Everyday sales professional not only push themselves out of their comfort zone to do business and put their ego on the line. But every day, sales professionals also push their prospects out of their comfort zone to discuss hard topics, such as budget, change, and commitment creating difficulties and objections from the prospect.
The natural tendency is for people to retreat into their comfort zone when facing difficult situations, tough conversations, or change. This makes the job of a sales professional increasingly difficult when attempting to discuss the uncomfortable topics and delicate subjects with prospects.
This dilemma should not become a roadblock on the way to making a sale, but a chance to connect with a prospect and remove those negative emotions. That is where a concept called “Ok/ Not Ok” can be practiced. Ok/ Not OK is a tactic in which the sales professional sacrifices their own personal comfort to make a prospect feel more ok.
Below are three ways a sales professional can practice “Ok/ Not Ok” and create understanding with prospects and avoid the obstacles prospects can make.
- Accept Blame- Every sales professional has been stood up for a planned meeting with a prospect. An easy way to reschedule a meeting a prospect will actually keep is accepting the blame. Accepting the blame may sound like, “Hey it`s (Sales Person), I am at (Local Coffee Shop) for our 2 p.m. meeting. It seems I may have had the wrong time or place. I hope I didn’t leave you stranded at (Other Local Coffee Shop). You know what, give me a call back and we can figure out a new time or place. Again, sorry for my mistake.” By accepting the blame, the sales professional is asking to be rescued by the prospect, and more often than not people want to rescue others.
- Disarming Honesty- When a prospect seems to be pulling away or ignoring calls, the best way to bring them back is utilizing a tactic called “disarming honesty”. By calling a prospect to explaining how the product must not be a good fit and leaving a message that the file will be closed, a sales professional gains control of the situation and most prospects will call back.
- Avoiding Buzzwords- Every industry has buzzwords that those in the industry would not understand. When a sales professional uses a word that the prospect may not be familiar with, it removes the prospects concentration from the conversation and places it on the buzzword. As the prospect frantically attempts to figure out the words meaning, they are no longer listening to the sales professional. By removing these words from conversation or apologizing and explaining them when necessary, a sales professional can keep the attention of a prospect and create a more comfortable environment.
It is critical for a sales professional to be aware of these three practices of Ok/Not Ok, in order to build better relationships and more open communication with prospects. Thus, the practice of Ok/ Not Ok leads to less confused and frustrated prospects, and higher closing rates.
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