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VOL. 127 | NO. 144 | Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lori Turner

Lori Turner-Wilson

Decoding Prospects’ Secret Language

By Lori Turner-Wilson

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Part one in a two-part series Let’s face it. Prospects have a language of their own. Sometimes they say one thing when they really mean another. Shocking, right? The language differences between sellers and buyers are akin to those between men and women – often worlds apart. Fortunately, prospects have a few go-to responses that, once decoded, will put you on an even playing field.

“I’m happy with our current provider.” Translation: “You haven’t piqued my interest enough to get me to consider shifting from my comfortable surroundings to unknown territory.”

“It’s not in the budget.” Translation: “I could afford it if the return were there; you just haven’t demonstrated enough value yet to justify the price you’ve set.”

“Send me more information.” Translation: “I’m stalling. I don’t really see the value in what you’re proposing yet; I just don’t have the courage to tell you.”

“I need to talk it over with ABC.” Translation: Either, “I don’t have the authority to make this decision on my own,” or more commonly, “I’m just stalling because I’m not quite sold on the value proposition, and I’m using someone else as the scapegoat.”

“Call me back in a few months.” Translation: “I’m going to tell you to call me back, but I intend to screen you like bugs in the summer. Don’t count on reaching me anytime soon!”

“I need to think it over/sleep on it.” Translation: “I’m still a bit uneasy and want to get some reinforcement from my inner circle before I say yes.”

“I’ll have to look at the numbers.” Translation: “I might be interested but I choked on the budget you put forward and have to think about how to negotiate a better deal.”

“That’s a long commitment.” Translation: “I don’t know you well enough to trust you just yet. Let’s date before we get married.”

Bottom line – when a prospect speaks in code, they’re stalling. It means they aren’t quite ready to share their real objection so as not to hurt your feelings, because they are embarrassed, or because they are anxious about telling you the truth.

While these translations don’t hold true 100 percent of the time, more commonly than not, they are accurate. To determine their true meaning, hold your ground and dig a bit more deeply with your prospects – ultimately reaching the real root of the objection.

Check back next week for a practical guide for overcoming these common sales objections and closing more business.

Lori Turner-Wilson is an award-winning columnist and Founder/CEO of RedRover Sales & Marketing, www.redrovercompany.com. You can follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovercompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (facebook.com/redrovercompany).

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