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6 Keys to Closing Tough Customers in Sales

In a perfect world, all prospects would love you starting the moment they shook your hand -- and then they’d eagerly sign on the dotted line. Unfortunately, deals are almost never that easy to win. And it can seem nearly impossible to close when you’re dealing with tough customers who make everything harder than it needs to be.

If clients try to push you around, or they waffle indefinitely over their next steps, deals can drag on for weeks on end. And, chances are, these interactions won’t even end in a sale.

While you can’t control prospects’ attitudes, you can control your responses. You can take productive steps to increase your chances of closing the sale -- even when you’re dealing with the worst customers imaginable. 

With these six keys to closing tough customers in sales, you’ll be more prepared to deal with bullies, noncommittal prospects, and just plain difficult people. Implement them now, and start to crush your competition in sales.

How to Close a Sales Deal With a Difficult Customer

  1. Don't react or display anxiety
  2. Stay firm
  3. When necessary, mirror their response
  4. Probe into their challenges
  5. Understand their top priorities
  6. Secure true buy in

1) Show that you’re unfazed.

If difficult prospects sense you’re scared or nervous, they’ll be even more likely to push you around. Resist the urge to speed up the sales meeting or alter your approach in response to a tough customer’s bad attitude. Instead, show that you’re unfazed by sticking to your script -- even if they pressure you to hurry things along. 

Watch this video for more tips like this:

2) Be unemotional and firm.

It’s natural to feel frustrated when a prospect is giving you a hard time -- but frustration will only waste your opportunity. After all, the prospect may be a bully, but he could still need what you’re selling. Don’t take anything personally, and commit to standing your ground. Keep your emotions in check and stay on track with your regular approach to closing sales.

3) When in doubt, match the prospect.

Sometimes, the best way to get a bully to behave is to match them. Rise to their tone, pace, and strength and you may be surprised to find them backing down in response. By matching their personality, you’re more likely to win their respect and hold their attention. 

4) Get prospects talking about their challenges.

Difficult prospects have a million different things on their minds. They simply don’t want to listen to you. Instead of forcing them to listen to what you want to say, try to get tough customers to talk about themselves and their business problems. With this approach, you’ll tap into their emotional side and break through the animosity. For prospects who are hesitant to commit, getting them to talk about their key challenges can help you gauge how much of a priority solving their problems truly is.

5) Understand prospects’ top objectives. 

Ask your prospects which goals they most want to accomplish in the short term. Try asking, “What are your top priorities in the next six, 12, or 18 months?” By aligning your solution with those objectives, you can create greater urgency for even the most noncommittal clients.

6) Get real commitment.

Before you get to your proposal, find out how serious the prospect is about solving the challenges and objectives they’ve spoken to you about. Instead of asking if the customer is committed to buying your product or service, try asking, “George, are you committed to doing something about this right now?” 

By holding your prospects’ feet to the fire, you’ll be able to gauge whether or not they’re ready to commit to what you have to offer.

Tough customers are never fun -- but they can still be profitable. With a game plan in place, you’ll be far less likely to fold under pressure or take difficult selling situations personally.

Check out this free report to learn the three closing questions you must ask to close the sale.

HubSpot CRM

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