The Real Reason Your Prospects Don't Respect You | The Covert Closer Blog by Justin Weeder

If you've been in sales for more than a week, you've surely been disrespected by a customer before. You've had someone take complete control of the conversation and railroad you into all the places your well-intentioned sales manager is telling you not to go. Right?

We used to call it "getting into the weeds" where the customer is controlling the interaction, they're engineering the encounter based on their perceptions of what information they need to make a decision. This is highly disrespectful to you, the salesperson, because it subconsciously says to you that they don't believe you're capable of leading them down the right path.

So instead? They break out the mental machete and start hacking their way through their purchase decision on their own. 

Well, not exactly on their own. They have you along for the ride, don't they?

Now, you might be wondering - "Justin, why is this a problem?"

Let me tell you where the customer’s unique path will lead you:

“I need to think about this.” “I need to talk to my wife.” or “If you can give me a discount, I’ll buy it today.”

Or you might know exactly why it's a problem: Sales requires leadership. Leadership requires you to be in control of the interaction, leading the customer down a well-worn path (your sales process) which leads to a decision.

Note: I did not say a "yes". Just a decision. You'll never close everybody.

Your customer doesn't let you lead, because they don't trust that you even know where to go. Who can blame them? If you're not following a sales process, if you're not leading every customer down the well-worn path of familiarity with their issues and how your product solves them, then they're right!

We don't ever want a customer to feel like they are in charge of engineering the sales encounter. That's for amateurs. You must communicate that you are an expert. Right away.

I want for you all to get the most out of every conversation, every call, every meeting so that you can identify where your customer can benefit from your services and the best way to position your product that will result in a decision at the end of the call.

If you are not perceived as a valuable expert, this is impossible to accomplish. If you want to earn that expert-status with your customer, there's one thing you can't forget: the meeting agenda.

The meeting agenda benefits you and the customer in 3 ways:

  1. You come across as professional, motivated, prepared, and organized. (Hint: expert)

  2. It informs the buyer where you are headed which ensures you both are looking to get the same thing from the meeting.

  3. It shocks the buyer into a "novel experience" which increases likeability, trust, and the likelihood of a positive dialogue at the end of the call.

So - if you take the time to set an agenda for every meeting with your customer, you'll come across as an expert, you'll make sure your customer doesn't leave without the value they were looking to get from the meeting, and you'll ensure they trust and like you more, which we all know - people buy from those they like and trust.

Do you currently set an agenda for every meeting you have with your customer?

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