That sales call didn’t go the way that you think it went. You felt challenged. You felt that you were being asked to defend your ideas. You felt that the difficulty of the questions and the intensity of the conversation indicated negativity about you and your solution. But you misinterpreted the interaction you just had with your dream client.
The challenging questions your dream client asked were not designed to make you defensive. They asked those questions so that you could help provide them with the rationale and the justification for making the changes that you are recommending. The people within their company, and even their superiors, are going to ask them why they are making the changes, why they are making them now, and why you are the one engaged in this process. This is especially true when what you’re recommending is a disruptive change, where it brings risk, and where it requires a greater investment.
You weren’t being asked to defend your ideas because your dream client believes they’re bad ideas. The reason they’re asking the questions is because they need the language and the logic to defend those ideas themselves. The reason you were sitting in front of them sharing your ideas and being asked these challenging questions is because your dream client really wants to buy the change that you are selling.
The intensity of the questions indicates the seriousness with which your dream client is taking their issue. The challenge for them is emotional. It’s stressful to deal with systemic challenges. Some of the intensity might be caused by the fact that your dream client has tried what some of your competitors have offered in the way of changes only to be disappointed. They’ve been told that they can have better, faster, and cheaper. That has never come true for them, so you cannot judge them for being skeptical. You would be skeptical if you were in their position.
After you sell long enough that you have had rich experiences with difficult and expensive change initiatives, you will know that the difficult, challenging, and intense questions are buying signals. They are not the signals of someone who is not interested in change. In fact the opposite is true; the people who are not interested in changing don’t say much at all.
That call went better than you think it did.
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