Have you ever felt cornered or pressured to buy? How did it make you feel? Did you want to buy from that rep?

It’s critical to any sales conversation that there is a back door for the prospect. A clear escape route that they can see and know that at any time, they can end the conversation. If they feel they are in control of the conversation, they will most likely stay engaged for a longer period of time.

How do you create a back door?

First is your attitude. Your clients can sense the pressure to purchase. No back door there, just a big fat agenda on your part and it’s uncomfortable being at the receiving end of that type of communication.

I want my clients to be confident that I am there as a consultant to see if this is something they would find valuable. I’m not there to sell, corner or pressure them.

Next is the language you choose. Make sure your prospect knows that they are in control of the conversation. It’s up to them to choose whether or not they want to continue talking with you. How this looks is something like this:

“Mr Prospect, I would appreciate 20 minutes of your time simply to introduce myself and my services to determine if indeed there are any potential synergies.” Or

“I understand that at the moment you don’t have the budget for this kind of initiative, but I would still appreciate 20 minutes of your time to introduce myself and my services that way when and if you’re ready to move forward you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision.”

Notice the “when and if” and “if indeed”. These are subtle messages that I’m sending. The message is “I have no idea if my product/service would be of value to you; all I would like is the opportunity to explore this with you.”

The bottom line is that when you create a back door, clients are more comfortable talking with you, will stay engaged longer and will tell you everything you need to know in order to make the sale.

Willa Schecter

Willa Schecter is Co-Active Coach, Sales Performance Expert. She can be reached at coachwilla@sympatico.ca