- Objections are a way of life for all sales reps. How often have we been stopped in our tracks by an unexpected objection? Greatly improve your ability to win new business by trying these steps:
1. Repeat the objection back to the prospect as you understand it.
2. Break the objection into smaller parts. Isolate the objection and identify any other concerns. This allows you to move through any smoke screens.
3. Once isolated, narrow the objections down and then have your prospect commit that these are the actual objections. Reconfirm this with them verbally.
4. Pre-close your response. If you have successfully answered their objection, they should feel good about your product and service and be willing to move forward with the buying process. Have the prospect agree to your answer. Again reconfirm this verbally.
5. Clearly and concisely answer the objection.
6. Obtain an agreement with your prospect. Have your prospect reconfirm that they agree with the solution you have crafted and state that the objection no longer exists.
7. Continue your sales presentation or move to close the sale.
These steps will allow you to maintain your poise and emotion as well as your personal control. It focuses your energies on solving the problem and moving forward with the sale.
- Reading Behind the Lines
Let’s face us, many prospects don’t tell the truth. The reasons are varied, but primarily they don’t wish to get into a confrontation with the sales person. How can you detect whether a prospect is lying to do? Look for the contradictions in their words and actions.
Words are cheap and easily forgotten or changed. Quite often a prospect will tell you what they think you want to hear. Unless you have developed a relationship where you know that a prospect is truthful, be alert to what is happening and being said. Often if it appears that the sale has come too easily, that’s a clue that something is askew. Make sure that you hear what the prospect is really saying and that you’re not hearing what you want to hear.
Actions are a true indicator of the prospect’s intentions. First, watch the body language. Does the prospect refuse to look you into your eyes as they speak? Is their body posture open or closed? A closed posture would include crossed arms and a physical posture that appears to be defensive rather than relaxed. There are other actions that should raise alarms including not getting your calls returned, deferred decisions and general procrastination.
There are many more clues to focus upon. The point is to be sensitive to the nonverbal communications between your prospect and yourself. There is a lot of information being communicated. Learn how to read it.
- Get the Whole Picture
One of the primary responsibilities for a sales person is to probe to gather information. As you probe, make sure that you get the whole picture. Identifying the business needs of the customer are only part of the equation. It’s equally important to address the buyer’s personal needs as well.
What pressures are affecting his or her decisions? Perhaps they have been given an ultimatum to solve a problem quickly or they are under pressure to produce new and innovative ideas. Perhaps they’re attempting to impress their boss to position
themselves for a promotion. Whatever the reasons, its important to understand what is motivating them. So as you probe, its essential to learn what is personally important to them. As you make your product presentation, you’ll need to address these personal needs and expectations as well.
- Call Me Back in Six Months…
How many times have you worked with an account only to hear call me back in six months… three months, whatever… Often the customer is simply saying no and this is a polite way to dispose of you. This is a non confrontational manner since there is information that the buyer is unwilling to disclose or tell you and they are simply looking for a way to let you down easily.
When confronted with this situation examine the following criteria:
1. Is the contact the real decision maker or is the ultimate buying decision being made elsewhere?
2. Does the company have the money to buy your product?
3. Does the prospect have any reason to dislike you or your company?
4. Does your prospect like your product or service?
5. Has price become an issue?
6. Does your buyer have established contacts with your competitors that provides them with a better deal?
7. Have you done anything that might have caused mistrust with the buyer?
8. Have you done anything to undermine your own selling position?
Typically, you will find that one of these are the real reasons for the rejection. You must dig deep to determine the real reason. Often you will see things that trigger a red flag, but choose to ignore it. When the red light goes on during the sales process – that is the time to pause and truly examine what might be going on.
- Objections… Objections… Objections… Here’s How to Handle Them!
If selling was easy, everyone would be doing it and in every life a little rain must fall. In sales, that rain takes the form of objections – those pesky little things that tend to pop up just when we think we made the sale. Here’s several steps to take to overcome those objections:
- Carefully listen to the objection and determine if it is a statement of truth or simply a smoke screen.
