Selling is a tricky game wrought with traps. Follow these nine Cs of selling to steer you in the right direction and away from potential traps.

  1. Clarify
  • Prospects use all kinds of terms that need to be defined by you. If a prospect says, “Looks interesting.”  Wonder what that means. What does “we will be making a buying decision soon” mean? Is their definition of “soon” the same as yours? Most likely, the buyer’s version of “buying decision” differs from yours.
  • Pretend you are ignorant. This puts you and the buyer on the same page. You need to find yourself asking, “What does ‘good deal’ mean?”
  1. Challenge
  • Challenging the prospect with tough questions puts you on an equal plane with them.  A weak salesperson will never challenge the prospect’s logic or commitment.
  • Properly challenging a prospect can be tricky and many salespeople wimp out because they cannot find an appropriate way to do so without seeming pushy. The easiest way to challenge without being pushy is to challenge the prospects’ indecisiveness, not their decision to buy from you.
  • If you challenge the prospect to buy from you, you look biased and will be disregarded. Solutions-oriented and consultative selling are based upon this premise. That is, you should help the prospect make the best business decision. However, these selling techniques too often stop short because they fail to convert the buyer. Challenge the prospect to make a yes/no decision each step of the way. This decision may not be a yes/no to purchase, it is simply a yes/no to take the logical next step. You must have a clear picture of what the next step should be. Don’t let the prospect off the hook without a yes/no to that next step.
  1. Counterintuitive
  • Successful selling can take a counterintuitive or reverse psychology approach. You seriously underestimate your prospects if you think that straightforward sales moves that worked in the 1950s will persuade them. Instead, come in the back door to help move your prospect off dead center. Here’s  how:




Typical Response

More Successful Response

Don’t really need it Sure you do. (Salesperson then lists all the reasons he feels the prospect needs it.) That makes sense. What make you say that?
Need additional features Something that sounds like “let me tell you why it is fine the way it is” Such as…..?
Price too high Our competition is even more expensive. Or, our competition has bad quality. Isn’t the price always too high?  What makes you say that?
Not the right time to buy When should I follow up with you? Of course it is. I have not given you enough information yet.