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Dealing with big fat egos

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Delivering a workshop to a room full of sales reps is an interesting experience. As an “outsider” coming into an organization to teach persuasive presentation skills, it is shocking to see how some people react.

Senior sales reps feel entitled to tune you out, challenge your points and even make wise remarks. Others in the room simply sit and watch the dynamic take place. And finally, there is a small percentage of people who choose to be present and actually learn something new.

If this is typical behaviour in a workshop setting with sales reps, what goes on outside in various companies you may deal with in commercial real estate sales? My guess is the same thing. A large percentage of people want to speak over you, some will sit and listen and only a few will engage and want to do business with you. This is what we call the numbers game.

Here are some tips for dealing with the big ego in client meetings:

1. Let them do the talking:

Rather than getting upset or annoyed by someone who takes over the conversation, allow them to. Listen and take solid notes for future conversations. Learn what you can about them personally (their interests) and their organization. Learn if you should you do business with or without them in the future.

2. Make them feel important:

What do entitled people want? They crave and want to be heard, listened to. They want attention. Praise them often.

3. Stay in touch / follow up when they ask you to:

Thank them for their time. Make them feel valued. And always follow up when they ask you to. That could be next week, next month or in six months. Just do what they tell you. Take really good notes and follow through.

Dealing with big egos in sales is not for everyone. You are crafting your communication according to the situation. In sales, it is key to be able to alter your approach based on circumstances. It’s nothing anyone would teach you in school.

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