How to Handle a Really Tough Customer

Occasionally we all run into an especially tough customer in the form of a classic “know it all” who takes particular delight with arguing every point and can even become almost abusive in the process. At first blush, it may seem like we have no chance, but often these types of buyers can be closed by a little “jiu jitsu.” Here is what I mean…

Know it all buyers obviously want to feed their egos?  And what is a great way to accomplish that? By asking their advice.

Here is an example of how I like to do it:

“Mr. Buyer, you obviously know a lot about this subject. I am wondering if I could ask you for some advice.” (I have NEVER been turned down) I am always trying to improve . . . if you were me, how would YOU explain the benefits of our program so they would best connect with a buyer of your knowledge and expertise?”

Now, sit back and be prepared to listen, because usually the buyer will open up and provide waves of information and advice and, guess what, sell himself while he is doing it. Asking for advice makes a big ego buyer feel . . . BIG.

I tried this once and at the end of the meeting my prospect actually put his arm around my shoulder as we walked to the door and said, “That was one of the most productive meetings I have had in months!”  I had barely said a word.  This approach doesn’t close the deal every time but it is a good arrow to have in your quiver.

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