One of the biggest hurdles facing sales people is the objection raised from the prospect. Using the tactics in our infographic below, handling objections will now be a doddle!
(Image by MTD Sales Training – please attribute if republished)
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It happens every day in most sales interactions.
You’re having a great conversation with the prospect, building up value and creating real desire in their minds for your solution. They seem to be interested in what you’re saying, and you have great confidence you’re going to make the sale.
Then they ask about the price.
You confidently give the price of this model they are enquiring about. Then the age-old response comes along…
“That’s more than I wanted to pay….!”
Now, this response is as old as the hills, the reason they say it is just as old, and the response most salespeople give is just as doddery on its feet.
Most responses go something like “How much were you looking to pay?” or “What figure did you have in mind?” or even the awful “What do I have to do with the price to get your business?”
There’s one question that will help you to progress this discussion in a much fairer way for both of you. It will aid you in knowing the direction you need to go, and aid the prospect to be clearer in their mind on what needs they have to be considered.
The best question you can ask goes something like “When you say ‘that’s more than I wanted to pay’…does that mean it’s more than you wanted to pay for THIS product, or it’s more than you wanted to pay, period?”
What this clarifies for you and them is whether the amount is too high for the product you are showing and they are probably asking to negotiate for a discount on it, or whether the amount you are asking is too high for them under any circumstances, and the product is not right for them.
If it’s the first reason, then you can identify once again the value they are getting from the product (how much money or time it will save them in the long run, etc) so they see the actual price is less than the overall costs involved.
If it’s the second reason, then you can identify a different product in your portfolio that might suit them for the money they want to invest.
Either way, you get clear in your mind what their relationship is to the price of your products and services.
So, find out whether their decision is attached to the product or their wallet, and then you will identify the way forward in the sale.
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(Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
“We’ll give it some considerable thought…”
“We’ll get back to you as soon as possible…”
“I’ll definitely think about it…”
How many times have you heard these words and similar after you’ve presented the solution to the prospect? As we’ve stated before, these are NOT classed as objections…the prospect is stalling, wanting more time to consider the options. Now, we don’t want to put pressure on the prospect at this point, as they may see this as desperation on your part and will object to that.
Instead, we need to assist them in coming to the right decision for them.
Firstly, acknowledge that it is right to take time to think these decisions through. Then, you can discover what they really want to think about. Say something like…”Is there anything else you need from me to help you make the decision?”
If they answer no, then you can ask them to list all the points they need to consider. This may isolate the real reason for the stall and can help you determine the way forward.
When the real delaying factor has been brought out, you can ask….”If I was able to answer that particular point to your total satisfaction, would you be willing to approve the action plan?”
This is very important. Firstly, it lets the prospect know that you are interested in their total satisfaction. Then, once these concerns are covered, they can give you confidence that action will take place. You highlight the prospect’s real concerns and show that their total satisfaction is your real focus.
Remember, when your decision-maker perceives and experiences a co-operative problem-solving process, they are far more likely to work with you and not against you.
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(Image by Digital Art at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
There are only TWO objections that exist. That’s all; just two. They come disguised as dozens of other issues and appear to be tons of objections. My contention however is that there are but two real objections, and understanding this will help you close more sales today.
Please understand that I am not trying to raise a big debate on this issue. I just want to help you see things from a slightly different point of view. To help explain, I will use the following analogy, although it is not a perfect one.
You have a visit with your doctor. Perhaps you are ill, or have even just gone for a preventive check-up. In either case, the physician performs a thorough examination. The doctor then diagnoses problem, if is there is one. Finally, the doctor prescribes a treatment plan to solve the problem and cure the illness.
Now, think about this question: What reason can there be for you to object to the doctor’s prescribed solution? Why would you reject the doctor’s treatment? As many ideas may come to mind, if you look carefully, there are really only two reasons:
1. You do not totally agree with the doctor’s diagnosis or
2. You do not agree with the doctor’s prescribed solution or some combination of the two.
Trust: You might say that the reason you object is that you do not trust the doctor. Ok. That means that you do not trust his or her diagnosis. You do not believe the doctor is qualified and therefore the diagnosis is suspect.
