Measure Twice, and Cut Once: 4 Ways to be Better Prepared in Business

Jeff Cartwright-May 2016

“Measure twice, and cut once.”

Those who know me, may well be surprised that I chose this carpentry quote; to title this month’s blog. "Measure twice, and cut once" speaks to the idea in sales that, one should always be thorough and precise in their planning and prep, before closing the deal, or even before moving forward to the next step in their sales process. 

In my many years of observation, most sales people spend very little time in prep and planning. They most often think that their ability to plan is limited, until they get in front of the client or customer. As if an unplanned trusted advisor is exactly what the customer needed.  Obviously,  nothing could be farther from the truth.  Today’s client or customer is more in need now than ever before; of a well thought out, customized plan to meet many of the challenges facing their business every hour, of every day.  I can’t imagine, asking to become the business owner’s trusted advisor; without having done the advance planning and preparation required to really know their business, and their industry.   

So I offer 4 ideas to help you become a better “carpenter”!

1. Visualize your planning process; Prepare a ‘mental plan’! If you’re just beginning your sales process (an intro call or visit), or about to ‘ask for the order’, you need to first visualize the scene. Play the interaction with the customer in your mind. What might you say if he says: “I need a little time to sleep on your proposal.” Or, “It’s not in our budget right now.” Or, “We’ve decided to buy from another company.”  To “play” these possible scenarios in your mind, you can formulate a reasonable response (in your mind), and thus rehearse various responses until you’re comfortable and more confident. You might play this mental plan (thru several hundred synapses), over and over in your mind. How prepared you want to be, will be how many times you visualize these scenes.  By the way … when you finally find yourself ‘live’ in front of your customer, and she says: “It’s not in our budget right now”; your brain has played that response several hundred times, and you will feel as if you’ve been there (or here) before. That’s known as ‘déjà vu’. We’ve all experienced that shiver of emotion, and it’s frequently followed by an enhanced level of confidence, because you’ve already heard it before.   Once you get in the habit of ‘mental planning’, it may only take a few minutes to plan several ‘what if’ scenarios. ALL professionals rehearse or practice in their minds, before ever stepping out on stage or their chosen venue.  Sales Professionals are obligated to do the same.

2. Plan for the best outcome; expect that he will say ‘yes’! Why not? Planning for the very best outcome, will place you in a positive mind set. You’ll begin to breathe a little easier, you’ll start to smile subconsciously, and … it may well become a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you think you’ll win, you will. If you think you won’t win, you will not.  I think that a positive mindset, especially in your planning stages, allows you to really ‘take in’ all aspects of the sale that’s about to take place. If you know that the customer really does need your solution, and that it will really help him grow his business, and realize his vision for the business; you’re more likely to enter the venue self-assured.  And when you’re advising or closing from a position of positive energy, if any objection does come up, you’re of a more open and positive mind set to answer the customer’s concern.

3. Think thru the objections and practice various responses!  Remember the origin of all objections: a request for more information. It really is not the customer’s intention to stump you, or, cause you to get off your game. In my experience, the customer just wants (or needs) more information to draw closer to making a decision. If you think thru objections you’ve experienced in the past; you’ll consider the way that you addressed them, and the customer’s ultimate response when he finally received a relevant and unbiased response to his question.  “Thinking Thru” the objection means considering every objection thru an investigative eye. Once you’re in the “think thru” zone, you’ll begin to see responses that also need to be “tried on for size”. Once the customer realizes that you’ve devoted this level of prep and planning, he will respond in kind. Customer’s do appreciate the work in preparation that you do in their behalf. I find that they are then, more inclined to give more credence to your answer to their objection. And, because of reciprocity, they will then feel compelled to give to you, what you’ve given to them. 

4. True Prep and Planning always leads to the best outcome!  Think back to your best close, or your largest sale negotiated, or any sales transaction where you still have that accomplished feeling, many years later.  My experience tells me that those partnerships were the results of intense planning and preparation on your part.  Some of the planning may have been mental, where you visualized the outcome and played it out in your mind. Or, it may have been the result of your self-fulfilling prophecy. Or, you may have borrowed from your past successes to persuade and convince the client, to focus on his company’s growth, and not the short term cost.  I know that each of those times you engaged in some form of prep and planning that led to those positive outcomes. 

So, stop denying the value to you and your customer, of intense and relevant planning. And start to “measure twice and cut once”. It’s what ALL professionals do every day, with every transaction. Do you consider yourself “part-time” or a full time professional? 

