We’ve all said things we regret. We’ve said those things to our spouses, our friends, our bosses, and our prospects.
Sometimes it seems like people have just treated us so unfairly that we simply can’t let it go.
But you need to ask yourself this question: “How will the thing that I am about to say benefit me?” If I tell my boss that he’s an a@***, I may feel better for a moment – before he fires me. If I tell my prospect that he’s acting like a jerk, I’ll feel vindicated – until I lose the sale.
Rather than jumping back in someone’s face, ask yourself what outcome you intend. In the case of your prospect, you’d probably like to know why he feels the way he does – and how he arrived at that set of emotions.
So for example, if a prospect were to tell me that he considered my behavior to be patronizing or arrogant, I would not say, “Well, you should know ya’ condescending twit!” Rather, I’d ask, “Can you tell me what I’ve done that makes you feel that way?”
Chances are pretty good that I’m not perfect. Hearing what he has to say will increase the likelihood of my making that sale. It will also potentially help me to modify my behavior in the future. Long-term personal improvement beats the momentary satisfaction of anger every time.