Filip Łysikowski on

How to avoid embarrassment on sales calls

Worried about embarrassing yourself on a call? Worry no longer.
How to avoid embarrassment on sales calls

During one of my first sales calls, my prospect chewed me up and spat me out. He mentioned my competitors, used abbreviations I didn't understand, and used vocabulary that I had never heard before. I felt insecure and unprepared, which is not the way you want to feel when trying to make a sale.

Looking back, I realize that my mistake wasn't just the fact that I didn't know his jargon, but also that I didn't know my own product and offer inside and out.

Know your own product and offer

Even years later, I still encounter terminology I don’t know. However, I always feel confident because I know what I’m talking about. I know my product, offer, and market better than anyone. I have answers to objections that can be brought forward, and I have questions in my head for almost every occasion. If you’re a designer, you’re responsible for being comfortable juggling terms like UX and PPI, not marketing terms like PPC or ROAS, and vice versa. If something stumps you, face it.

Acknowledge your lack of knowledge

Even with preparation, you may still encounter jargon that you don't understand. When this happens, it's important to say so. Instead of pretending to know what they're talking about or feeling embarrassed, simply say, "I'm sorry, I don't know what that means. Can you explain it to me?" or "I'm not familiar with that term. Can you tell me more about it?" Acknowledging your lack of knowledge can actually help build trust with your prospect.

Dig deeper into the subject and learn

You’ll earn some extra points if you ask some follow-up questions around the subject that show you’re willing to learn and remain focused on the customer:

  • Can you tell me how important this is to you/your business?
  • How does it affect your work/decision making?
  • How do you define/measure that?

Remember, it's okay to not know everything. The key is to be prepared, know your own product and offer, and acknowledge when you don't know something.

But let me know if you'd like to have a little sales dictionary handy, as I'm thinking of making one!