By Mike Crandall
June 27, 2024

Are you putting up defenses or bringing them down?

Discover three key questions to improve your sales process and ensure you can have a real conversation.

When someone realizes you want something from them, how do they react? If they are close to you, they may respond happily and want to help you. However, if they perceive you as just another salesperson, their reaction can differ. They will immediately get defensive. They will bring up the drawbridge, put out the hungry gators, bring out the cannons, and fire their warning shots.

The solution isn’t to sneak into their castle or to disguise your intentions. Instead, your job is to bring down those defenses so you can have a real conversation. In my firm, we often say your competition isn’t just people who sell what you do; it’s every other salesperson your prospect has ever interacted with. Scary, huh?

Now, is your sales process raising red flags for prospects, or do you make it comfortable enough to build trust? Here are three questions you can ask to dig deeper into how people may perceive you. 

Have I documented my sales process?

Have you ever ridden in a car where the driver didn’t know where they were going? That can be an anxiety-ridden experience. If your sales process isn’t well-defined, this is how it can feel for prospects. A documented process provides a clear path, reducing anxiety and building confidence in your professionalism. It shows that you have a structured approach and are not just making it up as you go along.

How can I be a trusted advisor?

Trust is earned through consistency, transparency, and a genuine interest in helping your prospects succeed. Focus on building relationships, not just making sales. Provide value in every interaction, be honest about what you can and cannot do, and always follow your promises.

How do I help others tell my story?

Humans have told stories since the beginning of time to communicate important things to each other. You don’t remember random streets or addresses you have been to, but I can guarantee there are special addresses you can recall, like your childhood home or the White House!

If you have happy clients, you have people who will tell you their stories—how you helped them, who you are, and how you may be able to help others. In fact, they may be trying to tell your story and give a good referral but do not have the tools they need to do so successfully. 

Think about how you can empower them to do this comfortably, whether through a case study or testimonial or by giving them easy ways to spot your ideal client in conversation.

Because frankly, a good sometimes means those defenses never come up in the first place. 

Addressing these questions can transform your sales approach from one that raises defenses to one that builds trust and fosters lasting relationships. Are you putting up defenses, or are you bringing them down? The answer can make all the difference in your business success.

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About Mike Crandall

Mike Crandall lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. He is a Consultant, Coach, Trainer, Speaker, and Author focused on the Subconscious Psychology of Human Interaction and Motivation. His firm specializes in Elevating Leadership, Management, & Sales Performance for Proactive Business Growth. Mike is based in Oklahoma and serves Visionary Clients across the United States. He can be reached at (405) 844-1700.