Women in Sales Blog

Why Prospects Want You to Teach Them in the Sales Process and How to Do it Nicely

Posted by Jul 30, 2014 12:05:00 PM Ali Powell

Some prospects want you to teach them. Some might tell you up front that they want your advice. Some might not tell you up front that they want to be taught so it is your job to expose that need to be taught. There are good and bad ways to do that. 


You need to be aware that part of your job as a sales rep is to teach your prospect things that they don't know.  Not just things they don't know but things that they didn't think were the solutions to their problems. There are a few different reasons why you start talking to a prospect and start the sales process. Maybe they find you, maybe you find them, whatever the case they are going to have ideas of how you might be able to help. Guess what they don't know as much as you do about your service or solution. So you need to help them understand everything you can do by listening to them and exposing areas of opportunity to be a good teacher in the sales process. 

1. If the prospect comes to you and wants to learn about one sole part of your product or service you should not just take that for face value.  _be_helpful_in_the_sales_process_always-537761-edited

  • If someone is coming to you for one sole problem, great, you should definitely expose how your product or service can help. BUT, that does not mean that your job is to just sell them on that only thing they came to you for. 

  • A good sales rep is one who can recognize that the prospect has a trigger for coming to you but maybe that trigger is part of a larger problem that they might not even see that they have. 

  • Your job is to expose why that one thing or one problem they are trying to solve for is actually part of a larger problem or opportunity.  The way you do that is by asking questions and listening. Listen well and take notes so you can go back and think about what was said in the sales process. 

  • This is your chance to teach your prospect why they should think differently about that problem. Expose areas of concern that you think they should know about. 

  • Tell them your thoughts but don't do it in a rude way. Make sure that you are teaching them things in a nice way. People you are talking to are smart too and they know a lot, don't forget that. 

2. Someone who seems like they don't want to learn probably won't be the best customer. Do you want those people in your sales funnel anyways? 

  • Think about what makes a good customer.

  • Usually a good customer is someone who wants to solve for a pain or problem they found and is using your service or product because of that. If that person thinks they know everything or doesn't want to think outside the box, doesn't want to learn ANYTHING new then they will probably be a pain in the butt to deal with. Do you want to work with people who don't want to learn new things?


help_me_to_help_you_in_the_sales_process-948558-edited3. Make sure you expose new ideas or concepts to the prospect in a nice and helpful way. Not "I know everything so listen to me or else way." 

  • Say things like,  I don't want to teach you something if you don't want to be taught. 

  • I am just trying to figure out if you are open to being taught about this. If you aren't that is okay and we can do this your way but I thought I should ask. 

  • Do you want to learn about why this could work? 

  • I have seen customers who had similar situations that you are in who thought the same thing and guess what now they don't think that way. I can explain to you how that worked and how they changed their mindset if you want me to. 

  • Say things like, I don't want to push you here but I really think X would help and want to explain why. Are you open to that?

  • Are you open to learning about new ways to do this?

  • How do you best like to learn about new things?

  • I see part of my job as a sales person being that I need to teach people about things they might not know. Are you okay with that? 

MOST IMPORTANTLY... don't go about every sales opportunity the same way. If you use your brain and really think about what the prospect is saying then you will expose things that you can teach them. Your job as a sales rep is to teach your prospect how and why they need to do something differently. Then expose why your product or solution is the best fit for those problems.

Help them to help you, help them.

Yes, think about that one. It is true. 

Lets' break that one down.helpful_sales_reps-083388-edited


If you ask them questions and explain why you are asking them those questions they will understand that you working towards what is best for them in their specific situation. You are not just approaching the opportunity in a generic way like most sales reps do. 


If you are working for your prospect and they know this they will naturally open up to you and want to help you. They will give you more information on their situation to help you expose ways that you can help them better. The more your display that you want to help them and are just trying to teach them for their own benefit they will be more likely to help you so you can...


The more a prospect shares with you the better you will be able to help them with what you do and provide value in the sales process which will help them to make a decision. 

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Topics: sales coaching, sales process, sales pitch, sales help, sales tricks, helpful sales reps

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