Red Herrings

“Send me a proposal.”

What do you say?

Most salespeople see this as a buying signal, so they send a proposal.

The problem?

The proposal might be leading you towards a false conclusion.

In other words, the proposal might be a red herring.

What you need is a talk track that will allow you to determine if sending a proposal is a buying signal or a red herring, so you don’t waste your time writing proposals and chasing.

Here’s a talk track that will unlock the truth behind “send me a proposal”.

Prospect: “Can you send me a proposal?”

Salesperson: “What would you like to see in the proposal?”

Prospect: “The deliverables, timeline, and the pricing.”

Label (Chris Voss)
Salesperson: “Sounds like you’re ready to move forward.”

Prospect: “Well, not exactly. We’re looking at three other vendors.”

See that?

The proposal was a red herring to distract you from the truth.

I call this a fast forward question.

Fast forward questions are akin to pressing the fast forward button on the remote control to see what happens after the prospect gets what they’re asking for.

Here’s another example.

Prospect: “Your price is too high?”

Mirror (Chris Voss)
Salesperson: “Too high?”

Prospect: “Yes, you’re too expensive.”

Salesperson: “Sounds like you’re comparing this to what you have, what you expected to pay, or to another solution.”

Prospect: “It’s more than I expected.”

Salesperson: “Sound like there’s a cap to what you want to pay.”

Prospect: “Well, we’re not sure we want to switch right now.”

Again, the price was a red herring.

Once you press the fast forward on the price, you get to more truth.

Here’s another way to ask a fast forward question related to price.

“If we were in line with what you expected to pay, are there other concerns preventing you from moving forward this week?”

“Is it the total price or being able to pay for it all at once?”

Knowing what to say to unlock the truth is a good skill to master for protecting your time.