📄 What do I do when a sales conversation doesn't go anywhere?
But somehow, the two of you just don't seem to be getting anywhere - you just seem to go around in circles, not advancing, not getting to the meat & potatoes (which is: the buyer deciding yes or no).
There are many reasons why that happens, but there's only one thing that has to happen:
The two of you need to break out of the loop, the pattern, the repeating dynamic.
Normally the seller will go into overdrive on talking (when actually, you should say less to sell more), explain more, pitch better, but it's tiring and pointless. Instead, consider using a pattern interrupt.
And one of the most powerful patter interrupts, when a sales conversation isn't going anywhere?
"I don't think I'm doing a very good job here".
I guarantee, if you suddenly say that in the middle of a talk with your buyer, the pattern breaks then and there.
Very few people would ask that. Nobody would expect it.
But it works.
First off, it signals to the buyer that you don't presume to know it all, nor that you presume to know what's best for them.
It's a statement that invites direct, live feedback, on your performance and on the conversation, in the moment.
Not only is that vulnerability helpful, it also invites the buyer to course-correct, and tell you what they need from the conversation, for it to move forward.
Very likely, it's going to be met with the question:
"How do you mean?"
To which you simply, honestly and humbly answer:
"Well, since I think I have a solution to your problem, my job here is to help you figure out whether or not you actually want to acquire my solution.
"And it seems to me, that we're not really getting to the clarity that you need, in order to make that decision".
Then, you pause, and you let the buyer think.
You've just reframed and redefined the situation you're both in, and you've prompted to consider clarity, and decision.
Most likely, they'll either ask or say something to do with insight and clarity, or indeed to do with the different reasons to decide yes or no.
And if they don't, then you can tell them:
"What would be most helpful right now, for you to reach a decision that you're confident in, and happy with?"
From that moment on, the conversation can go anywhere - maybe to a yes, maybe to a no.
But at least you'll be out of the dead-end rut you were both stuck in.
So remember, when a sales conversation gets stuck, ask:
"I don't think I'm doing a very good job here. How do you feel about our conversation so far?"
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