How to Get on Good Terms
with Your Prospects

How to Get on Good Terms with Your Prospects

by: Rob Reed

Many prospects feel wary, or even unfriendly, before meeting with salespeople.

A series of studies at the Harvard Research Center gives an idea of what you can do about this.

The studies focused on people who initially felt unfriendly toward each other. They found that when one person tried to see the other more positively and acted in a friendly manner, 70 to 85 percent of the time the other person also began to be friendlier.

The message for those in the sales process: You have the power to influence how your prospects respond to you.

Demonstrate positive expectations, behave in a friendly manner, and there is an excellent chance that your prospect will reciprocate and treat you positively. This is called the Law of Reciprocity.

Note that YOU must take the first step. Do it by assuming your prospect is sincere, wants to be friendly, and will enjoy your visit. Show respect for them by being prepared and let them see that you value them by asking questions and listening carefully to their answers.

As the studies showed, most of the time your prospects will be psychologically inclined to treat you as you are treating them.


Source: Studies by Pitirim A. Sorokin, Harvard Research Center, as reported in Integrity Selling for the 21st Century, Ron Willingham, Currency Doubleday, 2003