Super Agent

Having Difficult Sales Conversations: Part 1

In a great post on The Sales Blog, Anthony Iannarino says that in order to create greater value, you have to have difficult conversations—“You are going to have to talk openly about the big changes that are going to need to occur for your client to succeed, for you to succeed together… What makes you strategic is your willingness to deal with the biggest, nastiest, foulest issues.”

We often talk about the importance of producers leading the sales process during the first meeting and willingly stepping into tension filled moments to challenge and engage a prospect. Without a little discomfort, it’s unlikely that anything new is being brought to the table. And today’s buyers expect new ideas.

So, if you find that you’re reluctant to have difficult and probing conversations with clients, it’s important to assess where your fear is stemming from. Do you need to gain new capabilities in order to confidently address the issues a prospect or client is facing? Are you letting self-doubt or the need to “be liked” get in the way of your success? Do you know the impact you have on your clients and the outcomes you help them to achieve?

Getting comfortable with uncomfortable topics of conversation is a big step toward differentiation, as long as you do so with humility and without pushing away the prospect.

Iannarino asked: “Will you go there? Will you give the elephant a name and tame him?”

What strategies do you use to create positive tension during your sales meetings? Are you trying to overcome your fears around this issue? Let us know in the comments, and be on the lookout for Part 2 next week.

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