Yikes ! Try Not To Scare Your Next Prospect

Yikes, your just meeting the prospect for the first time and you are picking up on some bad vibes.  You notice the prospect is beginning to exhibit some strange body language.  The smile the prospect showed up with has now been replaced with a straight line and the prospects pupils have started to shrink to small piercing beads.  Now you notice that the hairs on the back of the prospects neck are literally standing straight up.

You have managed to trigger what psychologists refer to as the Fight or Flight Survival instinct.  You have somehow convinced prospect that you are indeed a sales person who cannot be trusted.

Once you get to this point there is not a lot you can do except turn the prospect over to someone else and if possible start over.

Here are some tips to make sure you minimize the chances of this happening again in the future.


  1. Look at every sales opportunity as a chance to make a new friend not just a paycheck. Prospects have an almost innate suspicion of sales people. Even sales people don’t trust sales people. Prospects think sales people are only interested in manipulating them to do something that is in the sales person’s best interest. I believe it all starts with your attitude. Make your first goal to simply get to know your prospect as a person and if nothing else is achieved you have made a friend.
  2. Always be professional and patient and resist the urge to ask where they live, how much money they have and when they will move in in the first few minutes of the conversation. Prospects are already on high alert when beginning to shop for anything. Asking personal questions that are not really related to what the prospect wants will just put the prospect on edge. To build trust it is much better to ask questions about the situation that has prompted their action and how changes in their situation are currently affecting their family.
  3. Try to ask more questions than you answer and remember that when you are talking you are buying and when you are listening you are selling. Prospects tend to believe themselves much more than someone they don’t know.  Remember that most questions asked by the prospect are designed to dis-qualify not qualify you and your company. So the more you say the higher chance you have of saying something wrong.
  4. Listen, Listen, Listen. Prospects love listeners. Listening is the number one way to establish trust and credibility and visa-versa, inattentiveness will cut the electricity right out of any new relationship. The secret is to ask questions and then ask more questions about the answer.
  5. Make every effort to give the prospect your full attention. Always make sure you make the prospect the complete focus of your energies.  Looking at your phone or watch or allowing yourself to be interrupted during a sales meeting is a cardinal sin.  In the absence of being shown deference and respect prospects get angry and see time spent as a waste.

I am happy to share more ideas on these topics. If you are interested you can check out our website, www.Peak PerformanceMS.com or reach out to me at wnowell@peakperformancems.com or call me directly on my cell :(602)-284-0124

Will Nowell is the President of Peak Performance MS.  Peak Performance Mystery Shopping is a premier provider of mystery shopping services and Will has been providing sales consulting and training in the retirement industry for more than 20 years. Will is the author of the best selling book, ValueMatch Selling.


William Nowell

by William Nowell