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  1. The power goes off in the middle of a computer demonstration. As a result, you lose all of the data you have been inputting for the last eight minutes.

This is an awkward situation. If such a situation happened while I was the demonstrator, I would apologize and request for some more time and try and explain that this is a situation that was not something speculated in advance. Also I would offer to provide the demonstration at some other time that is convenient to the potential buyer.

The seller could have used a Laptop or a backup power source to avoid such situations. Also, sellers should always use auto save techniques that helps in saving data periodically.

  1. The buyer says, “Look, I don’t want to see a bunch of pictures and charts! Just tell me how you’ll save me money.”

I would politely quit the picture or chart demonstration and straight into the discussion about profit margins and what the customer will save. I would have prepared myself in regards to all aspects of the product including financial aspects that I am presenting to the customer. I believe that sellers should remember the cost-benefit analysis, return on investment and payback periods by heart.

Sellers can avoid such situation by making a proper assessment of the potential buyers when introducing themselves. They should ask the customers about how they want to be informed about the product.

  1. You involve the prospect by having her help you calculate the savings she will experience with your machine. While putting the last number in the calculator, she apparently hit the wrong key. As a result, she calculates the time needed to recoup her investment as 258 years instead of the actual 14 years.

This is a situation where it would be necessary for me to keep my calm. I would try to divert the whole situation in a humorous direction so that the prospect does not feel bad. I would then offer to do the calculations myself if the prospect wants.

Sellers should have broachers and notes that give an idea of what customers can save approximately on buying the services or products offered. They can be presented in such situations if the buyer feels that the customers are in a hurry and don’t have enough time to redo the whole calculation.

  1. You hand the prospect a page from your price book. He takes it, looks at it, then opens his desk drawer and tosses it in. Because your industry has severe price competition, your company’s policy forbids you to hand out your price sheet to anyone.

I would ask the prospect politely that our company policy is to not hand over such documents to prospects as it would violate our certain policies. I believe that these situations needs to be honest and clear to the prospects in order to gain their trust.

Sellers should have price books that do not have pages that can be separated from their books. Sellers can also write clear instructions on their price books. These instructions could say, “Not to be retained by customers”.

  1. You are showing your buyer some items in the portfolio, and you accidentally knock it off the desk. The rings open up, and the pages scatter all over the floor.

I would simply hold myself together and apologize to the buyer for the accident with a smile. Then I would ask for their permission to collect the pages together.

Sellers can, in my opinion use portfolios in the form of a hardcover book instead of a ring.

  1. You offer the prospect a sample of your new food product. He tastes it, makes a face, and says, “That’s really pretty awful tasting!”

I would apologize for the bad experience and offer other samples from other foods that I have.

These situations can be avoided if the foods are properly labeled about their ingredients and there is a variety of choices that customers can choose from.

  1. You are in the middle of using a computer to demonstrate return on investments at various pricing points. Suddenly you forget how to call up the next screen. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t remember what to do next!

In such kind of situations, it is important to not lose control of yourself. I would apologize to the prospect and continue the presentation from the necessary notes that I must have.

A seller should be prepared to present with or without the computer. All facts and figures should be present in written form.

  1. You are in the middle of painting a word picture, and the buyer is interrupted by a phone call. The call lasts about five minutes. The buyer turns and says, “Now, where were we?”

I would provide a quick summary of whatever has been explained before and then go on with the remaining of the presentation.

I think that it is not a good idea to use word pictures. Instead, facts and figures should be used.

  1. When the salesperson offers his or her hand for a handshake, the prospect doesn’t offer his hand in return.

In my opinion, this is a very strong signal of rejection from the prospect. I would wait for a while and if the behavior remains the same, I would walk out on such prospect.

Buyers could wait for the prospects to offer a handshake. The conversation could be started with a simple “hi”.

  1. As the seller is having a seat, the prospect informs the seller that some catastrophe has just occurred in his or her life. “My child was just hurt at school on the playground”; “My wife just learned she has a possible cancerous growth on her neck”; “I just found out that they are going to be laying off another 400 workers at this plant. I wonder how that is going to impact me!”).

I would show compassion and ask if the meeting should be rescheduled? If this is the case then it should be rescheduled without hesitation.  It is better to reschedule meetings in such situation as the buyer would not be able to offer full attention.

It is a hard situation to predict. Sellers should have the proper training to deal with such situation.

  1. The prospect asks the seller to have a seat, but then remains standing.

I would request to the prospect to be seated and if they insist on standing I would try to find an excuse to stand up as well.

These situation cannot be avoided, in my opinion, but can be managed as I have explained earlier.

  1. The phone rings on the prospect’s desk. The prospect picks it up and starts carrying on a spirited conversation.

I would just stand up and leave get away from the prospect as I don’t want to give an impression that I am intruding his/her privacy. If I am asked to stay, I would but try to engage in something instead of giving an impression that I am listening to the telephone conversation.

The strategy explained above can be adopted to avoid any awkward situation.

  1. The buyer starts to nod or goes to sleep.

I would use transitional sentences to get the attention back. I could start demonstrating a product to get the prospect involved.

Sellers should always ask in advance if the buyers are ready for the conversation and should not continue unless the buyers have a full attention towards them.

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