That Escalated Quickly!


Most of us have either witnessed or been involved in a discussion that quickly turned in to a verbal fist fight.  Sometimes things just escalate quicker that we ever expected.

This situation can arise in sales – a client says yes much sooner in the sales process than we expected, or a client who has essentially already sold themselves prior to you even doing anything.  A sales persons nirvana?  Well, it can be, but it can also be a poisoned chalice.  Why is this?

There are two questions you need to ask if you find yourself in this situation

What Don’t I Know?

If a client comes running in to your arms, you should ask are the running from something, or to something?  Sometimes you can sell yourself in to a problem.  Just like clients experience poor sales people, sales people can experience difficult clients.  Those whose expectations are unrealistic, whose personality type is demanding, whose business is high maintenance.   Sometimes this results in them opting to leave a current supplier, or that supplier making it easy for them to leave.  Like bad sales people, every industry has difficult clients.  Sure, one sale is as good as another – however, when you’re talking relationship sales, one relationship isn’t the same as another.

Don’t let an eager new client cloud your judgement on not whether you could do business with them, but whether you should.

What Don’t They Know?

Some clients are just eager to buy.  It could be because the want/need the sale satisfies is significant or pressing.  It could be because they are impatient.  It could be because they think they have heard enough.  For some clients, any solution is better than the correct one.  As an adviser, sometimes clients can say yes too soon in the process.  Before they know all the things they need to know.    Sometimes these things are minor and can be explained after the fact.  However sometimes, whilst they may seem minor to you, they can turn in to big issues for the client.   And guess what, after the fact, the client isn’t going to blame themselves for saying yes to soon.

Don’t let an eager new client dull your responsibility to ensure you thoroughly understand a clients needs before closing the sale, even if the client wants to.

In sales, yes is a magic word.  We are attuned to it.  We crave hearing it.  It’s a powerful word, the ‘yes’ strategy is even a closing technique.  However, as it is a powerful word, it can sometimes sell us in to a problem.  Make sure your clients are saying yes in their and your best interests before accepting it.

A quickly escalating sale can be a good thing – but it can also be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.


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