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VOL. 128 | NO. 80 | Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lori Turner

Lori Turner-Wilson

Don’t Let Zeal Kill the Sale

By Lori Turner-Wilson

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Passion is a vital skill for entrepreneurs, but did you know it can actually kill a sales call? While it may seem counterintuitive, an overzealous spirit can simply overwhelm a prospect.

While asking for the sale is an essential selling skill, you have to earn the right to ask by first building trust with your prospect. While you’ll never land a sale if you don’t ask, sales is a process versus a question. If your enthusiasm gets the better of you, and you ask too soon, you’ll certainly get an answer – just not the one you want.

Passion could also cause you to make invalid assumptions and rush through the all-important needs assessment, the point of which is to ask high-impact questions that get your prospect talking about existing pain and needs. Guide your prospect through that discussion properly, and you may very well have a buyer who realizes the need for what you’re selling without your prompting. But if you make assumptions about what a prospect needs, versus letting him get there on his own, you risk making your prospect feel “sold to” and losing the sale.

Similarly, if you cut the needs assessment short by jumping on the very first need your prospect divulges, you may miss additional opportunities to sell even more. Thoroughly explore your prospect’s needs before outlining how you can address them. Once you shift the focus away from exploring those needs, it can be challenging to get your potential buyer back on track.

Passion can also cause you to talk too much in a sales conversation. Successful sales people only talk during 20 percent of the sales call. Remember that you have two ears and only one mouth for a reason.

When prospects throw up the inevitable objections, the overly enthusiastic may come across as prideful or stubborn if they lack objectivity, ultimately turning off prospects. Set your passion aside to truly understand and relate to your prospect’s concerns if you want to improve your likelihood of closing the sale.

Once a prospect begins to demonstrate buying signals, don’t oversell. The impassioned may elect to make every point they had originally planned even after the prospect has clearly made a buying decision. If you’re not careful, you just might talk your prospect out of the sale. Once your prospect is ready to buy, close, connect again, and get out.

Passion can propel you to the top or send you right over the cliff. So, while you certainly don’t want to put a complete damper on it, channel it toward helping your prospect versus selling them.

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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