If you answered the latter … welcome to the professional ranks of carpenters (and sales people)!

What are ways you measure twice and cut once in business?  

Challenging What the Customer Knows

The Trail: Blog Post for March, 2016

Jeff Cartwright

Times they are a changing! And with changing times comes changing sales strategies. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize the shift in how people do business in the information age, as opposed to the way deals were done 20 years ago. This post is called “Challenging what the customer knows”, for a reason. With a myriad of information a single Google click away, everyone is privy to loads of facts and data that can, at times, impede your ability to close a sale. Also your ability to really understand what the customer needs. 

Based on the extensive research done by CEB, published in the book by Adamson & Dixon: “The Challenger Sale this post will deliver an introduction on how a salesperson in today’s market can accurately navigate the information age. You’ll need to think of ways to show the customer that the cost of “same” is greater than the cost of “change”. You’ll also need to provide ‘commercial insight’; something pertinent to the customer’s business or industry, that may have missed his scrutiny!  The authors mention three new pathways to begin “breaking down the A”, and “building up the B”. The Challenger salesperson is able to master the following pathways: 


Today’s customer is more informed and particularly more aware of the needs of his business, and where he can go to satisfy those needs. The Challenger Sales Rep is able to teach the customer something new and valuable about the marketplace, and how to compete; in ways that the customer has not yet discovered. Providing industry or market insight, that the customer can use to gain a competitive advantage. This ‘commercial insight’ comes from researching the market and the customer’s industry … then teaching the customer, ways that he can and should change his perspective, thus changing the outcome. The objective is to lessen risk, or increase market share, or develop ways to become more efficient. Instead of asking the customer: “What keeps you up at night?”   The Challenger Sales Rep is teaching: “Here are a few factors that should be keeping you up at night. And, Mr. Customer, I can guide you to avoid the blind spots.”    


The Challenger Sales Rep is able to tailor the teaching message to different types of customers, and to various departments within the same company. To be able to customize the story when he is telling it to the head of marketing, versus the head of accounting.  The Challenger must become a chameleon; with the same level of passion and commitment as he travels throughout each department within the company.             

Taking Control                             

This is where the Challenger is able to assert and maintain control over the sale. The ability to stand your ground when the customer pushes back; moving the conversation away from price and back to the value perspective. Important to be assertive and not aggressive. The Challenger Rep is still about building long term relationships, leading to a unique sense of loyalty on the customer’s part.  At this point; the teaching and tailoring has placed the Challenger is an enviable position. The customer has accepted your ‘commercial insight’, and has agreed to change his perspective. The Challenger Sales Rep has earned the right to guide the customer to a close, benefitting all parties.  

 I would highly recommend reading the book: “The Challenger Sale”. If you’ve already read the book, please comment below and share your successes and challenges with this evolutionary sales process. The game has changed … Are you ready to Challenge what the customer knows, and take control of the customer conversation?

Fear of Failure is Really Normal

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear” - Jack Canfield

In business and in life, fear has a sneaky little way of slithering in.  Many people may be surprised that fear can have such a crippling impact, until they are in the thick of it. It’s really normal to experience fear in business—the fear you aren’t going to make a sale, the fear no one will follow up with you, fear you won’t be able to close the deal, fear that you’re not going to gain an agreement.  The fear is very real and sometimes it can even cause you paralysis—you close down and refuse to take any action. I’ve known salespeople who would not “ask for the order”, because of their fear of being rejected. Obviously, they were not really ‘salespeople’ at all.

Today I want to talk about how you can use fear to your advantage. Oh yes I did, I said it. Using fear to your advantage can actually be quite helpful, especially if it helps you overcome a situation, or a particular individual that causes you anxiety. I’m sure you’ve heard it said: “…the only way to take on fear, is to face it head on.”  You see, fear can actually act as a motivator or a lightning bolt.  It can jumpstart you into action, the same way it can make you want to crawl in a little ball and hide away. Fear stems from the instinct we all have that signals either fight or flight.  It’s adrenaline inducing, which actually can be a good thing.  It’s harnessing that adrenaline and channeling it into something positive; that allows good to stem from something that's not so good, like fear. 

