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| chris.ginnelly@sandler.com
 

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Never answer an unasked question

Have you ever introduced a topic that the prospect wasn’t expecting and stopped a deal in its tracks?

A client of ours had invested three months developing a comprehensive IT solution for a prospective client. He effectively orchestrated the interactions between the prospect company’s buying team and sales team. All the potential implication roadblocks had been identified and resolved. Timelines and deadlines had been established. Simon and his team were confident that they would win the business.

The day of the presentation Simon covered each phase of the project point by point, Simon was confident that he would close the sale until a member of his tech support team ended up killing the deal. The tech guy blurted out, ‘‘there’s an update coming for the database program. The testing is on track. The final version should be ready in about 60 days’’

Of course, in the tech-support person’s mind, the prospect buying team need to know about the software updates as they were a significant improvement on the current product capability. Even though they didn’t ask, he felt it was important to provide an answer. The tech person in Simon’s team was not a salesperson. But in many cases, salespeople tend to answer inopportune unasked questions during critical moments.

You can guess what happened. The tech support member’s answer to the unasked question quickly transformed into a disaster. The prospect decided to hold off signing the contract. … and ended up working with someone else.

Why did the deal die?

The objective of a presentation is to present the aspects of your product or service that address the issues and concerns previously identified …. And nothing more. This is not the time to introduce new elements. If during a presentation, you’ve ever said something like, ‘‘You’re probably wondering how we would….’’ And then gave an explanation about some new element that is supposed to add value to your offering, or entice your prospect to buy, then you’re guilty of answering an unasked question. If the prospect had been ‘wondering’ about it, HE WOULD HAVE ASKED.

Join me for a free to attend event for business owners, MD’s and CEO’s to discover the Sandler selling system and sales habits of highly effective salespeople and leaders. Click the link to register to the event - https://www.westlondon.sandler.com/eventcalendar/?month=11&year=2018&date=1542178800#DayAnchor 

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