3 Questions to Take Control of the Conversation
What do you do when a qualified lead starts steering the conversation away from the important aspects and starts raising issues about less important ones? You take control of the conversation. This not talking more than the buyer, this is about tailoring the message so that they are more likely to draw their own conclusions.
Here are three questions (plus a few more) to help you gain control of the conversation which will lead to a win.
When a prospect is demanding and concerned about the cost and timing of deliverables, ask them this:
1. "What are your expectations?
Let them tell you what they want in clear terms listening carefully. Now is your time to take control of the situation by reiterating their main concerns and either challenge or confirm them.
"The reason I'm on this call is to make sure you are right for the course, and the course is right for you. It would be best if you didn't have expectations that we can't deliver on, so it's best, to be honest from the get-go. How does that sound?"
This tactic takes the wind from their sails and ensures they don't come back mid-project and tell you that they don't like the product or service.
2. "Do you trust our expertise? We need to have the agency to make decisions that are going to solve your problems. Is that something you are open to?"
Give them the option to choose. Buyers will feel that the decision is theirs, and they own it, but you don't want to work with a client that is difficult and wants you to bend over backward for only a small fee.
"Let's get this out of the way. We can only work with clients who trust our expertise and are looking for solutions to their problems. Does that sound like you? I'm happy to get your input on some of the deliverables, but my team will lead this and we use all of our knowledge and experience to get you results. Please trust our process."
3. "What is the deadline you expect for a project this size?"
It's important to learn early on so that you don't spend a lot of time with someone who has an unrealistic deadline. If they need a project to be done in one month, but your estimate is around 3 months, don't waste your time. Tell them the truth and give them realistic expectations.
"We understand that your time frame is short, but we've crunched the numbers, and this project will take a minimum of 3 months. There isn't a company out there that can get your project done in 1 month. If you do find someone, be careful as the quality will be quite low- you get what you pay for."
The technique above has worked on many phone calls over the years. These simple questions allow the prospect to realize their weaknesses and highlight your strengths as a problem solver.