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Tough Calls

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Tough Calls

Selling Strategies to Win Over Your Most Difficult Customers


15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

This book is for any salesperson who has a lying, stingy, annoying, weird or, as they say more politely, “challenging” client. Here’s how to make the sale, make a clean getaway and sleep peacefully, knowing that, sometimes, you aren’t the problem.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


While most books about selling focus on the salesperson’s behavior, this book focuses instead on the client’s behavior and the sales approaches you should use depending upon just how weird or annoying - excuse us, that should be "challenging" or maybe "eccentric" - the client becomes. Josh Gordon clearly and effectively presents 20 different classic, difficult behaviors, including everything from "The Client Who Lies to You" to "The Client Who Knows It All." Gordon offers useful strategies for dealing with such personalities and situations, strategies that can help you make your sale and then make a clean getaway. The book is written conversationally and includes no filler or fluff, just plenty of well-organized and helpful ideas. getAbstract recommends this book to anyone who is trying to sell a product, service or idea, because sometimes it is nice to know that you aren’t the problem.


Selling to Difficult People

One out of every six clients is a problem client, and while you can sell to them, you cannot sell to problem clients using conventional strategies. Plenty of proven selling techniques that work just fine with most clients will backfire with problem clients. Those clients who aren’t "problem people," but who are nonetheless problem clients include those who like a competitor’s product or service better than yours, who buy based only on established relationships or who buy based on arbitrary company politics. Clients who are problem people run the gamut from the complainers, the indecisive, the abrasive and the incompetent to the hard-to-read, the angry, the price grinder and the egomaniac. Sounds like fun, huh?

Use specific selling strategies with clients who are tough calls. Since only about 10% of problem clients act the way they do because they have problem personalities, the other 90% believe that the style they’ve chosen benefits them in some way. If you recognize a particular problem client from the start, you can either work around the behavior, or use it to your advantage and close your sale. Every client has the potential to become...

About the Author

Josh Gordon is president of an independent publisher’s representation firm, where he sells advertising space for magazines. He also writes regularly for Folio Magazine on the subject of selling, speaks at industry gatherings and runs private sales-training sessions.

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