Desperation: The Deal-Killer

Confidence is appealing; desperation is not – this is a fact of life in both dating and in sales. Sales reps don’t want to be so desperately seeking a deal that they scare interested prospects and send them running in the opposite direction. You should aspire instead to have prospects excited to talk to you so they can learn more about your products and your company.

Many sales reps are inherently confident people, but even the toughest, most experienced rep can falter towards the end of the month. If you still haven’t reached your sales goals and the deadline is approaching, desperation can creep in and start to sabotage your sales.

Even if you’re in a tough spot, don’t get desperate! You’re better than that. Here’s how to keep your cool when selling to a hot prospect, and seal that deal.

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Show Off Your Best Features

Sales and dating are both about showing someone why they would want to spend more time with you. A cold call is your first date with a prospect – you should give your strongest pitch for why that prospect needs you to help their business succeed. This is where you have to step up and give your best value proposition and explain the benefits of your product. If you’re too desperate to keep their attention, the prospect will be able to tell and will probably brush you off. But if you’re confident and calm, you’ll be able to set up the second date before the first call is even over. As the sales process continues, you want to confidently show the prospect all of your product’s best features so they’re convinced they want to buy. Remember that it’s all about selling to your product’s strengths.

Be Honest

While you’re talking up your product to a prospect, it can be tempting to exaggerate a little or make things seem even better than they really are. But resist the temptation! Even if it helps you close the deal, you don’t want to lie or even stretch the truth when talking to a prospect. If they do decide to become a customer, it could have serious consequences in the future. When you over-promise during the selling process and your product under delivers, the now-customer will be upset and disappointed.  No one likes to be lied to out of desperation to close a deal. You could be the reason that a customer ultimately churns, breaks up with your company and takes their business elsewhere. Stay honest, and treat your customers with respect always.

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Look for a Good Fit

Not every date or cold call is going to end in a happy relationship. Great sales reps don’t just target any prospect they can reach – they look for prospects that fit their company’s ideal customer profile. These are businesses that would benefit the most from the product you’re selling, and have specific desirable qualities. You should work to identify your company’s ideal customer, and then continually look for that type of business as you sell. Sometimes, a prospect simply won’t be a good fit, and it’s OK to admit that. Even if you’re desperate to close a deal, it just might not be the right prospect for you. You can go your separate ways and focus on finding a new prospect that’s a much better fit for your product.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

Even if it’s just days before the end of the month, don’t be tempted to lower your price and give your product away for less than you deserve. If you get too desperate to close a deal quickly, you may be tempted to make bigger concessions than you should. Negotiation should always be a win-win for both you and the prospect – not a situation where the prospect gets the better of you. Stay strong, and don’t back down no matter how desperate you really are to close the deal. Keep negotiating and find a way to get the prospect to feel like they got a good deal, while still maintaining your bottom line. Your product is worth it, and so are you.


Desperation isn’t a good look for anyone, especially not sales reps. Even if you’re pushing to reach your sales goals, desperation could kill the deal. But if you’re honest with prospects, share your product’s best features, look for a great fit and don’t back down during negotiations, you’ll find it easier than you thought to close the deal.

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