Some things in life make for excellent equalizers. Take ‘time’ for instance; on any given day, both Bill Gates and the bum on the corner have the same amount of time on their hands, but Bill uses his time more effectively. The same principle applies in sales as well. Many salespeople sell the same product but not every one of them will end up making a sale.

If you are looking for a trick that will help you make a sale every time, then you are wasting your time. There is no trick to a good sale, there is just common sense and perception. Every customer is different and has to be handled accordingly. A good salesperson should be able to appraise each customer, decipher their needs and pressure points and then use that information to convince them that buying this product will benefit their bottom line.

He or she should also filter good prospects from the bad ones. While every prospect cannot be converted into a customer, some customers require more convincing. Good salespeople can tell which customers are going to give them a hard time beforehand and take any of the following stances:

  • Allocate your time on more viable prospects
  • Find a different direct contact
  • Keep pursuing the prospect resiliently, trying different angles to sell
  • Increase the price, so that even if they sign, their company can profit

Unfortunately, a salesperson may encounter many difficult customers and cannot afford to skip them all. Following are some tips on how to deal with difficult customers:

  • Show customers that you know what you’re talking about. Difficult customers tend to eat away your time, ask questions that have already been answered, and change potential use cases.
  • Be a good listener. Listen closely and between the lines to understand where the customer is coming from.
  • Don’t take anything personally. Difficult customers are more prone to make personal attacks when agitated. Keep your cool, set your ego aside and empathize with the customer
  • Be patient with finicky customers. Answer all their queries unwearyingly and with a smile
  • Know when enough is enough. If you have tried everything and still can’t make an honest customer out of a prospect, it’s time to let it go and focus on more viable prospects

There are no shortcuts to making a good sale. But being polite and good natured always pays off; even if you don’t make the sale, you leave a good impression. For more on the topic please visit our blog or contact