You are hot for this account. On paper, they are the perfect fit for you and your company. You are excited when you get the chance to speak with a key contact there but that excitement wanes as the conversation progresses. You slowly come to realize that this is not a good prospect after all. The problem is not that you can’t do their work. You can. The problem is not that they are too big for you. They aren’t. The problem comes down to the personality and attitude of said key contact. Simply put, this is not someone that you can work with.

Now, what do you do?

This situation represents a strange quirk in the Sales Universe. Let’s call it the, “Whiplash Effect.”

Here’s what happens: The prospect of rails on and on about how important he is and how exclusive his vendors are and how lucky they are to get work from him. Clearly, he is expecting you to beg. You, however, do the opposite. You say something like, “Well, it appears that we are just not a good fit for each other. We look for companies with whom we can partner and who reward our hard work on their behalf with loyalty.”

Here is the Whiplash…

Suddenly, the prospect’s tone changes and instead of pushing you away and holding the carrot above your head, he starts backpedaling after realizing that you are not going to play his game. Now, he begins talking as if he can’t live without you. And all because you raised the bar and restated one of my favorite axioms: A good vendor is as important as a good customer.

Don’t chase. Stick your flag in the ground with confidence. You will find that you attract business by taking on a successful posture.

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