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Custom Growth Solutions, LLC | Sandler Training | Oklahoma City, OK

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Negative reversing is a core concept we teach at Sandler Training. We compare it to fishing. When a prospect nibbles, you should let out more line. It can actually result in your prospect telling you all the reasons they should buy from you. However, it goes counter to what traditional sales is all about.

Consider a salesperson talking to a prospect about widgets. Here’s what a traditional conversation might sound like:

Prospect: “I like what I’m hearing about your widgets.”

Salesperson: “Great! Would you like to move forward with the order?”

Prospect: “I’ll have to take some time to look over everything and decide. I don’t know for sure if you’ll be a better fit than our current supplier.”

And now the salesperson is playing the “wait and see” game.

Here’s what the same conversation utilizing negative reversing might sound like:

Prospect: “I like what I’m hearing about your widgets.”

Salesperson: “That’s interesting, because I got the impression you were happy with your current supplier. I didn’t think this would interest you.”

Prospect: “Well, I wouldn’t say I’m completely happy with them.”

Salesperson: “What do you mean?”

Now the salesperson is having a full blown conversation, instead of trying to convince the prospect to buy.

In this case, the prospect may continue by listing out things they’re not happy with about their current supplier. The salesperson can make use of that information to see whether he would be a good fit for the prospect or not.

Of course, it’s not necessarily easy. You have to condition yourself to remember to do it. Remembering to do it after you hang up the phone, or when you’re in your vehicle driving away, doesn’t do you any good. A lot of times, you can’t have that conversation the same way again, and you’ve lost a prime opportunity.

So next time you notice a prospect nibbling on your bait, don’t start reeling them in. Feed them a little line, and they’ll be telling you all the reasons why they should buy from you.

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