Preparation is truly key in these fear-inducing situations. If you know a situation you’re about to walk into, is going to make you want to run the other direction or shut down, then you must prepare that much more. There’s a reason professional basketball players, practice making free throws for hours.  They know that if they allow their ‘fear of missing the shot’, to reign supreme when the game is on the line, they will always choke. With muscle memory and continuous practice, they can now rely on that preparation. They know it will overcome the fear of failing, and they now are more likely to make the shot.  In business; preparing notes, writing out accomplishments you’ve had in the past, or even memorizing an introduction helps alleviate that same fear.  The more you prepare, the more you’re able to rely on that preparation, along with your renewed confidence.

It’s also important to understand that you won’t always succeed.

You need to understand and game plan for what you’ll do when you fail. In sales, you have to consider that ‘failing’ is a part of the game. Sometimes, it’s a necessary part of the process. When I fail to make the sale, it forces me to replay the situation in my mind. What did I learn about the client who didn’t buy? What did I learn about myself, my process, my analytics, my approach? And … what can I employ the next round, or my next attempt, to satisfy that particular client’s needs and objectives? Did I succeed in challenging the client’s status quo? Did I offer the insight of my research about his industry? Did I gain his trust and respect, as a fellow entrepreneur?  I know that the more I learn and listen, really listen …the more I sell. And, the more customers I’m able to serve. All of this learning and mental growth, comes from that initial failure and the real fear of failing. 

Understanding the role that fear plays in business, is crucial to your success. I promise, if before you go into that meeting, you read over your notes (visualize the shot from the free throw line), and work on harnessing those fears and channeling them into positive energy; your presentation or meeting will not fall flat.  In fact, it will soar. And … You know how it feels to soar! 


The Value of Great ‘Note Taking’ (remember … back in the day?)

In today’s fast-paced society filled with iPhone updates and 140 characters or less, the thought of carrying a legal pad and pen to a business meeting may seem utterly archaic. Is that a pen? And paper?  some people may incredulously ask you. However, today I want to talk about the benefits of taking notes in business meetings and during client follow-up sessions.  It doesn’t matter how great of a memory you (say you) have or how awkward you think taking notes makes you look, the practice is worthwhile.  There are three real benefits to this “old fashioned” method, and I think if you implement note taking in your repertoire you’ll be able to realize all three. And you’ll also become, a trusted advisor and true business partner for your clients.

1.) You will remember more important ‘stuff’!

Put simply, in many cases writing something down allows you to recall it easier.  Remember all those notes you had to take in college and high school? Remember those times you actually focused while writing, how much better your grade fared? Taking notes connects your mind to the meeting and makes the things your client is saying stick.  It’s true! I’ve tried it myself and have found, that the meetings I wrote things down as opposed to the ones I tried to rely on my memory fared much better in the long run. I was able to connect concepts and remember important things my client communicated. I was also better equipped to set up the follow-up meeting, and more knowledgeable about those important points we discussed at the first meeting. The notes became a diary of our conversations; very useful tidbits of personal client information. 

2.) The client will appreciate your ‘singular focus’.

Chances are, if you’re talking and look up to find someone copiously transcribing what you’re saying, you’re more likely to experience that little prideful glow that comes with feeling important. You know it’s true! Taking notes shows your clients that their words matter—they even matter enough to carry around an antiquated notebook and pen among sleek rows of laptops and tablets.  Taking notes is a very respectful nod to your client and if they ask “What are you doing?” you have the opportunity to honestly say, “I’m taking notes, because what you say is important and I want to make sure that I write it all down.” In more than 40 years of selling, I’ve never had a client upset at my note taking; I have seen a slight smile of approval though. This builds an enduring rapport between you and the client.  In my experience, salespeople who are really phenomenal at their craft, invariably find ways to take copious notes. 

3.) You are able to clarify needs.

Notes allow you to track the most important things your client has to say.  Notes allow you to have the opportunity to summarize and key in on significant things you need to accomplish; to satisfy client needs.  With your notes you can reference certain aspects of the conversation, repeat back what your client said, and receive clarification on important issues. Your notes become the first step towards tailoring your recommendation, and a precursor to the close. An ‘assumptive close’ that your clarifying notes caused to happen.

So you see the old fashioned habit of note taking is actually really valuable in the technology age. It’s similar to leaving a hand-written note for someone; it sets you apart from everyone else and feels a whole lot more personal. If you absolutely must take notes on your laptop or iPad, do so only if you’re capable of making eye contact a majority of the time. Maintaining eye contact is really important, whether using iPad or legal pad and pen. The next time you’re in any business meeting, or with a new prospect or current client … remember the 3 benefits of note taking. Your client will surely remember you, if you take great notes!

