Being a successful sales person takes a balance of persistence, quick thinking, and social skills. It's one of the most difficult jobs. Many unexpected sales scenarios can occur, and it takes a great sales person to know how to handle them. Here are five sales scenarios that every sales person dreads, and what they can do to address them.
1. Losing a Sale at the Last Step
As a sales person, you know that the buying cycle has many steps. You first have to take the time to nurture your lead. You have to answer his questions, give him information, and nudge him into buying. This takes a lot of time, but when the lead is ready to buy, it's worth it.
What about the lead who verbally agrees to buy your product or service and then backs out at the last moment? You spent a lot of time nurturing the lead and you thought you were going to be rewarded with a sale. In fact, the buyer told you as much. These sales scenarios can be discouraging, but you can't let it get you down. Keep going after the sale-try to get the buyer to agree to the deal in an email so you have proof of the commitment, and don't take verbal agreements as a guarantee.
2. Not Having the Answers
Not having all the answers to a client's questions is one of the most dreaded sales scenarios in the business. Either a sales person doesn't know what the client's business goals are, doesn't know the products well enough, or doesn't have answers to financial or legal questions. Relax. A sales person cannot know every detail. The best you can do is research the client's company and ensure you know as much as possible about your products or services. If you're ever stuck without an answer, give the client an "I'll get back to you on that" answer, and this gives you a reason to connect with him again at a later date.
3. The Last-Minute Meeting
As a sales person, you would like to be as prepared as possible when you go into a meeting. Being prepared means you've done your research and are confident in your pitch. But your clients are busy people and sometimes they only have short windows of opportunity to meet with you-and that means going in for a meeting right away. The most important thing to remember in these types of sales scenarios is to stay calm and stay on track-don't lose focus. You're made this sales pitch a thousand times before, and you can do it again on short notice.
4. Losing Control at a Meeting
A sales person always wants to be in control. But sometimes meetings don't go as planned-more people show up than expected, the conversation continuously goes off track, or you can't get a word in edge wise. To keep control, make sure you have it to begin with: send out an Outlook invitation to see who confirms their attendance and send out an agenda with the talking points you want to discuss. This will allow you to keep the meeting on track as much as possible and avoid the risk of these types of sales scenarios from occurring.
5. The Angry, Negative, Complaining Clients
One of the sales scenarios that sales people need the most finesse to deal with is the angry, complaining client. He doesn't like your products, he doesn't like your statistics, and he doesn't see a need for your product. This is one of the most awkward sales scenarios. If you don't see any progress being made while you are trying to explain yourself and staying positive, you can always call it a day and leave. Don't take it personally, and try again later. Maybe he was just in a bad mood that day.