Recently I had a conversation with a salesperson who wanted advice on how to deal with worried customers and prospects. With that in mind, I'm republishing this post from our archives. I'd be interested to hear your own thoughts about how to deal with anxious executives and decision makers and invite you to leave your thoughts in the comments section.
It's no surprise that prospects worry about spending money. It is for this reason we need to get better at putting our prospects at ease every time we speak to them. Help your prospects to stop worrying and start selling more. Here are five ways:
- Speak in a calming, reassuring voice. How? Lower your tone of voice, slow down your rate of speech, speak softly and deliberately. Your quiet confidence will generate confidence in others.
- Shift your body language. Research shows that a simple shift from negative to positive body language is followed by a shift from a negative mood to a positive one. Next time you become aware that your prospect is worried, try a body-language shift. Don’t mirror your prospect’s negative body language (self-touching gestures, nervous glances, shoulders raised, frowning, etc.). Positively accent your words with frequent smiles and slow head nods. Keep your arms uncrossed, hands relaxed, and palms open. Sit up straight, legs uncrossed, and slow down your movements. If necessary, change the environment. Lead your prospect to a quiet area, such as a private conference room.
- Worried prospects have a hard time focusing on one issue. It is your job to lead a worried mind to a calming mental image. Start by saying, “There are a few ideas that may help you feel a lot more confident with this plan…” Or, “You’ll be pleased to know that there are a number of alternatives…”
- Use more “anti-worry” words and phrases. Here are examples: “We are in harmony on this point.” Or, “I think I can put your mind at ease.” Or, “Here is a way to make you feel more comfortable.” Choose such words as “certain,” “safe,” “sure,” “quiet,” “satisfied,” “content,” “agreeable,” and “acceptable.” Avoid talking about money, timetables, or decisions. Never try to close a worried prospect. Always welcome objections with, “I am so glad you brought that up. You will be pleased to know that…” Don’t say, “There is nothing to worry about.”
- Change the conversation to more pleasing subjects. Talk about the success your existing customers have enjoyed. Paint a positive picture of the future. One top sales producer told me, “I am in the transportation business. I move my prospect’s mind from a state of desperation to a state of positive anticipation.”