The Importance of Control

In sales, there are a few fine lines that we must always walk. Making sure that we are focused on the customer and their needs, finding the best solution for their needs, making our idea seem like the client’s thought and of course, staying in control of the conversation. This can often be the toughest job any sales person has and one of the hardest lessons to learn.

When it comes down to it, taking control is often done in the first few minutes of your conversation and is all about the questions you ask. If you know something about your prospect and what they need, it is easier to flip the conversation back on them.

Here are a few tips that are key in taking or keeping control in the sales conversation that I have used with success in the past:

  • Don’t be self-serving – always ask your question in terms of how your client can benefit from the conversation. How is it helpful to them and why should they care? It may seem like this gives your prospect control, but you will find they just start talking – who gets more that way?
  • Know where you are taking the conversation – product and industry knowledge is critical to make this happen. The best sales people don’t just know the first question to ask, it is the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th that make a difference.
  • Take good notes on your early calls – you lose control and momentum fast when you don’t remember why the client was interested in the first place
  • Remind them why you are talking – you need to bring your prospect back to the moment that they first showed interest. Without that urgency, you will not have their attention.

If you feel like you are not in the driver’s seat, make sure to slow yourself down and know the sale is not lost. You can always get back in control. Sometimes it is just a fresh approach or simple reminder to yourself that at the end of the day, people buy from people. Make sure your prospect knows you are working for them and not just yourself. You will win their confidence and be in a place to drive the conversation where you want it and when you want it.

Happy selling!