Price: Perhaps it is a “price” objection as you feel the doctor’s remedy is too expensive or time consuming. You do not believe the prescription is the best one. Once again, you do not agree with the prescription.
Urgency: You object because you would rather wait as you do not feel the situation is as urgent as the doctor claims. Again, you do not believe in the diagnosis.
Of all the objections you may get, if you drill down, you will see that they fit into one of two categories:
1. The prospect does not fully believe in your diagnosis of their problem/need or
2. The prospect does not believe in the solution to the problem/need
Competition: The prospect objects, due to the competition or that they are happy with their current supplier. In such a case, the prospect does not believe that they are better off with you. They do not believe that they will suffer or have a problem without you—they do not believe in your diagnosis.
On the other hand, with a competition objection the prospect may believe in the problem and the value of the problem, yet does not feel that your solution will solve it, and therefore chooses to stay with the competitor.
Price: First, realise that a price objection is NEVER about price; it is about VALUE. The price objection clearly states that the prospect feels that your solution is not worth solving the problem. The buyer feels that the problem is simply not as bad, urgent or as costly as you claim and therefore the solution costs more than the problem. The prospect does not agree with the diagnosis.
The Real Point
Of course, I can go one for pages with all sorts of examples to prove this idea, but please understand that such is not the point. I am not trying to prove anything or get into debates on the issue.
My point is to get you to THINK more BEFORE you REACT. My point is to simplify some of the overly complex rhetoric out there and help you to see things more clearly. Don’t be so quick to jump into that big book of canned rebuttals and off-pat answers to objections. Don’t be so quick to accept that price or economy objection, when the truth is that you just did not do your job.
Dealing with today’s modern buyer, you have to look below the surface, and more importantly, you have to look within!
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(Image by FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Well, we all know the old sales person’s mantra, “Never take NO for an answer!” Indeed, some sales people try to live by this greed. However, in attempting to live up to such a rigid and unrealistic standard, sales people often cross the line. The line I am referring to is the one where you go from being a professional, confident sales person, who passionately believes in his or her products, to an annoying, selfish, obnoxious peddler, trying to extort money.
Part of the Whole
Unless you are the type who believes in the outdated, smile and dial theology that you can sell anything to anybody, then “No” is not a bad thing. I am not saying that you should not try to make the sale and get a YES from every prospect. However, remember that the NOs are an integral part of your sales process. Below are at least three NO situations that you should learn to live with.
NO #1 – No Problem
To sell anything, there has to be a need, even if that need is only to fill a desire. To sell any solution, there has to be a problem. During the sales process, a professional sales person unearths the problems and exposes the need.
Occasionally, you will have an UNQUALIFIED prospect in where there is NO problem to uncover. There is truly no need. Of course, you do what you can to avoid situations like this, but when it happens, do not force the issue. A professional sales person UNCOVERS problems and solves them. A con artist CREATES problems and sells them.
NO #2 – No Condition
Understand the difference between an objection, a stall and a condition. You want to try to handle the objections and stalls. However, a condition is such that neither you nor the prospect can control, change or even influence. When there is a true condition, let it go. Also, do not fall into the trap of quickly accepting objections that you cannot handle, using the excuse that they are conditions.
NO #3 – No Motive
Finally, as you persist, stop and truly evaluate what is your motive for persisting. If you find that deep down inside, you know that the main reason, the primary factor for you continuing to persist, the reason you want the sale so badly, is that you really need the money; then you need to back off.
In such a situation, it is likely that you inadvertently projected your true feelings to the prospect. Whether you knew it or not, you had pound signs in your eyes and the buyer sensed your need to make the sale. When this happens, it’s all over. The more you push, the worse it gets. You blew it.
The New Mantra
Of course, you always want to hear YES. However, taking NO (as long as you did your job) gets you closer to the YESs. In fact, there could not ever be a YES without the NOs. So, I have to refute the ol’ “Never take NO for an answer.”
I say, take YES and take NO. Because actually, it is “MAYBE” that causes the problems!
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(Image by Stuart Miles)