Top Hacks to Gain Control of Your Sales Conversations

Thu Oct 5, 2017

Kathy Crosett

Not everyone was born with the ability to speak eloquently and confidently. Let’s say you’ve been conversationcommunicating by email with a prospect who has agreed to meet in person. If you’ve been down this path before, only to have the other person constantly interrupt you and derail the conversation, it’s time to take charge. Here’s how.

First, acknowledge that the other party may be part of the problem. Manners are lacking across the board in our culture today. And, it seems that the more technology contributes to our always-on lifestyles, the more impatient people become.

Knowing that, you need to prepare for the prospect or client who is likely in a rush and may even try to finish your sentences for you. Plan to establish a presence in a physical meeting by following the advice of Timothy Maynes–assistant professor of organization and human resources at the University at Buffalo School of Management. His work was summarized by Jared Lindzon in a FastCompany article and amounts to this: don’t be tentative. If you use language which indicates uncertainty – like maybe or possibly – in a conversation, the other person will assume you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Career coaches also remind clients to practice confident posture. Standing straight, looking the other person in the eye, and shaking hands are all behaviors that speak of confidence. A smile can also work wonders. If you enter a room looking down at the floor and mumble the details of your presentation, your prospect will suspect you don’t know much about your product or his business. He’ll assume he’s wasting his time with you. And then, he’ll start finishing your sentences, because he’s anxious to get to the bottom line and move on.

To avoid this outcome, be prepared to answer questions or to reassure him you’ll get back to him with information he’s asked for. If he keeps interrupting, politely but firmly bring the conversation back on track by saying something like, “As I was explaining…”

Be friendly. Be firm. Be confident. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at controlling your sales conversations.

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About Kathy Crosett

Kathy is the Research Director for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel.

View all posts by Kathy Crosett