- Qualify the objection and make sure that it is the only one on the table. Otherwise separate them.
- Rephrase and confirm the objection back to the prospect.
- Qualify the objection to set up your close.
- Answer the objection so it resolves the issue.
- Confirm that you have resolved the objection.
- Present a closing question.
- Confirm the answer with the prospect and get the sale in writing.
- If other objections arise or need to be resolved, go back to step number one.
- What Makes a Great Sales Person?
Research from a variety of sources have indicated that all great sales people share four key talents. These are the talents that separate the average sales performer to the true sales star. These include:
- The Ability to Close the Sale
The greatest characteristic of a great closer is unyielding persistence and a gut level belief in themselves and the product they sell.
- Intrinsic Motivation
This is the internal drive that all sales people inherently possess. It can be formed or shaped. It cannot be taught. You either have it or not.
An organized, disciplined work style is critical to success. Successful salespeople are tenacious about learning all the details of customer’s business. They present detailed and organized plans for the customer. They follow through on a timely and disciplined manner.
- Ability to Build Relationships
Successful salespeople have an instinctive understanding of their customer’s needs. Characteristics include empathy, patience, caring, responsiveness, great listening skills and integrity.
- Signs to Look For If You Think Your Prospect is Being Less Than Truthful
As a sales person, you must be able to read the non verbal signs that a customer or prospect is communicating to you. Here are some tell tale signs to look for if a prospect is being less than truthful with you.
- The inability to look you straight in the eye, including averting their eyes or quick glances around the room.
- The appearance of the dryness of the mouth, including an increased licking of the lips.
- Sweaty hands or sudden perspiration on the brow.
- Nervous body movement including eye twitching, drumming of the fingers or leg tapping.
- A stuttering or stumbling of words including an inability to verbalize their thoughts in a complete sentence.
- The appearance that the prospect is unsure of themselves including an overall appearance of discomfort.
- The prospect will talk in a more controlled and deliberate manner.
- The prospect’s voice may crack in the middle of words.
- Dealing With Buyer’s Concerns
Most often objections or game playing could be masking other problems or concerns that the prospect either won’t or can’t verbalize. Before you can bring business to a successful conclusion, you’ll need to identify what the true concerns are in the prospect’s minds.
The six major concerns to keep an eye out for include:
- No Need.
- No Trust.
- No Interest.
- No Hurry.
- No Money.
- No Authority.
If there is a need and if the prospect has the ability to pay, then it’s your obligation to convince the prospect to buy from you. After all that’s your job.
- Why Buyers Develop a Sense a Fear?
How many times do we go through the sales process only to see a sense of fear and reluctance develop in the prospect. Fear is a natural step in the sales process. It needs to be anticipated. Once identified you need to be sensitive to the prospect’s needs, empathize with their concerns and explore viable alternatives. Here are several signals that indicate that fear is developing in the prospect:
* Size of the investment.
* The long term impact on their business.
* A significant change in their operation.
* The negative influence of a competitor(s).
* A new product concept.
* The input of several decision makers.
It is up to you to probe and determine the underlying causes and reasons behind the fear. Often the reasons are unfounded, but there also can be solid reasons behind the fear. It’s up to you to resolve these fears one by one until the prospect has developed absolute confidence in their decision.
- Detecting Fear in the Customer
In a previous tip, I indicated that fear is a natural step in the sales process. It needs to be anticipated during the sales process. However, how you we detect a fear in the prospect? Are there signs and signals that telegraph their level of fear to you? Yes there are. Here is a list of signs or signals that should indicate that there is a problem and that problem is most likely fear of committing to an order. The primary list includes:
* Negative non-verbal body language.
* Unreturned phone calls.
* Inappropriate delays.
* A reluctance to meet with you.
* Always having one minor detail left before the deal can be closed.
* Making unrealistic demands, especially toward the end of the sales process.
While these signs can be indicative of other problems, I would recommend that you first probe for prospect fear, unless you already have an indication of the source of the problem. If the reason is inexplicable then fear is at work.