Every so often you’ll find yourself in front of a “controlling prospect.” This is a person who wants to show you who is boss (and, as far as they’re concerned, it ain’t you!) :-). They’ll do this by asking questions – often in rapid succession – demanding fast answers. They will also demand that you answer questions, not ask them.
Today, we’ll talk about the first one; that of the rapid-fire, and how to nicely and gently gain and maintain a benevolent environment.
Although it’s often good to converse with your prospect at a similar rate of speed as they are talking, this may not be helpful in a rapid-fire situation. In this case, you need to slow down in order to get them to slow down. Once they see you won’t be intimidated into matching their speed, they’ll most likely slow down, as well, for their own comfort.
In other words, when they begin to rapid-fire, you just take your time, and have that look on your face as though you are really thinking their question through before responding (which you are). Then, rather slowly, give a thought-out response (of course, while respectfully letting them know within your answer that their question was good and valid). Then ask your own question of them.
Do this just a couple of times, and you will either gain their total respect and cooperation, or they will have to ask you why you won’t just answer their question quickly. At that point, you can gently let them know you value them enough as a person and a potential client to give them the best information you possibly can, as opposed to the fastest.
In the next article, we’ll look at how to work with the controlling prospect who demands you only answer – not ask – questions.
Have you ever had a prospect do this to you? Were you able to respond instead of react? Let us know.