selling behavior

Get Off That Sales Conversation Merry-Go-Round

The Situation

Renée sells wholesale pet supplies to pet stores and veterinarians. She landed an appointment with Gerald, the buyer for a chain of pet stores.

Soon after they begin their meeting, Gerald starts peppering Renée about her company’s policies. He’s reacting to information he found on her firm’s website:

selling behavior

Round and Round to Nowhere

Every salesperson knows how it feels to be badgered at every turn by Q1 argumentative behavior. It seems to accelerate on its own. Yet, if Renée can find a way to reboot this sales call to discuss how her company can meet Gerald’s needs, she could land a significant piece of business.

What Q4 collaborative selling technique could be employed to get them out of this conversational rut?

Getting Off the Merry-Go-Round

Gerald seemed to be ready to disagree with Renée about everything he’d read about her company’s policies.


If you find yourself in a similar situation, you may feel it’s the prospect’s fault that you are in verbal combat. Gerald sure seemed ready for battle. But that doesn’t matter. Renée doesn’t help herself telling Gerald, in effect, that he’s to blame: “… you’re jumping ahead to things that won’t be a problem.”


Process Check

There’s a technique worth trying that could reverse the bickering mode — the Process Check. The idea is to move out of unproductive behavior by appealing directly to the prospect to change the way the conversation is going.


Don’t end up either drifting into your own Q2 resignation or becoming Q1 antagonistic yourself. Renée’s Process Check statement could be: “Gerald, we’re going around and around here. Please help me get us on track to discuss how I can get you pet supplies you’ll really like.”


Finding a Solution, Not Blame

Notice there’s no finger-pointing in the above examples. Renée doesn’t blame Gerald by telling him he’s being argumentative or that he’s agitated about nothing. Rather, she summarizes the situation without any judgment. She uses the first person “help me” and appeals to him to get them on track.


It may not always work, but you would be surprised at how making an appeal to someone raises his/her receptivity. It turns the conversation toward solving a problem. And it offers a benefit to the other person for doing so.


If you feel frustrated by Q1 antagonism and you’re in a conversational rut, try the Process Check to get your sales call moving again.