Get Your Prospect In The Right State Before Presenting

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Have you been successful in a sale and then tried a similar appraoch with someone else, only to find it goes terribly wrong? Join the club!

Gears in headWe often think that because we’ve sold our product or service to one person or company, then it must be right for the next person too.

And here’s the surprising thing…it may be the right solution for both companies. But we’ve missed the one thing that can influence whether the prospect will buy today, tomorrow or never.

The easiest way to assimilate this idea is to put yourself in your prospects’ shoes when you meet them.

What situations are they facing today? What challenges do they have to deal with? What pressures are presenting obstacles? When you think of these questions, it’s no wonder that they have a lot on their mind. And it’s when they are in this mindset that we try to sell? How strange is that!

Yes, we’re talking about state management. What this means is that humans need to be in a particular state before they can carry out certain tasks or behaviours.

Have you ever been in a situation where you needed, wanted or even craved to make a decision, and you couldn’t? You say ‘there’s too much choice’ or ‘I don’t know what to do here’. What it means is you aren’t in the right ‘state’ to make the decision.

It’s the same with your prospect. How many times have you tried to present a solution and you know the person isn’t on your wavelength, or they are coming up with strange objections that don’t make sense to you?

What’s probably happened is that they have not been in the right frame of mind, or state, to be presented to. So how can you change this? Try these…

1) Before you try to present any solution, get your prospect to agree that they need a solution. This may seem obvious but without him or her agreeing that they actually need the solution, they may not be thinking clearly about how the solution will be beneficial to them.

2) Talk about how their future business can and will be different. Don’t propose anything until this preferred future is described in such a way that that they want a solution and are in the state to listen to the answer from you.

3) Create a willingness to ‘future-pace’ their business and see what the results would be before solving today’s problems. This way, they are seeing things in the light of what they want the future to hold. It makes it easier for them to assimilate your ideas and suggestions.

You need to ensure that they are in the right state to accept solutions before you start discussing them. If you try before they are ready, you run the risk of having the prospect not being ready to make the decision, simply because they are not yet in the mindset to accept solutions. Get it right, and they can make the best solution for themselves, their staff, their businesses and their customers.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Master Isolated Images at

450 sales questions free report

Updated on: 8 January, 2013

Related Articles

Arrow down

Search For More

Arrow down