By the Way…Do You Even Know What our Business Is?


                                                                                                                   The Trail: blog post for September 2015

by Jeff Cartwright

I remember sitting through a sales pitch and watching the sales person make their case.  They were obviously knowledgeable about their product —they spoke fairly well, if somewhat robotic.  They talked an impressive game, but I recall feeling that their pitch was a bit rehearsed.  It was like the sales person had given the same pitch a hundred times, never deviating from the script.  Once the pitch was over, I looked at the client, wondering what their reaction would be.  They wore a perplexed look and after a couple moments of awkward silence, they asked, “Do you even know what our business is?” 

Wow … at that moment it should have been a huge red flag to us; for the sales person to pause and realize that something significant was happening. But it wasn’t, instead the salesperson became defensive and the customer politely began shutting down. Needless to say the sales person didn’t get the sale. And, we left the client with many business needs still unsatisfied and unfulfilled.   For you and the client, this is a very uncomfortable situation.  One that happens all too often in most sales transactions today. And, I use it to illustrate a very specific point.  

We often times get so wrapped up in the process; closing the deal, or trying to make a quick sale, that we forget to be present.  We forget to be in the here and now.  We forget to, as Stephen Covey once taught me: "listen with the desire to understand, rather than with the intent to reply."   We forget the reason we’re selling in the first place!   When you’re present, you’re focused on what the client needs to grow their business, and to realize the dream of their business. 

You are in what I call “your sales bubble.” There’s nothing that can disturb or impugn your focus and concentration inside that bubble. It’s just YOU and YOUR CLIENT. You’ve essentially cleared your mind of everything, to stay focused on the here and now. That’s being really present!   Now you’re listening for cues or ‘passion points’ with the customer. What distinguishes him from his competitors? What plans does he have for the business, over the next 5 years, that’s only 60 months from today? What challenges is he facing right now? What challenges should be at the top of his agenda for this year?  You cannot ask those insightful questions and receive valuable answers from your client, unless you’re present, operating in the here and now. 

The key takeaway is this: Focus on today’s interaction, not future sales gains.  

If you take this thought to heart, you’ll make more sales in the process.  People know when you’r playing them, they know when you’re giving them a pitch that is rehearsed.  Everyone wants to feel special, and you can’t make them feel this way if you’re only focused on dollar signs.

If you’re in telemarketing sales,  you have the same opportunity.  People can hear the excitement and true sincerity in your voice over the phone.  When you’re making a telephone sales call, engage with your client.  Get inside of your sales bubble, within your cubicle or, your desk at home. Really listen to their needs, and before you even pick up the phone, make sure you have a thorough understanding of their business.  

Your competition is not doing this. In fact, most people in sales tend to focus on the sales dollars and not the sale itself.  They don’t focus on the subtle nuances and needs of the client’s business.  They aren’t listening, and they are not operating in the here and now. Take the time to be present, and focus all of your attention on the customer in your bubble. The customer will respond in kind. They are not used to being listened to. They are not accustomed to being placed in the center of your attention and focus. In all of my years in sales, I can assure you that the customer will remember that YOU made the transaction memorable. They will reward you with their business and their loyalty. 


Questions: The Key to Unlocking Business Needs

The Trail: blog post for August 2015
by Jeff Cartwright

When trying to solve a problem or probing for new business opportunities, asking questions is essential.  But more than simply throwing out random questions, is a need to prepare questions that will be germane to the growth of the client’s business, and his vision for the company.  Oddly enough, you must first ask yourself what questions you’re going to ask prospective clients. What questions are you going to ask to uncover his/her needs?  What questions can you ask to find out if you are a perspective supplier of theirs? If there’s a problem, what questions can you ask to figure out the problem's root? These are all important introspective moves and will lead to a more fruitful discussion.  

After prepping there are three steps you can take to use questions to unlock the needs of the business. 

Pre-plan the questions. 

One thing you need to get from this blog post is preparation is key. It’s important you thoroughly understand what you want to gain from the meeting and how to direct questions that will provide relevant information. List out your decided questions beforehand and refer to them during the meeting.  There are different kinds of questions.  

