Closing tough customers in sales could be a tough nut to crack, pun intended, but if you do find yourself up against such customers at a trade show, would you just give in? Or would you rather put up a brave front and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat? Take your pick!
No two customers are alike. While some are a pleasure to deal with, others could give you a hard time. We have all come across customers who try to push us around or engage us in what seem like never-ending conversations. Not to mention the bullies – the worst kind! You can’t really get a sale out of them, or can you? It all depends on how good you are at turning the tables. This may help:
1. Do not succumb to pressure: Don’t let them get the better of you. If you speed up the meeting or try and adopt a different approach at the last minute because they are making you do so, there’s no way out. Stick to your script, and before you know, they’ll come around. And yes, it is okay to feel scared or get nervous, but the customers don’t have to find out, now do they? Well, they better not!
2. Don’t let the guard down: You may be dealing with the worst of the lot, but if they are at your trade show booth, talking to you, chances are that they are keen on buying whatever it is that you are selling. Now that’s what we call a silver lining. Don’t take anything personally, and just do what you are there for – close a sale. Keeping your emotions in check or the lack thereof could be the difference between success and failure.
3. Get them to talk about what they want: You have your elevator pitch ready and are waiting for the customers to arrive and bombard them with information, but what if they are simply not interested in listening to what you have to say? Just because they choose to walk in, doesn’t necessarily mean they are all ears. Some of them prefer to talk. Grab the opportunity. Get them to talk about their challenges and make them see your products or services as the perfect solutions.
4. Develop an understanding of their priorities: Are there any short term objectives that they want to accomplish? Is there a way to align your products to these objectives? If that’s a yes, the ball is in your court. Do what a good salesman does. Create an urgency and get them to commit.
5. Find out if they are serious: Some customers may commit just for the sake of it. Unless they are serious about resolving the challenges, they’ll be the first ones to bail out on you. Don’t get played.
Sometimes, it may help to rise to their tone. This is tricky though. They’d either back down or take offence and engage in an argument. Tread carefully. The idea is to get them to buy your products and not win a war of words!