Salespeople hate to admit defeat.

Admitting defeat is not in the mindset of many salespeople, but sometimes you just need to raise the “white flag” and admit defeat.

I’m not saying to walk away from a customer.  What I’m saying is raise the white flag when you’re on your next sales call.

Let the customer drive the call.

Let them determine what to talk about.

Too many salespeople believe they have to control every element of the sales process.  I believe you can have a tremendous amount of success by doing just the opposite.

Letting the customer have control allows you to find out what’s important to them. It allows them to express more openly with you what they’re looking for.

The reason a lot of salespeople have problems with this approach is because they haven’t given the customer any reason for them to be confident in what them.   If you have allowed the customer to see you as being beneficial to them, they will be far more likely to open up and share.

It’s at this point where you will be able to uncover more information about the customer than you would ever have expected to uncover.  The reason is simple — the customer does not feel threatened by you. In fact, they feel you’re more of a business partner with them.

When the customer begins sharing, resist the urge to lower the white flag and go back into attack mode.

Instead, continue to sit back and listen and fuel the conversation by asking the customer questions to get them to explain in even more detail.  It’s your ability to ask them questions that will fuel the conversation and ultimately allow you to be in control without actually taking control.

Next time you’re on a sales call, try it — by first giving the customer reason to have confidence in you and then by using your body language to show them you’re in the listening mode.

To help you kick this into an even higher gear, don’t put any presentation materials on the table in front of you. And if you normally use your computer on calls, keep it put away.

It’s your willingness to be attentive to what the customer has to say that will have the most positive impact on the customer.  Your attentiveness will come through loud and clear.

It’s at this point that  you sit back and listen. Remember, it’s your white flag.

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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