How To Handle A Bait And Switch Prospecting Call
Tameera Corporal, Author
CEO, Accufigures, Inc
"I love to show others how to get the results they need to grow their business.
You posted on Instagram, and get a direct message (DM) expressing interest in your services. So of course you set up an appointment and get ready to close! Fast forward to appointment day, you are prepped and ready, and after a few qualifying questions you realize it. The conversation has turned from you asking the qualifying questions to answering them. This consultation isn’t for you to pitch them, it’s for them to pitch you.
How do you respond?
When this happens, it can be confusing and sometimes it will make you angry. These emotions are normal, and we all experience them. I mean, after all, now you feel as though you have wasted your time, and you aren’t wrong about that.
The fact that you are completely turned off by this conversation right now isn’t an issue with you, it’s an issue with the person that conducts business this way. Deceptive business practices may allow some wins, but the losses will be huge. In addition, it’s not the right way to gain new customers. Instead, this makes it impossible for you to want to get to know, like or trust this person. Ultimately, you are more than likely not going to buy anything from them, and tell others about the experience.
In this moment, you may want to react harshly, and I don’t blame you. However, that response isn’t good for business. I would suggest that you stay calm, and politely end the call with your own invitation to do business if you are open to engaging with this person. However, if you want nothing else to do with this person or their services, then I would suggest you tell them you aren’t interested and ask to be removed from their call list.
So why does this happen?
There are many reasons why this would happen. The primary reason being a lack of sales and business etiquette training. Some owners have never interacted in a corporate setting or sold anything prior to opening their doors. This is not an excuse for bad business behaviors, merely an observation from my previous experiences dealing with vendors.
Even though we all trash corporate America for one reason or another, you can learn how to conduct yourself and correspond professionally if you pay attention. I, for one, am guilty of a few snarky comments here and there during my stint in corporate. But seriously, NO ONE likes the bait and switch tactic. There is no reason anyone should have this unpleasant experience in 2016.
It’s easy to blame the lack of humanity in social media correspondence on auto responders and other automation tools we all rely on to conduct our day-to-day business activities. However, the real issue here is the decisions this business owner made to approach you in the manner in the first place. I have noticed that a growing number of business owners aren’t interested in adhering to the golden rule in their business transactions. So we are clear, I’m referring to the “treat others how you want to be treated” rule.
We all know that no one wants to participate in a spam riddled conversation. For those that don’t know, your pitch is considered spam when you are throwing up your products and services all over someone that hasn’t expressed any interest in you or your services. The bait and switch method we are discussing is a perfect example of conducting such a conversation. This is why networking and relationship building is so important, no matter how long you have been in business. Has this ever happened to you? Tell me about it in the comments.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Currently, she is actively working on building her web development and micro-training firm, Accufigures, Inc., located in Tampa, FL. At Accufigures, we help small businesses turn their target audience into returning customers with customized website designs and graphics. Visit her online at bit.ly/accufigures for more information.
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This work by Tameera Corporal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.