When a sales call isn’t going your way, tension builds quickly as you scramble to find some last second Hail Mary question to keep the conversation going. The problem with that strategy is it often pisses the prospect off even more, which makes them even less likely to want to take your calls in the future.
Here’s what I’ve found that works best in these situations:
Plant a seed
Planting a seed means:
- You’ve recognized that this call needs to come to an end, and
- You want to leave them with something that causes them to keep bringing their thoughts back to you, every time a “trigger event” happens.
A “trigger event” is when something causes your prospect to feel a pain that you can solve for them. It’s their hot button. It’s something that makes your prospects stand up and say “Help me solve this problem — and I’ll pay you for it.”
So for the “plant a seed” play to work, you need to know what problems your primary prospects must have that will cause them to become your best clients.
What Your Peers Are Reading
Here’s an example of how the “planting the seed” play works.
Let’s say the sales call hasn’t gone the way you had hoped and you can sense the call needs to come to an end in order for you to live to fight another day. Instead of trying to keep them on the phone (only to annoy them even more) try this:
Salesperson: Mr. Prospect, it doesn’t sound like we have anything at the moment that would be a good fit for you.
This is only the first sentence in the “plant the seed” play. But let’s stop here and analyze why this is so important: It lowers your prospect’s guard.
Once they hear you say “It doesn’t sound like we have anything at the moment that would be a good fit for you,” they sense you are backing off.
When your prospects aren’t focused on trying to end the call, they are more likely to hear a message that could lead to a sale. (Photo: iStock)