Prospects Do the Darndest Things: Handling Stalls, Objections, Questions, and Embellishments of the Truth


Hello, Tony Cole, founder of Anthony Cole Training Group, bringing you another sales brew. In this short video, I will talk about prospects doing the darndest things and what to do about it.

Here is an example of prospects doing the darndest things: Donnie Duncan, our head football coach at Iowa State, was doing a home visit with a prospect and his family down in Memphis, Missouri.  As Donnie told it to us in a staff meeting; “I was talking to mom and dad, and all of a sudden, the prospect took off a shoe and sock, and started clipping his toe nails. As he’s clipping, these giant toenails are flying around the room, and I’m thinking I’m gonna catch one in the eye.  Finally, dad speaks up and barks to Billy, “Gimme those damned clippers boy. Dad then takes off a shoe and a sock, and starts clipping his nails.”

Your prospects will do the darndest things and you have to know how to deal with that.  Here are a couple of keys to help you with that:

  1. Be prepared.  Prospects will do things that you can’t control but you can anticipate their behavior because you’ve probably experienced in the past.  So be prepared.
  2. The behave the way they do so that they can achieve their objectives. It is important that you understand what their objectives may be.  they may want to compare providers, create competition, look good to their boss, defend a decision they’ve already made.  The reason doesn’t matter.
  3. Given that then your job is to find out why they say what they say.  Why they ask a certain question, make a certain statement, tell you about a certain problem.
  4. The best way to find out why is to ask questions.  Ask questions or make statements like the following:
    • Tell me more about that.
    • How long has that gone on?
    • What have you done to try to fix it?
    • Suppose you don’t address this.
    • What is the monetary value of the problem or opportunity?
    • What have you done so far to address this?
    • What has your current partner done to address this?
    • Suppose we could help you what happens next.

Remember, predict, prepare, and probe with questions. Thanks for listening.


From Founder & Chief Learning Officer, Tony Cole

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