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MISMATCHER: A difficult customer made simple?

You say up, they say down.  You say hot, they say cold.  You know this type of customer.  So, I wanted to spend this week’s post on a customer you may not think much about until you are face-to-face with one and then have to respond, now!  You may encounter this type of customer from time to time and they are someone who appears to disagree with just about everything you say during your sales interaction.  They are known as mismatchers.  They state the opposite of what is being said to them.

Mismatchers usually disagree on principle since they have a natural tendency to see the differences in the information being presented.  They just see things differently and appear to come across as challenging and resistant people.  They are not.  Again, they look at information being presented to them from a different perspective than most people.  I know, I am a mismatcher myself.

The good news is that only about 10% of individuals are mismatchers.

No matter what solution you provide they will find fault, difficulties, and/or a reason for it not to work.  They are focused on the downside of what is being presented.  Ultimately, if you say it won’t, they will say it will because they will want to mismatch you.  So, it is easy to talk to a mis-matcher, once you have identified the customer as a mismatcher.  All you have to do is put an opposite twist on what you say to them.  For example:  “I don’t think you will agree with me on this, but…” or “you won’t want to use it unless you are concerned about …”.

Here are some more examples of putting an opposite twist on what you say to a mismatcher:

  • I don’t suppose you would…
  • I don’t know if you are comfortable using it …
  • You won’t want to… unless…
  • Don’t use it except if you want…
  • I don’t think you will…but…
  • I don’t know whether you…

A basic structure you can use as a guideline for communicating with the mismatcher is to say:  Don’t, and then the action they need to take, unless you want to, and then state the outcome.  Here is a simple example:  Don’t use it unless you want options.”

Remember, to effectively handle a mismatcher, you need to put an opposite twist on your communication with them.

Copyright 2012 J.P. Thompson  All rights reserved.

Ascent Selling Technologies, LLC


People take action because of consequences they perceive, either real or imagined.  It’s that simple.  Your customers are no different.  If you have a customer that has not taken any action after numerous sales calls and there is no real “true concern” about using your product or service, you will need to increase your customer’s awareness of the need to act and act now!

There are only two ways to increase a customer’s awareness of the need to act and act now:

  • You either tell them the value of using your product or service and the problems they will either continue to experience or experience in the future by not using your product or service.
  • Or, you have them tell you the value of using your product or service and the problems they will either continue to experience or experience in the future by not using your product or service.

That’s it.  There is no other way.

If you have a customer who is not taking any action, especially after numerous sales calls, without saying a word they are telling you they are not seeing the need to act as much as you are seeing the need to act. So you need to help them see the need to act and act now.  Again, there are only two ways to do this: you can tell them, or you can get them to tell you.

At this point telling them the value and the problems is not working!  You now need to get them to realize the value and problems for themselves.

Typically, salespeople have a tendency to bullet or list the features and benefits of their product or service to the customer and do not give the customer much more than a moment to mentally process or think about what their product or service will do for them, their company, and even their customers.

Every decision you and your customers make carry consequences both positive and negative.   You now need to have the customer stop and think about making a decision to use your product or service.

Using very targeted questions, questions that increase the customer’s awareness of the need to act, is often much more effective. These are often referred to as Increase Awareness questions.

The easiest way to do this is by:

  1. First listing all the positive consequences (benefits) of using your product or service.
  2. After that you then turn those statements (the ones you’ve been making) or bullet points into questions.  (E.g., increased safety becomes ‘what value would it be to you if you could improve on safety?’  Or improved efficiency becomes ‘what would improved efficiency mean to you and your company?’)
  3. Next, list all the negative consequences (problems) the customer will experience if they do not use your product or service.
  4. Then turn those statements or bullet points into questions.  (E.g., less safe becomes ‘what problems will persist by using a less safe product?’  Or less efficient becomes ‘what would it cost your company to use a less efficient process?’)

Remember, people take action because of consequences they perceive, either real or imagined.  It’s that simple.  If the customer is not acting on your recommendation, use Increase Awareness questions to motivate the customer to act and act now!

What has been your experience using telling versus asking? Please comment below.

Copyright 2012  J.P. Thompson. All rights reserved.

Ascent Selling Technologies, LLC

The Top Way You Should Handle the Price Objection

Too expensive.”  What did you hear?

  •  “Your price is too high!” or
  •  “I’m just not seeing the value.”

Depending on what you heard, it will dictate how you handle the price concern.  You are now either focused on the price of your product or focused on the value your product offers.

The dynamics of price in the selling situation is a balancing act.  Your prospect or customer is always weighing the price (or cost) against the perceived value (benefits) of the product.  Picture a scale, on one side is price on the other side is value.  If the price outweighs the value . . . “it’s too expensive!”  If the value outweighs the price . . . “it’s a good deal.”

