How to Close a Deal with a Prospect You Don’t Like


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Some people’s personalities just don’t mesh. This is even true in sales, despite the stereotype salespeople have of being social chameleons. But, in sales it’s crucial that you are able to work with people who have personalities that clash with your own. You don’t have to be best friends with a prospect to work together and find them a solution. Here’s how to close a deal with a prospect you don’t like.

Keep an open mind

First impressions are important, but they aren’t everything. Someone may be having an off day and act like a complete a-hole, and then end up being one of the nicest people you’ve ever met (or vice versa). Don’t let a rough first contact or two ruin your entire perception of your prospect. Make sure you remain calm and polite towards your client no matter what, and always give them the benefit of the doubt.

Don’t try to rush it

It can be tempting to try to rush the deal along so you don’t have to spend any more time with a challenging prospect. But when you and your prospect aren’t quite on the same page, it’s important to take your time and build a sense of trust and understanding. In the end, if you’re both on the same side and working together, you’ll get the best outcome.

Swallow your pride

A lot of the time, disliking a prospect stems from that person dismissing your opinions and advice. As a salesperson for a particular product, you likely do know a lot about what you are doing. However, a person who has never met you has no reason to think you’re an expert. So, there’s bound to be a bit of uncertainty until you establish your credentials and credibility. Be humble, and acknowledge your customer’s doubts. Brushing their concerns aside will only drive you both further apart.

Find common ground

No matter how different you and your prospect may be, there are going to be a few things that you have in common. Take the time to tease these out these things, and your experience will be significantly more pleasant. Make some small talk, ask them about their hobbies and interests. And, whatever you do, don’t fib about being interested in what they are if it’s not true. They’re going to figure out you aren’t interested in their favorite band pretty quickly if you lie to your prospect.

Focus on the big picture

Even if working with this client is torture and you’d rather be in the 7th circle of hell, try to focus on the big picture. Once you close the deal you (hopefully) never have to see the prospect you don’t like again. Stay strong, and think about that commission check you’ll be getting. And, maybe once the deal closes use some of the commission to buy yourself a drink. You deserve it.

Pass it off if needed

It’s a bit of a last resort, but if you and your prospect will really never see eye to eye, you might need to give the deal to another member of your team. If working with this prospect is truly making you miserable, it might be time to pass the baton (especially if the deal isn’t exceptionally large). Make sure that you have exhausted your other options first, though. And, don’t make this a habit.

As a salesperson, you need to be able to get your job done even if you don’t like some of your prospects. Make dealing with these prospects a little bit less exhausting by getting a great proactive relationship platform that you actually do like.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.


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