I try to read everything that comes out about the field of salesmanship. I’ve read enough books and magazines and newsletters to fill the bookcases on two entire walls of my office. And many of those books—as well as many prospects for my services as a Sales Coach—talk about “keeping control of the sales conversation.”
Now that is a stupid idea! Your prospect has the bag of money, which he may or may not spend with you. Therefore, by definition, he has the control.
If you try to “take control,” you’ll anger many people who could’ve used your service or products. People don’t want to be controlled by others—least of all a salesperson—so why would you try to get control of them?
Oh, you can and should have some questions ready before you show up, in order to be sure that the conversation moves forward, and that there’s something to talk about if your prospect isn’t particularly forthcoming. But that’s not “controlling the conversation,” that’s contributing to it. And that’s good.
The truth is that when you’re selling, you’re not in control, and like every other human being, you like to be in control. Because you’re not, you may feel uncomfortable. But don’t let that discomfort lead you into trying to control—or your results will suffer.
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