  • Questions of clarification are ones where you hope to reiterate your knowledge.
  • Questions to offer new information (or, insight),  are ones leaning toward new business opportunities that may be unknown to the client.
  • Questions to summarize are open-ended and broad. Use these to gain big picture perspective. 
  • Questions of failure, ones that allow him/her to tell you in more detail what they’ve tried that didn’t work.

What you’re trying to do with these questions is simple—you’re trying to learn more about your client.  However, asking a poignant question isn’t enough.


Develop follow up questions from what they tell you. 

What you’re trying to do with these questions is open an avenue for discussion.  Follow up questions are great for this. It’s important to have question prepared from what they tell you.  This might come organically in the conversation or you might be able to map out beforehand how you think the conversation will go.  The key is to over prepare in these situations.  Get to a place in your mind where you’re not just thinking about what they’re telling you but you’re also ready to follow up with the answer they provide. 

The best salespeople I’ve known in my career have always been the most inquisitive. 

The inquisitive sales person instinctively wants to know more about the client, the company, demographics, the market place, etc, and that inquisitive nature benefits everyone involved. 

Be prepared to offer helpful answers. 

The next step is, you guessed it, more preparation. Be prepared to offer them answers to questions they may ask. This may come from research or forethought.  Whatever the process, a stable answer will put the client at ease.  One more tip is the final question, or opportunity you’ll give them to provide you with crucial information

At the end of the conversation I always ask, Is there any question I didn’t ask that I should have? 

That last question is crucial and provides them an opportunity to open up to you.  It allows them to tie up loose ends or set you down a different path or maybe give you information you never would have thought of before.  

The more information you gather, the more opportunity you have to meet the needs of the client.  You have to ask thought provoking questions, then you have to listen, really listen to the answers. That’s the key!

And Now Referrals…

The Trail: blog post for July 2015
by Jeff Cartwright

It’s easy to stay inside of our comfort zones. That’s why they’re called comfort zones. They’re comfortable. Escaping them is an uncomfortable task. However when it comes to business, things…good things…happen once we step outside of our predetermined boxes.  


In this post I’ll focus on getting referrals, an area that makes many of you uncomfortable.  This is because the perception that you’re “using someone”, or taking advantage of their company name within the community.  Most sales people content themselves with gaining business simply through working hard and hoping that people connect them to other people out of the goodness of their heart. This simply is not the case.  Most sales people haven’t discovered how to include referrals or the referral process, as I call it, in their repertoire. This is a problem. A problem I think we can fix here.

Absolutely the best way for you to gain new clients is by making use of your current clients’ trusted partnerships.  These clients are ones who know you’re reputable, ones whose businesses you’ve grown, ones who understand what you have to offer.  They are your best resource for brand new clients.  And, you are actually tapping into the “reciprocity principle of persuasion”, from the research done by Dr. Robert Cialdini, Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University. In his book: “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, Dr. Cialdini proves that we all want to give in exchange that which has been given to us.  Our need to “reciprocate” is a natural human tendency. The fact that you’ve given your current clients your expertise that has helped to grow their business; those same clients are waiting to give back to you what you’ve given to them. Not tapping into that resource is a travesty.  I recommend implementing a 3 tier approach to achieving your referral.  It’s important to “begin your request” at this first tier; where your client, I think, has the most skin in the “exchange” game. You’re asking them to do something at that very moment, that they would not normally do (remember ‘reciprocity’ and exchange, and that you’ve earned the right to ask).

Tier 1: Request a Face to Face Introduction

This tier requires that you ask your trusted clients for a face to face introduction.  You can do this in a few different ways.  You can ask if they know a prospect you’re planning on seeing. You may say: “You mentioned that you know Jim Johnson of Johnson & Sons Chevrolet. I’d really appreciate it, if you would introduce me to your friend Jim. I’d love to provide his company with the same level of service I’ve provided to you over the years.”  Or you could also request that they bring you into a conversation with them and a new client at an event all of you plan on attending.  If they agree, great, you’ve earned the first step in acquiring new business and have expanded your circle of influence.

In some cases, though, your client may get a little squirmy.  This first tier may be too uncomfortable for them, for whatever reason.   This is not something that should concern you.  You should see it as a sign to move to Tier 2.

