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Monica Wofford, CSP, teaches leaders to understand and improve their own leadership in using practice, skills, and desire as their three areas of focus. You’ve had difficult sales conversations. They’re the ones where you just can’t seem to communicate well with your potential customer; the ones in which the deal feels done but is never signed. How do you keep sales easy and make more than you are now?

There’s no magic wand in sales. It’s hard work, but it can become easier with these three deceivingly simple steps derived from the new release Make Difficult People Disappear.

Get to Know Your Customers

Just as the phrase “it takes all kinds” holds true for life, the same is true for customers. It does take all kinds and you can sell to all of them if you know who you’re dealing with and how to communicate in a language they understand. There are four personalities we possess and while each person has them all, one is naturally dominant and comes out more glaringly in a sales scenario. There are Commanders, motivated by “getting it done” who communicate in bullets and see everything not on their list as an intrusion. Make appointments with them and get to the point upon arrival. There are Organizers seeking to “get it right” who analyze every detail twice before making a decision. Give them time to decide and explain why your product or service is of value to them. There are Relaters gifted in empathy and “getting along” who will work to meet the needs of others and avoid conflict at all costs. Socialize with them at first and build their trust, discussing business at the end and recognizing that their “no” will sound more like “maybe.” There are Entertainers who live for “getting appreciated” and bring light hearted fun to the office with a flair for creativity and a desire for drama. Catch them in the moment and appeal to their need for popularity and status. Awareness of these distinct differences and how they behave will reduce the frustratingly infuriating perceptions that natural behaviors are designed to pose difficulty for you.

Manage Expectation

Sales become easier when you stop expecting the Organizer to make an on the spot decision or a Relater to directly tell you their objections. You can make difficult sales calls literally disappear with your new found understanding of who you’re dealing with and what you expect them to do. Without this, salespeople get frustrated by their own misaligned expectations. It’s as if we look at a German shepherd expecting it to act like a Jack Russell and then get mad at the small dog for not acting big and regal. How we expect others to behave guides our reactions and yet it is our own expectations that have fallen short, not the other party, causing you to leave a sales call muttering “well that was a difficult customer”.

Great salespeople aren’t magical they have and use a set of skills that makes difficult people disappear! With a raised awareness and aligned expectations those difficult customers effectively vanish and your sales become easier…right along with your ability to count on more commissions, bonuses, and referrals.

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