Objection Handling Sales Prospecting Tough Prospects

How to Win Over Tough Prospects With Personality AI

Sales people have a lot of work cut out for them. Targets, KPIs, pressure from management…the list is endless! Add a couple of tough prospects to the mix, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

Meeting tough prospects is the perfect recipe for disaster for a salesperson
A salesperson’s day when they end up meeting a ‘tough prospect’

Every buyer is different. Some are nice and open to conversation, some are difficult to catch a hold of, and then we have the occasional tough prospect. You know the kind: they’re quick to criticize and hard to please. Now, how do you win them over? 

It’s not exactly rocket science. To win over tough prospects, you need to speak their language. But to understand what their language is, you need to know who they are as a person. What’s important to them, and what’s not.

Knowing where they went to school or a quick glance at their work experience on LinkedIn simply doesn’t cut it. You need to look deeper. 

What are their buying traits? How fast do they make purchasing decisions? Are they driven by value or price?

A few years ago, these questions would have been impossible to answer; except maybe for people with mind-reading powers. Think Professor X from X-men.

But today, tools like Humantic’s Personality AI Assistant answer these questions for you with impeccable accuracy, at the click of a button. 

Let’s learn how to win over tough prospects by leveraging personality, shall we?

Using personality insights to win over a tough prospect

You can look up your prospect’s personality insights by going to their LinkedIn profile and summoning the Humantic Personality AI Assistant. The extension will then provide an overview of their personality, do’s and don’ts when engaging with them, as well as advanced insights for pro-sellers.

We’ll soon get into how you can decode your prospect’s personality and adapt your winning strategy when they’re being ‘tough’. But before that, here’s a refresher on some universal truths:

Some universal truths about tough prospects

  • You just need one magic lever to convert a tough prospect into an ‘interested’ prospect.  They’re looking for a particular quality in a seller, but they won’t articulate it because they don’t want to be sold in the first place. If you can identify what that is, consider it won.
  • Winning over a tough prospect is of no real use if they have no inherent value for the product or service you’re selling. Be mindful of that and pick your battles accordingly.

Now, every prospect has a personality type, a qualifier that indicates what’s most important to them, and what doesn’t matter to them as much. And with each personality type, there is a ‘winning strategy’ based on what’s most important to them.

Prospect -> Personality Type -> Key Lever -> Winning Strategy

At the end of this blog, you’ll find a cheat-sheet that’ll come in handy every time you’re dealing with a tough nut to crack. Let’s first walk through some examples to master this unique art form.

Example 1: Andy Paul Says NO

Let’s say I’ve been meaning to cold call Andy Paul.

After catching Andy at the wrong time, once last week, and once yesterday, I finally get on a call with him today. I’m done with my research, my personalized sales pitch is on standby, and I expect a positive outcome. I start the call with an enthusiastic smile. But it slowly fades away as Andy cuts down every word I have to say. 

Now, it’s important to note that Andy doesn’t have ‘objections’. While objections in sales are challenging in their own right, they at least indicate that your prospect is considering what you’re offering. On the other hand, a tough prospect is rather uninterested in what you have to say.

In that case, how do I handle the situation? 

Without personality insights by my side, I’d have winged it, letting my personality take the lead, instead of my buyer’s. Which is never a great idea.

How tough are your tough prospects, really?

The first order of business is to land on Andy’s Linkedin profile, and allow Humantic AI to work its magic. In less than a minute, I have access to his personality profile. I take a look at it – particularly, the advanced insights section, which contains his detailed DISC profile.

When in doubt about how to engage with a buyer, it's in your best interest to pull up Humantic AI.
When in doubt, turn to Humantic AI 🙂

If you’re new to the DISC personality framework, don’t sweat it. I’ll break it down for you.

Andy is a DS-type, a Marathoner, meaning he’s goal-oriented but not always in a hurry. He doesn’t mind taking his time, and he likes having a big-picture view and a long-term vision.

Clearly, the magic lever here is a big-picture view. 

If Andy’s being a ‘tough’ prospect, chances are I was selling my product on its tactical merits instead of its strategic advantage. 

The winning strategy, then, is to take a step back and talk to Andy about his long-term vision, and highlight how your offering aligns with that vision. 

That’s it. Now you’re back in the game.

ProspectReason they’re toughMagic leverWinning strategy
Andy [DS-type ie., a marathoner]Seller is tactical instead of strategicBig-picture viewTake a step back

Another example: how to win over a different kind of “tough prospect”?

On the other hand, if your prospect is a DI-type, or an Initiator, you’d approach the situation differently. DI-type personalities are approachable and value social relationships a whole lot more than, say, a DS-type. 

Their magic lever is approachability

And the winning strategy? A healthy dose of banter about their pain points will make them more receptive to your solution. Taking a strictly objective, fact-based approach is a no-go with this kind of prospect.

ProspectReason they’re toughMagic leverWinning strategy
DI type ie., an initiatorToo objectiveApproachabilityFriendly banter about buyer pain points

Without further ado, here’s the cheat sheet you came here for. Bookmark this blog, download the PDF, or print it and pin it on your wall – some prospects may be ‘tough as nails’ but you can win them over by hammering them with your winning strategy.

Personality is nuanced and it comes in various shapes. So this cheat sheet tackles some common personality types but not all of them. For unique winning strategies for each prospect, you can always look them up on Humantic AI. Be sure to pay extra attention to the Do’s and Don’ts section.

The ultimate cheat-sheet to win over tough prospects

With personality insights by your side, there's no such thing as tough prospects. An actionable cheatsheet by Humantic AI.
With Personality AI by your side, no prospect is too tough.

Nikita is a B2B SaaS freelance writer, specializing in marketing, automation and blockchain technology. When she isn't writing, you can find her hosting podcasts, traveling and jamming to classic rock in coffee shops.

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