Jill Konrath


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If Your Prospect Makes You Feel Like a Doormat, Do This ...


What do you do with people who promise, promise, promise that they'll order for you, but just keep asking for more samples and additional time? That's the question that Helene posed for me the other day. Here's what I told her:

Just because you're a salesperson, doesn't mean you're a doormat. If you feel like you're being used, you probably are. You need to deal straight on with your prospect and say something like this ...

"John. You have said a gazillion times that you're going to order from me. You ask for tons of samples. I quickly respond and get you what you need. But nothing happens.

While I'd really love to do work with your company, it can't keep going like this. So what do you want to do? Should we get you going? If so, I'd recommend this ..."

Say it nicely, but firmly. It is simply a statement. You're not blaming or whining. Again, it's a statement of fact.

If he makes one more request, politely tell him that you will honor that, but then it's over. After that, he'll either need to place an order with you or you'll stop bothering him.

Sound brazen? It isn't. It's about having respect for your own time and responsibilities. Now, repeat after me ...



P.S. If you have some other ideas for Helene, please share them here! All suggestions welcome.

Jill KonrathJill Konrath is an internationally recognized sales strategist. As author of two bestselling books, SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies, she's a frequent speaker at sales meetings and conferences. For more fresh ideas, download her free Prospecting Toolkit.


Helene might consider using an Agreement To Buy where early on the prospect and the sales person agree on the guidelines of their relationship. Like a road map, the ATB sets out expectations and bounders on the ensuing steps to the sale. 
Or, extract a quid pro quo each time she agrees to another set of samples where she will give the sample as long as the prospect takes some sort of action.
Posted @ Monday, February 18, 2013 8:14 AM by David DeVelder
Instead of looking at the prospect as a family member you CAN'T say 'no' to because his, her or your feelings will be hurt when you say 'no', set respectful relationship boundaries for yourself. Love and respect yourself. Require others to treat you that way, too. 
Change your thoughts and the behavior changes.  
You, your time and your sales supplies are valuable. What can you do to attract only prospects who respect you and your offer? 
Look at past relationships with people who never became your customer. What mistakes might you have made you can avoid this time around?  
Look at your past sales relationships with clients who bought from you. What did you do to attract that? Repeat those behaviors to attract more of that. 
Create an action plan to walk away from being a doormat. Use positive self talk and be a friend to yourself.  
Check out the international best seller Dealing With People You Can't Stand by Dr. Rick Kirschner and Dr. Rick Brinkman. This will bring great insight into your sales relationships. It is the text book I use in teaching my students successful thinking strategies for goal achievements. 
Hope this is helpful to you. 
Susan Fox 
Brain Dialog Researcher 
Personal and Professional Development Coach 
Freelance Copywriter 
Posted @ Monday, February 18, 2013 10:40 AM by Susan Fox
One should know their limit. Sometimes, it is better to let go of that one prospect than be taken advantage of. It is just not worth it. If the prospect treats you like that now, what more when he becomes your customer. Just because you are on the negotiation stage does not give them the right to treat you like a doormat.
Posted @ Wednesday, February 20, 2013 1:33 AM by Amber King
I think the reply is not quite nice. What if we verbally agree first how many samples that customers can actually get to avoid the situation mentioned above happen?
Posted @ Thursday, February 21, 2013 11:06 AM by Kent
The way we handle this kind of customer is, We tell him we sell the samples. May be a couple, We will send you free after that we will charge. When you place the real order. We will refund you that money and you can keep the sample for future sales
Posted @ Wednesday, March 06, 2013 2:50 PM by david shah
YOu nailed it right there, Jill! Just because one is a salesperson by trade doesn't mean it's an excuse to treat him like a doormat.  
www.ultimatecoldcalls - Eliminate your fear of cold calling once and for all. 
Posted @ Tuesday, March 12, 2013 11:21 PM by Antoine Martiano
I always value the customer's time. I also value my time. 
Respect is mutual. 
Posted @ Tuesday, July 02, 2013 8:06 AM by Marc Zazeela
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