Five minutes. You wouldn’t think it would be difficult to misconstrue those two simple words. However, after many years of marriage, I can assure you that it has two entirely different meanings for my husband and me. To me, it’s about five minutes, give or take a few. To my husband, it’s exactly five minutes. On the dot. Not one second later. (I drive him crazy.)
Same thing for the word “nothing.” When my husband asks, “What’s wrong?” and I say, “Nothing,” he assumes he’s off the hook. Truth is he’s in really deep trouble.
See where I’m going with this? When you’re selling, you and your prospect may have entirely different perceptions of some very common phrases. This disconnect can cause you to do the wrong thing and lose a sale. For example, here are two common things that prospects may say to you:
“We’re happy with our current provider.” You may think “Darn it. Everyone’s ‘happy’ with my competitor. I don’t know how I’m going to meet my quota—especially since I can’t find anyone who’s ready to make a decision.”
When your prospects brush you off with this comment, what they really mean is “You’ve said absolutely nothing that piques my curiosity and makes me want to learn more.” In reality, research shows that more than 70 percent of people who say this to you would change from their current provider—if they had a good reason to do so.