The One Right Answer

There isn’t one right answer. There are many paths that lead from target to close (or any other outcome you are seeking).

If your client is already dissatisfied one path might be to help them better understand their needs. But maybe when you find your dream client they’re not dissatisfied and the path will include helping them to become dissatisfied. Two paths, either of which may lead you to an opportunity.

If your prospective client shared an objection (or more precisely, a concern), one answer might be to help them understand that their concern can very easily be resolved. But another choice would be to ask a question, like “What would you need to see in order for this concern to be resolved to your satisfaction?” Either one of these paths may work. Either may be the right answer. But another answer might be to simply ask the question, “Is this a show stopper?” Sometimes what sounds like an objection might be conversation.

If your prospective client asks you to discount your price, you may think that the only right answer is to offer a discount. That is a choice (even if I don’t like it). It may lead to a deal (albeit a less profitable deal and one that may jeopardize your results later). Another answer that might get you to a deal is to push back and justify your price, providing your prospective client with the confidence that they actually need to make the investment that you are recommending. Believe it or not, this answer is just as likely to lead you to a deal as discounting, oftentimes more likely. Some people want the truth, and they are willing to pay for it.

Selling, like all human endeavors, is full of all kinds of variables because we’re dealing with human beings. We’re dealing with different personalities, different biases, personal preferences, inside politics, a bundle of emotions and feelings, and sometimes, a lot of baggage.

What makes some salespeople more successful than others is their ability to quickly figure out which answer it the right answer. Not the right answer for every situation, but the right answer for this particular situation, at this particular time, with this particular client, and these particular facts and circumstances.

The masters in every endeavor master the fundamentals; they can see the patterns. They can sense the right answer before they even recognize they’ve done so. They can feel it in their fingertips. This allows them to make the right choice at the moment of truth. But they don’t believe they have the one right answer.


How do you approach sales opportunities? Do you always start with a certain premise, a thesis, a set of assumptions?

What would you need to do be more in tune with the choices available to you and become more flexible in your approach?

How do you unhook from the idea that there is one right answer?

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