Tier 2: A Phonecall

The second tier requires that you ask for an introduction over the phone.  Sometimes face to face introductions make people feel uncomfortable or stiff; however, the option of a phone call is a viable solution to this.  If your client denies a face to face introduction, show that you understand them, and then ask if they’d be willing to make a call on your behalf and introduce you via phone.  This option is more removed and sometimes feels like a safer bet.  Phone introductions are completely doable, but sometimes people still feel awkward on the phone. I don’t know about you, but sometimes talking on the phone is a little…uncomfortable. Rather than back down after your client denies a phone intro, you need to (you guessed it) remain calm and transition into Tier 3.  Remember, through reciprocity, you’ve earned the right to be there.

Tier 3: A Name

If your client hems and haws after you ask for a phone introduction, catch them at the quick before they can say no.  Go with the next best thing.  Ask them if you can use their name, when you introduce yourself to this new client.  Say: “if I can’t get a face to face or a phone intro can I at least use your name when I call on Jim Johnson at Johnson and Sons Chevrolet?”  This is where clients, in many cases, are able to oblige your final request.   Honestly, in all the clients I’ve worked with, I’ve never, ever had one turn down this third request.  It’s because if you’re a trustworthy, hardworking business person who is dedicated to your clients needs (and if you’re careful enough to read this and look for ways to improve yourself, I’m assuming you are) then your client will be happy to be associated with you.  Your ‘referral request’ becomes a win, win, win!  Your current client wins by reciprocating, or giving back what you first gave to them.  Your new client wins by having you as his ‘new’ service or product provider. You win by satisfying your current clients need to exchange, and by adding a new client to your base of business.

Finally … you’ll be able to reap the benefits of stepping outside of your comfort zone and into a referral process that works.

After the First Closing Attempt…Then What?

The Trail: blog post for June 2015
by Jeff Cartwright

Sometimes when you’re trying to close a sale, the ideal scenario doesn’t quite go down the way you’d like it to.  The first time you attempt to close the sale and it turns out that it’s not a mutual thing, that the client isn’t quite as ready as you are to make a commitment, you should consider a few important things.

Take a breath

The first thing you need to understand is that if you freak out or get upset, it will only make things worse.  Remember, to take a breath and center yourself.  The client may be on a different path than you at the moment, and it’s important not to fret or feel too concerned. 

Take a pause, then give the client an option to speak by asking questions like: Mr. Smith, is there a concern you have that I haven’t addressed? Or: Is there a reason you don’t want to confirm today, on the day that we agreed? 

Approach the situation with an inquisitive sense.  Even though you feel that you’ve gotten your ducks in a row, so to speak, now your ducks have roamed a bit.  However, you can get them realigned with a little patience.  


Take the brunt of the blame on yourself so your client doesn’t become defensive. Perhaps say something like: I’m in error, I thought we were ready, you were ready, to confirm. Or: I apologize that I’m in error. Please let me know where am I in the process? If we’re not in the same place, how can we get there?

Understand that it is okay to ask why.  At this point you need to really dig into the validity of your recommendation and let them know that you are in it for the long haul. Also, let your client know that you’re willing to bend a little, that way they’re more open to discussing what’s really the reason for their pushback.  

Listen then Learn

Now is the time to listen.  Allow the customer to open up to you and tell you, they may even say they need to think your apology over, just make sure you’re listening.  Really consider their side of the story and ask follow up questions.  Be cordial and professional, but also be blunt if you’re genuinely confused about their reasoning.  You can say something like I’m surprised you’re not wanting to commit. Where did I go wrong? Is it me?  Is it the price? The company?

Go through 4 or 5 options that could possibly be dissatisfying to the client and if one of them strikes a chord, follow up. If they hold a grudge against the business you hadn’t thought of, explain that this relationship is different, separate from past issues. Fall back into the process of the sale and let the client know that you’re in it for the duration, for the long term. You aren’t a temporary partner or a part-time employee, you’re ready to dig in and stay around. 

Stay Put

Something I truly believe in is “nothing ventured, nothing gained”. Think about that for a second, nothing ventured, nothing gained.  When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.  In this scenario, ironically, you need to venture by staying put.  Whatever relationship you and your client have built so far, will displace the anxiety you have about making the sale in that moment.  However the worst thing you can do after your client confides in you is to leave.  

If you leave and have to set-up another meeting, your client will see it as a different scenario and a new negotiation. You’ve worked hard by keeping calm, apologizing, listening and learning, so don’t let those moments disappear by leaving too soon. You are much better off staying and thoroughly figuring out the issue. Now that’s not to say you have to make the sale that instant; however, reaching an understanding before leaving is paramount. Also, make sure you set-up a specific agenda for that next meeting, one where you both understand what’s to be expected.