Watch out for the impulse to “go back to the drawing board” when the prospect throws you a curve.
Inside, you’re dealing with your own desire to get out of a stressful situation when the prospect says that he or she has a need you haven’t anticipated or wants a different design element in the product you’re offering. You’ll want to retreat and regroup and come back another time with a different proposal, but resist the temptation. You are a professional, you know your product inside and out, so be ready to make changes!
Only after the prospect agrees that your product or service will meet his or her needs are you ready to bring up the subject of price and ask for the order. If you never get agreement on your product’s ability to satisfy the prospect’s needs, the price won’t make any difference, so don’t rush into it. Ask your questions, really listen to the answers, then ask the prospect to buy.
Creative sellers with open minds have an endless market for the things they sell. Some of us, though, actually have lots of ideas but are hesitant to use them because we’re afraid they won’t be good enough. The problem with that kind of thinking is that it puts the onus of judgment on the wrong person. The salesperson shouldn’t judge the merits of an idea—leave that to the prospect. If the customer thinks it’s good—it’s good! Put your idea in front of him or her using the best presentation skills you have, and let the prospect make the final judgment.
You’ll be surprised how often they decide they like your bright idea.
Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.