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Reality check: What do prospects really think?

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It would be an awesome reality check if every salesperson could be a fly on their prospect’s office wall for a day, especially if they could watch their own sales call unfold. Here are few things they would likely see or hear.

During a telephone call

  • The prospect hitting “delete” before listening to the entire voicemail: “Another salesperson leaving me a lame message? Don’t these people understand how busy I am?”
  • The prospect checking email while the salesperson rambles on about his product.

During face-to-face meetings

  • A prospect distracted by incoming emails, people wanting her attention, a stack of paperwork on her desk.
  • The salesperson failing to pick up on visual clues like the prospect fidgeting and continually glancing at their watch.
  • A salesperson attempting to establish rapport by referencing a photo, award or other personal item in the prospect’s office.

After a sales call

  • The prospect saying to his colleague, “Can you believe how much that guy talked? It’s a wonder he ever closes a sale,” followed by laughter.
  • “That’s 60 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.”
  • A group of buyers saying, “Why do all salespeople sound the same? Doesn’t anyone have a unique approach?”

Harsh? Perhaps. But, it’s also the reality because the majority of sales conversations are not as effective as the seller thinks they are. Here’s a suggestion: Talk to one of your best customers, someone who would be willing to provide an open and honest opinion. Ask them what they dislike most about sales calls. Take it a step further and ask how you can improve your sales conversations. Apply their feedback and I suspect that you will increase your sales almost immediately.

For more on engaging prospects, see:

How to warm up a cold prospect

Shut up and listen: Understanding buying signals

5 unique ways to engage prospects with video

Kelley Robertson helps sales professionals master their sales conversations so they can win more business at higher profits. Get a free copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” and “Sales Blunders That Cost You Money” at