Why Prospects Don’t Tell You the Truth

Feb 20

A little while ago I was conducting a sales training workshop and we were discussing the importance of asking high-value questions. A participant piped up and said, “What difference does it make what questions we ask? The prospect isn’t going to tell us the truth anyway.”

I have to admit that I was somewhat taken aback from his statement. But… it did make me think.

There’s no doubt that some people will not tell you the truth during a discovery conversation. However, I strongly believe that this is caused by the sales person and his or her actions or behaviour.

Here’s why…

Prospects are inundated by people trying to sell them the latest and greatest product, and in many cases, they have heard a similar sales pitch from other sales people.

In my experience, many sales people ask questions that either could have been answered by a quick visit to the prospect’s website or by doing a few minutes of research. Or, they ask self-serving and useless questions such as;

“What do you know about our company?”

“Can I tell you about…?”

“If I could show you how you will (save money, increase sales, etc.) would you be interested?”

“What will it take to earn your business?”

In today’s business climate, the people you’re trying to sell to are incredibly busy.

They don’t have time to waste on frivolous conversations. They expect you to do some research BEFORE you contact them so that you can get to the point and offer something that will help them improve their overall business results.

Too many sales reps still follow the “show up and throw up” approach. They believe that telling is selling. If they actually ask questions they either ask the wrong questions or they ask them at the wrong time. Or, they ask questions that are designed to get a buying commitment from the prospect.

Here’s the simple truth…

The main reason prospects don’t tell you the truth is because they don’t trust you.

If you want prospects to open up and tell you the truth you need to create an environment of trust.

This means using the right tone and manner during your conversation whether it’s on the telephone or during a face-to-face meeting.

It means asking tough, penetrating questions that cause your prospect to sit and up and think.

It means resisting the temptation to pitch your product until you have an accurate understanding of how it will actually help the prospect you’re talking to.

It means putting your agenda on the side burner and focusing 100 percent of your attention on your prospects’ problem, concern or situation instead of thinking how you will try to close the sale.

If you can achieve this then it is more likely your prospect will be straight-forward with you and you will no longer have to worry about them lying to you.

Looking for speaker for an upcoming sales meeting, conference, or other sales related event? Feel free to contact me and we can discuss what type of program would help you get better results. 905-633-7750


3 Comments on Why Prospects Don’t Tell You the Truth

  1. Pingback: A Weekly Roundup of Small-Business News - NYTimes.com

  2. Kelley,

    Great thinking. You get back what you put into it. Ask crummy questions, get crummy answers.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>