A novice B2B seller recently sought my guidance on a situation she encountered when a prospect confronted her with a direct question: "Are you here to sell me something?"
Curious about her thought process, I inquired, "What did you say?"
Her reply was, "I told him no because I wanted to build a relationship with the prospect and didn't want to scare him away."
Ironically, this well-intentioned response seemed to trigger an abrupt end to their dialogue, prompting her to reflect on whether a more assertive stance or a string of clever comebacks might have produced a more favorable result.
To put it plainly, the jig was up.
When a prospect asks if you're there to sell something, it's important to address their concerns honestly and transparently while also focusing on the value you can offer.
Here's a suggestion for how you can navigate this question:
"Absolutely, I am here to explore if we could even help you."
If you don't receive further objections from the other side, then continue with:
"If you're open to it, I'd love to have a conversation about how our product/service is helping similar leaders like you achieve their goals. And if it's not the right fit, I'm more than happy to point you in a better direction."
This response shows that you're upfront about your purpose, but you also prioritize the prospect's needs and preferences. It assures them that there's no pressure and that your intention is to provide value, whether through your offering or through helpful information.