You always want to hear, “Sorry, I am just not seeing the value like you are.”  Then focus on building value.  Start piling on the benefits of your product as it pertains to their needs and why your product is worth what you are asking for it.

I was fortunate to start my career out selling a premium priced product in a commodities based market.  So, the number one objection I heard was “you are priced too high.”  Being a manufacturer’s rep, I could do nothing about the price and I had to sell purely on value.  To me that statement was one of perspective.

Never be concerned or nervous when the customer asks the price.  Tell them, but keep in mind the scale.  No matter what has been discussed, if you just state the price what just happened to that scale?  That’s right, it tilted to price and a response that should not surprise you is . . . “that seems high.” EVERY time you state the price you will need to quickly make a statement of value to balance out the scale in the customer’s mind, ALWAYS.

Further, to build value effectively you need to know as much about the challenges the customer faces and their business.  More than likely your product provides value beyond its primary function or use.  I list everything I know about their business and how my product brings value to each aspect.  I then ask my customer, “What would be the value to you to . . . get, have, eliminate, avoid, be able to, etc.”  Also, how the product adds value to their customers.  For really challenging customers, I ask something similar to, “What problems does it create (or will continue)  . . .” for them if these needs go unmet as a result of not using my product.

Always help the customer see the bigger picture.  Typically during a discussion the customer’s focus is narrow, primarily on your product and price.  Show them the bigger picture.  For example, I was recently talking to a customer about my audio CD sales training series and they thought the price was too high for the 10 CD series.  I knew their sales reps regularly provide lunch to their different customer offices.   I immediately asked how much a lunch in one of their customer’s office cost the company.  Why ask that? I knew two things:

  • The cost of the audio CD program was about the same as providing one lunch to one office one time for one sales rep.
  • Their competition is doing it too, so how great is the R.O.I. on one lunch.

So, I asked what do you think would produce a greater return on your investment, one lunch, one time, in one office or providing a whole host of selling skills and techniques (I listed the skills and value) they can use at EVERY lunch for no more than the price of one lunch?

Further, put yourself in the customer’s mind for a moment.  Why wouldn’t a customer challenge your price?  The customer knows three things:

  • I now have you focused on the side of the equation I want you focused on . . . Price!
  • At the very least, I pay what you are asking me to pay.
  • At the very best, you reduce your price.

NO downside risk. As a customer, why would I not ask you to do something about your price?  Further, reducing price is a slippery slope.  Once you go down that road, forever will it consume you with that customer. You have set a precedent.

  • All your pricing is negotiable,
  • You made a statement of the true value of your product to the customer,
  • And it’s going to be hard to raise your price to normal in the future.

So, look before you leap.  Price concessions are a slippery slope.  Customers buy on value, what a product will do for them and their company . . . not price.  Remember, price is just one of many features of your product.  What is your product doing for the customer?

Instead of “It’s too high!”  Now, you hear . . . “help me to see the value!”

Copyright 2012 J.P. Thompson.  All rights reserved.


The #1 hindrance to a sales representative during a sales interaction is that they mistake mild interest for a desire to act on a need and begin providing too soon. The result . . . resistance!

Sales representatives tend to skip an important phase that fully develops the customer’s need and creates motivation to act. It is the tipping point in the decision-making process.  To fully develop the need, you need to use effective probing skills that not only identify customer needs:  they motivate the customer to act, NOW!

To plan and sell successfully, you need to understand the mental process the customer will go through when making a decision.  Customers make decisions in logical and predictable steps.  These steps can be identified as the five phases of the decision-making process:  attention, interest, conviction, desire, and action.

To be effective, the sales representative needs to manage this mental process by using the appropriate selling skill for where the customer is in the process.  This will facilitate moving the customer toward making a decision to act on the sales representative’s recommendation.

The first phase is ATTENTION.

This is when a Customer starts the process of deciding and begins to focus on a potential need.  At this point they have a vague sense that something should change and there is a low sense of urgency about doing anything.  Just that something could be done differently.  The question in this phase is:  

Will I see and listen to the sales representative?

Your action:  Gaining the customer’s attention depends mainly on the how you focus and appeal to the customer’s decision motivation and explicit need(s).  A well designed and delivered Approach Statement gains the customer’s attention and earns you the right to proceed with the call.

The second phase is INTEREST, mild interest!

In this phase, the customer is determining whether they really have a need to be addressed and still do not know if they really need to do something to satisfy the need.  They are not motivated to act.  The question in this phase is:

Do I have a need?

Your action:  Analyze Needs.  Ask probing questions that identify and focus on identifying the customer’s explicit need(s) and determine the customer’s primary decision motivation.

