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    By Dianna Booher

    If not for difficult situations with prospects and buyers, sales professionals would pay their organizations to let them come to work every day! These are the times and types that try men’s and women’s souls. Or, has that already been said? Well, never mind, it’s still true. So anticipate and develop your responses and techniques to handle each situation with finesse and success.

    The Recluse

    Recluses hide behind their gatekeepers and their voicemail. If your Recluse is a prospect, you may question whether they actually need your solution and have authority to buy. If not, wait until the Recluse reappears in the appropriate buying stage.

    The more frustrating experience, however, is having a Recluse for a client—someone who has already signed on the dotted line but with whom you need to interact to implement the sale or service the account.

    Tip 1: Send Email or Letters

    Recluses generally respond—at their leisure. No matter how busy and what the crisis brewing, with written correspondence via email, letters, or LinkedIn. Recluses can read your full message without interruption, even if at midnight. A written message allows Recluses total control over their time and the interaction, something they demand from all who do business with them.

    Tip 2: Leave Complete, Concise Voicemails That Specify Action

    Avoid leaving Recluse prospects “teaser” voicemails that aim to elicit callbacks. Leave two or, at most, three voicemails, spread over a couple of months that answer this question very specifically and succinctly: Why should they return your call? What specific value can you give them immediately—a demo, an answer to a question, needed research?

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    If you’re calling a client, specify the action you want, supply all the details they need to take action, and don’t necessarily ask for a call back. Instead, give clients options to reply. Ten to one, they’ll reply in writing so they can control the length of the interaction and respond on their own schedule.

    Tip 3: Hook a Funny Bone

    If you’ve left several messages with a prospect or buyer or written a couple of times and received no response, you may want to try a humorous “checklist” sent by email, LinkedIn, text message, or regular mail. If your Recluse has a sense of humor, this often breaks the ice and generates a call back or a more elaborate email response that answers your real, earlier messages.

    Mr. Recluse:

    I’ve tried several times but have been unable to reach you. Please check your response below:

    ___We’re in crisis mode. We’re all bleeding. Call 911.

    ___I’m working under a hectic deadline. Call me back in ___ days.

    ___I’m asking ___ to handle this for me. You can reach her/him at ____ and I’ll let him/her know to expect a contact from you.

    ___I got your earlier voice mails, and I did it already!

    ___I’m really a nice person. I just don’t like to talk on the phone. Please send me your literature, telling me all about it. I promise to take a look.

    ___Go away. You’ve got the right person, but I have no interest, none, nada, zip, zero.

    ___Do you want me to call my friend Guido?

    Most will have a sense of humor and respond. Some will not have a sense of humor—but will be ashamed to admit this deficiency. They’ll get the point, however, and move the action along because they do want to implement your solution or take a look at your offer.

    Tip 4: Connect on a Personal Interest

    Show a broader interest in Recluses than just what you can sell them. Forward a brochure on a trade show they might be interested in attending—one that your organization won’t be attending but that they might have interest in. Send something related to a Recluse’s hobby, hometown, health club, or children’s school.

  • About the Author

    Dianna Booher’s extensive and ongoing research and published works in the field of business communication and productivity serve as the foundation for over 40 books on communication skills training . Dianna has received the highest awards in the professional speaking industry, including induction into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame®. She is a member of the prestigious Speakers Roundtable. As a result of Dianna's work among top corporations on communication issues, Executive Excellence magazine has recognized Dianna on its list of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in America. Additionally, Successful Meetings magazine named Dianna on its list of 21 Top Speakers for the 21st Century! Dianna has been interviewed by Good Morning America, CNN, CNBC, USA Today, the Washington Post, New York Newsday, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal Radio, National Public Radio, Bloomberg, Investors Business Daily, Fox Family Network, Reader's Digest, Working Woman, Industry Week, McCall's, Cosmopolitan, Success, Entrepreneur, among other national radio, TV, and newspapers. She holds a master's degree in English from the University of Houston.

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Dealing with Difficult Buyers

All successful salespeople have to deal with them. It’s part of doing business–handling the dreaded difficult buyer or blocker. To understand what makes them tick and to turn them around from foe to friend is essential if you want to earn a lucrative piece of the business they control. Dianna Booher has done it again with her in-depth insights on human behavior. She gives you the road map into the difficult buyer’s mind so you navigate your way to a more successful sales outcome. Dianna is an internationally recognized executive communication and sales expert and author of 45 books, published in 26 countries, and in 20 foreign languages. Learn tips and tactics to deal with the staller, the helpless, whiner, the know-it-all, the tyrant, the incompetent, and a number of types you’ve encounter along the way. Don’t let one negative gatekeeper stand in your way of serving all the rest of your customers.

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