is an example to get you started.
Dear Mr. Prospect:
Thanks for meeting with me this week. Your good questions and thought provoking questions made me realize my selling tools are in need of serious sharpening.
I wasn’t prepared for the meeting. I chose the ‘wing-it method’ and didn’t invest the appropriate time in pre-call planning. The questions and objections you asked aren’t new. However, without preparation, I stumbled on answers---which probably raised concerns in your mind about my company’s credibility and ability to execute.
Thanks for reminding me that I might be getting complacent. In this day and age of information, there is no reason not to be prepared for a sales meeting. If I had been better prepared, perhaps the meeting would have been more relevant and a second meeting would be on the calendar.
I also want to thank you because you made me realize might be taking my existing customers for granted. My complacency is rolling over into how I manage existing clients. You’ve motivated me to figure out new and better ways to WOW my customers. (I’ll be writing them a thank you note as well.)
Thanks again for a being a tough prospect. I will reach out next week and admit my less than perfect sales performance. If you give me an opportunity, I will show up prepared and ready to add value.
The self-aware and accountable salesperson