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4 Tough Conversations You Must Have to Succeed in Sales

We like selling when it’s collaborative, when we get to help our clients through their process. We don’t like it so much when we have to deal with the inherent conflict that is part of sales and selling. If you are going to succeed in sales, you are going to have to be comfortable and confident having some tough conversations. Here are four of them.

  1. Time: The very first conversation you have with your dream client is tough conversation. You have to ask them for the commitment of time so you can explore working with them. They have to deny your request because they are too busy, they’ve said no to everyone else, it wouldn’t be fair, and they’re certain you aren’t going to make it worth their while. You want to be collaborative, but the very first conversation begins with your client telling you “no” and you refusing their very first request. If you want in, you have to have this conversation.
  2. Access: Once your past that first tough conversation, you have to ask for access. You need access to information, and if you are really good, information no one else has asked for. You also need access to additional stakeholders. Your new contact struggles to give you information. What do you need it for? What are you going to do with it? No one else has asked for it? She struggles to give you access to other stakeholders. Why do we need them? What if they take control of this project? What if I lose the relationship? If you want access, you have to have this conversation.
  3. What’s Right: Your dream client thinks he knows what he wants. But he’s wrong. What he wants isn’t going to solve his problem, and it isn’t going to deliver the result he believes it will. But he believes it nonetheless. You have to tell him he can’t have what he wants, it won’t work, and why you don’t want to give it to him. If you want to really serve your client as a consultative salesperson and trusted advisor, you have to engage here.
  4. Price: Your price is higher than your competitors. It’s higher than what the client is paying now. But it is the right investment to produce the right result. But still, your client pushes back. He wants a lower price. He wants to compare you to your competitors, none of who can deliver what you deliver. If you are going to win at the price that delivers results, you have to talk about the right investment.

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  • Jack Malcolm

    When it’s the right investment for the client, the time they take to talk to competitors and haggle over price can cost them more than they can save, so that takes you back to conversation #1.

  • Anneke Steenkamp

    These conversations are all crucial, but how do you jump from having them to being successful? I do I convince them to give me time, pay my rates, give me access and do what’s right? Do you have some practical advice for ‘converting’ these sales?

    Should these tactics take place in any form of sales, from advertising to cold calls and emails or would you suggest face to face meetings?

  • Skaled

    These are all critical points and I am glad he brought up “what’s right”. Many people think that they must give the client what they ask for which many times leads to a low renewal rate and longer than average sales cycles. Why? People don’t know the exact issue they are facing or why it may be happening so they reach out for a product that solves half the problem but not the entire issue. This is why you need to tell them because many times you know best.

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