3 Behaviours of your Phone Leads You must Know and Turn into Assets

5 min read3 Behaviours of your Phone Leads You must Know and Turn into Assets

April 19 2016 | Sales

There is a French game called Colin-maillard, when one blindfolded child tries to catch all the others all around him by following their voices. Such a situation has many things in common with sales by phone, hasn’t it? You can’t see your prospect’s face, and the way he or she talks to you is probably the most important thing to help you to figure out his or her state of mind.

But do you really understand your prospect well-enough to catch the right moment to make a sales offer to him? How to avoid the pitfall of a cheerful conversation that makes you feel everything is won, while your prospect is only showing polite mistrust? And what about a compliment he tells you ironically, and you take the wrong path by thinking you convinced him? Here are 3 examples of leads every sales expert has already heard on the phone at least once, but few of them succeeded in understanding because they could not decode their attitude.


The One who is still Hesitating


What He Says: Although this lead seems to approve your solution, he has doubts as regards the final decision to buy from you or not. He asks you many questions but still keeps a distance that makes things hard for you to make him say a clear final “Yes!”.

The Way He Says It: He is receptive and open for dialogue, and he demonstrates polite curiosity when you expose him the details of your offer. He speaks with a cordial tone, and the vocabulary he uses is quite evasive.

What This Means: This attitude is defensive and your prospect behaves this way to reject his own desire of making a purchase. He wants to be reassured about every single point that prevents him from making this desire legitimate.

How to React and Make Him Happy: Ask your prospect what exactly makes him hesitating. Tell him your arguments in a logical order to help him to erase his doubts. Give him precise illustrations of what you are saying by using relevant examples, and use as many positive-for-sales words and phrases as you can (for example, replace “price”, “expense”, “cost” by “economize” or “investment”).


The One who Challenges You a Lot


What He Says: Whatever you tell him, he systematically draws an objection to oppose your argument. He often reminds you that he can find better and cheaper elsewhere, and he even questions the primary values of your company.

The Way He Says It: His tone is direct and stubborn, and he is in love with the word “But”. He makesz clear that he will stand on his position, and you have the feeling that using affective and emotional arguments will have no impact on him.

What This Means: By doing this, such a prospect is looking for satisfying his ego during the purchasing process. He has two main objectives: challenge you and test your reaction, and lead the conversation so that you make concessions.

How to React and Make Him Happy: First of all, don’t enter his game and play with his rules! Keep calm and… Professional. Answer him by using the following technique: remember – Defects, Drawbacks, Loss. Without being irreverent towards your competitors, tell your prospect the Defects of the other solution he is talking you about. Then tell what will be the Drawbacks stemming from these defects, and what a huge Loss it will represent for him (and that such a situation will not occur with YOUR solution!). Your arguments must stay rational and logical all along.


The One who is Ready!


What He Says: This prospect has few objections, he would rather ask some questions. He even starts to steal your arguments from your mouth and tell them before you do. He starts to build projections in the future by calculating, making estimations,…

The Way He Says It: There is no more doubt in his words, and he does not hesitate to get deeper into details, making his mistrust replaced by natural spontaneity and enthusiasm.

What This Means: He feels everything is clear, his decision of making a purchase is already taken. He is also satisfied because unconsciously, his need has been found and reached a relevant solution. What’s more, you managed to show the mutual interest each of you has to make business with the other.

How to React and Make Him Happy: Ask your prospect one last time if your offer and conditions are okay for him. Then when he tells you a strong “Yes!”, you can start talking about the price if this aspect had not been discussed yet. Finally, draw a closing to your conversation by fixing a date to meet him or to send him your purchase order.



As a sales expert, you can control some parts of the telephone conversation with your prospect, and during these moments you have to succeed in putting all chances on your side. A phone dialogue with sales purpose is about making two people find each other’s objectives and interests, and there a sales offer raises when the prospect acknowledges he has a specific need to fulfill. Whoever your prospect might be, never tell him about your solution before you know what problem you will have to solve! That will also help you to define what criteria are essential for your future customer and his final decision, and thus you will be far more convincing when telling him that you are made for each other!