Untangle your conversations

Pharmaceutical Representative

How to sidestep sticky sales situations.

Nine times out of 10, sales representatives don't ask for what they want or say what needs to be said. This is especially true in sticky sales situations. You can become a better communicator and avoid sticky sales situations by using this simple, three-step communication process.

Establish a connection

Make people right even if they are wrong. Why? When you make people right, you build a relationship with them. This helps you move the communication process further along.

Ask a 'yes' or 'no' question

Ask permission. You are being highly productive when you do this because if people aren't willing to listen to what you have to say, you can save your breath and their time.

Here's the trick. You must get a "yes" or "no" from people. If they just give you an "uh-huh," that won't work. You must get a "yes" or "no."

In a sticky sales conversation, ask for permission by saying, "May I tell you something?" Keep it short and sweet. You simply want permission to proceed with the conversation.

If you get a "no," then ask for a time when he or she is willing to hear what you have to say. If you get a "yes," proceed to the next step.

Be truthful

Tell the truth. Sometimes we try to be accurate rather than truthful, compare rather than tell the truth or gather evidence that may not be true in order to prove our point or make someone else wrong. In all of these cases the truth is simpler and much more empowering. So tell the truth.

Communicate consistently

By following these three steps, you may still not have accomplished what you want. There may still be a sticky situation. Be careful not to regress to an emotional level of communication. Start the process over again. If you receive another objection, repeat the three steps again. Each time, make the other person right about what he or she said, ask permission and then tell the truth.

As you practice and use this process, which I call business finesse, you will have more energy and will be able to stay focused on what you really want out of a conversation.

This adds a new dynamic to your relationship with clients. Long-term relationships, high productivity and strong profitability happen because you create opportunities for them to happen. And you can create opportunities by finessing your way through sticky situations. PR