It is not enough that the customer has a need(s).  They may even agree that a need exists!  However, until that need(s) is strong enough to act on, the customer will take no action on the sales representatives solution(s) to satisfying that need(s).  This is why skipping the next phase or approaching the next phase creates the #1 hindrance.

The third phase is CONVICTION.

This is the phase in which they begin to realize the importance of satisfying their need.  They can no longer afford to keep doing the same thing.  They are becoming motivated to act.  The question in this phase is:  

Do I care enough about the need to act?

Your Action:  You need to increase the customer’s awareness for the need to act.  There are only two ways to do this.  You either tell the customer the importance of satisfying the need or you let the customer tell you.  Typically, salespeople tell the customer the importance rather than ask.  The result  . . . RESISTANCE!  Through questioning, you can help the customer realize the value and importance in taking an action to fill the need(s) and the possible problem(s) created by not taking an action. This will motivate the customer to take action, NOW!

The fourth phase is DESIRE.

In this phase, the Customer fully recognizes they have a need they need to act on.  They are motivated to do something.  They are now trying to determine what they need to do to satisfy the need and are truly ready to hear about the attributes and merits of the product and will listen attentively to the sales representative’s solution to their need(s).  The question in this phase is:

Does this product or service satisfy the need?

Your Action:  At this point, the customer is truly ready to hear about the attributes and merits of the product or service.  For you, this is the time to start building value in the eyes of the customer for using your product or service. You will need to link the benefits of your product or service to the explicit need(s) and the decision motivation of the customer you identified in the Interest phase and the Conviction phase of the decision-making process.

The final phase is ACTION.

At this point, he is ready to make a commitment to the solution to his need(s) and has determined that a particular product or service will satisfy their need(s) and they will benefit from choosing a particular product or service.  They are ready to act.  The question in this phase is:

Will I use the product?

Research indicates that even when the customer is convinced that the solution will satisfy his needs, only twenty percent of the time will they act on their own. Eighty percent of the time the customer will wait to be asked to make a commitment to act.

Your Action:  This is the phase you worked so hard to get to.  You need to suggest a course of action for the customer to take and then ask a question to gain a commitment to that action (close!).

One thing to note is that a customer can be in any phase of the decision-making process when you walk through the door.  Through effective probing you will need to determine where they are in the decision-making process and adjust your sales call accordingly.

2012 Copyright Ascent Selling Technologies, LLC


It should!

Limiting BeliefsHenry Ford once said, if you think you can or if you think you can’t you’re right! This could not be truer when selling. Compare these two sales representatives making sales calls with a similar product. One has the attitude, “It is a question of will the customer commit to using my product,” and the other, “It is not a question of if, but when will the customer commit.”

Which one of these sales representatives do you think will be more successful at making sales calls?

That’s right, the second sales representative has the advantage. The reason for this is their mental state about making a sales call or about making a call on a particular prospect or customer.

When I travel with salespeople I hear words like tough, difficult, challenging, and etc. to describe an upcoming sales call or about a particular prospect. These words are all manifestations of what are known as self-limiting beliefs. These self-limiting beliefs can be poison and act like viruses that invade and control what a salesperson believes about his or herself. For example, take these three statements:

  • I want to sell this prospect but there is a problem.
  • I want to sell this prospect and there is a problem.
  • I want to sell this prospect even though there is a problem.

Any difference? You can be sure of it. From a mental standpoint the first statement can seem almost insurmountable where each progressive statement there is a loosening up of the belief with the third statement making situation more doable. That is from a mental perspective. This is why two sales people facing the same situation may interpret it the sales situation differently, act according to their different beliefs, and experience different outcomes.

These limiting beliefs will directly affect our actions or inactions. Just as Henry Ford once said, if a sales person believes the sales call will be tough, difficult, or challenging, they’re right! It will be.

In reality we have no limitations except what we put on ourselves. These limitations are a thing of the mind only. Unfortunately, you cannot move beyond them. They can create a vicious cycle that can keep you from moving beyond where you already are. The good news is that these thoughts and beliefs are only programing and you are the programmer. You must root them out and bring them to extinction.

To eliminate these beliefs you must first identify them. Write them down or catch yourself saying them either to yourself or out loud. Then change the word or phrase into more positive affirmations and repeat it to yourself. You need to be very aggressive at rooting these “thought viruses” out. The phrase I used when I began my selling career was:

This prospect really needs to see and talk with me if they want to . . .

Remember, a prospect is only as tough, difficult, or challenging as you believe them to be. It all starts and ends with what you believe about yourself.


Pintrest – Pin It!

J.P. Thompson CHt


Clinical Hypnotherapist
NLP Practitioner
Master Sales Trainer (34yrs)

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