How to Sell to the Prospect Who Knows EVERYTHING

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Saying no to a salespersonWhile there are many different buyer types that you have to deal with everyday, in today’s age of instant information, there is one type that has become quite formidable.  That is the Know-it-all.

You know this prospect; the one that believes he or she knows more about what you do and sell than you, your management team, your sales and marketing teams, and everyone else on the planet.  You have met this prospect; the one who argues every point, interrupts your sales presentation, tells you what are the benefits and drawbacks and knows better than you know about what the pricing should be.

This prospective buyer in the past was not more than an inquisitive person who possessed some rudimentary knowledge of your industry, and worked primarily on conjecture.  Today however, with the internet, the modern buyer has instant access to industry information like never before.   Add to this the fact that much of that information could be misleading, incorrect or completely false, and you could have a real problem dealing with this person.  Well, here are three powerful ways to handle this buyer type successfully.

The Techniques
As always, what follows are not scripts.  I will give you examples of the idea, the concept.  The three techniques are:

  • Easy
  • Ally
  • Referral

First, let this prospect know that it is the educated buyer, like he or she, that are not only your best customers, but provide the easiest sale.  Make it clear to the prospect that the more a buyer knows and understands about your product or service, the easier it is for you to make the sale.

Here is an example:

“Wow!  Mr Prospect.  I am so glad to meet you.  Our best customer is an educated and informed buyer.  Whenever I meet someone who knows as much about this as you do, it makes my job so much easier…”

For the prospect who constantly interrupts your sales presentation, you might also add that due to their knowledge, you will breeze through your presentation.  Of course, that could be your regular presentation, with a few added phrases like, “As you already know…” and “You are probably already aware…”

The main point is to inform the prospect that people who know it all, always buy. This will put the prospect in a situation to either continue to express that they know it all, and in a sense, agree to buy; or to begin to act a little less informed, in which case you gain control again.

Inform the prospect that due to his or her vast knowledge of what you do, that you would like them to be your ally, your partner.  With this, you want to begin to assume more than the sale; assume the future and longevity of the relationship.  Here’s an example:

“Susan, I really look forward to working with you over the long term.  You know so much about this, and you know more about your business than I do.  I think we can really work together for years to come…”

Once again, if the prospect continues their behaviour, they confirm your assessment of the future.

Similar to the ally technique, here you want to assume the sale and the relationship as well using the prospect as a referral.

“Steve, with your knowledge of my industry, plus of your own business expertise, you can really help me.  If most of the people I talk to knew as much as you, I would never have a problem.    I’d like to discuss having some of my potential customers call you.  With your knowledge, you would help me make a lot more sales…and I will work out some discount for you in return.”

First, let the know-it-all know that people like him or her are the exact people who always buy.

Second, help the prospect understand that they will be your best ally over a long-term relationship.

And finally, inform the prospect that they will be your best referral source and you will give them something in return.

Before I sign off, here are some more tips on becoming a great sales person:

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 29 August, 2011

Related Articles

Arrow down

Search For More

Arrow down