How can you tell when there’s something else a prospect may be holding back from you? Here’s a technique from sales guru Keith Rosen that will get them to reveal what’s really going on, when unreturned phone call or missed meetings keep a sale from moving forward.

First, trust and listen to your instincts. And remember, sometimes the real objection is two to three questions deep. Here’s how you can respond when you’re following up:

You: “Ms. Prospect, based on our initial meeting, is it safe to say that you can see the advantages as well as the ROI that you would realize from our services?”

Prospect: “Yes. I definitely see the benefits.”

You: “We need to get together again to discuss what needs to happen so you can take advantage of the benefits we’ve discussed. I know you’re very busy, but I’m sensing there may be something else that’s getting in the way of taking the next step toward working together. Is that true?”

Prospect: “Well, actually….”

Now, let the truth be known! She may be worried about making the wrong decision. Maybe she had a bad experience with another purchase. Maybe she’s afraid for her job. She may not be the only decision maker, or doesn’t want to hurt your feelings. These are only a few obstacles that can fly under your radar unless you probe deeper.

This question format avoids putting the prospect on the defensive by accusing her of doing something wrong, pointing the finger or playing the blame game.

Key point: Beginning a statement with, “I’m sensing” acknowledges how you are feeling. Then, ask the prospect for help in determining whether your feeling is, in fact, valid. This approach gives the prospect the space and permission they need to share the real truth, objection, or more of what is going on without feeling pressured.


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