Good sales people love to pitch. In fact, many people who aren't really sales people end up pitching a fair amount themselves. They might be pitching an idea or themselves for an opportunity. Regardless of whether you are selling a product, service or simply an idea, you are imposing your will on another person.

In many cases, those people are somewhat receptive... until they're not. So often people get a little sign of go ahead and they just unleash their pitch without realizing they passed the opportunity. And then the sale is hard to recover. The trick is to pull back a little just before you go too far. It's like lifting the nose of the plane to land it gently on the runway. If you do it soon enough you may still have a chance to glide in safely.

Here are 5 signs you may be headed for a crash landing. There may be other signs that are not quite so obvious, so pay close attention to the prospect.

1. Your prospect begins to argue your points vehemently.

If all of the sudden the prospect has become aggressive and is pushing you hard, the sale is likely gone and now he is seeking retribution on you for making him uncomfortable. If you take it calmly and let the prospect vent, you might have one more shot at a calm conversation. Otherwise, if you push even further, you may want to prepare to duck from flying objects.

2. You keep changing the direction of the conversation.

Does your prospect seem to keep taking the conversation away from the sales topic? Most likely, it's because she is no longer interested. She may be thinking things through to see if there was any social redeeming purpose to the conversation. If you let her go and think on her own, she may come back if the product or service is a key need.

3. Your prospect becomes easily distracted.

If the smartphone comes out, and the sport scores are now the priority for your prospects, you likely overdid it. They have given up on trying to escape politely and will just suffer until you are done with your pitch so they can leave. Watch for the eyes to drift and the body language to fidget.

4. Your prospect makes excuses.

If it seems like you are in a fencing match thrusting and parrying, you have likely gone a bit too far. Take a deep breath and ask the prospect about their concerns. If they still engage with substantive questions, you may still have them interested.

5. Your prospect physically backs away.

When I was a young salesperson, I was so passionate about what I was selling I didn't even realize if the prospect had moved away from me. I believed in my service and thought its benefit would be obvious to them, as well. So I just bombarded them figuring I would will them to go my way. I've softened a bit, but I'm still hyper aware of their position now so I know when to pull back.

 

Published on: Dec 9, 2014
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