Despite the fact that our economy is now growing and we are finally moving away from the dreaded “recession objection”, many sales people are finding that they are still coming up against the economy objection during their sales interactions and are struggling to close the deal because of it. So how do you overcome the economy objection and close more sales? Watch our short video to find out.
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Time and time again sales people come up against price objections and too often they are not able to overcome these objections to close the sale. So how do you overcome price objections? Take a look at our short infographic on overcoming price objections and make sure you know how to handle this type of objection whenever this situation may arise.
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If you have been around the world of selling for any real length of time then you have to have said to yourself, “This close sucks!” At least once in a while you have to feel that most of the so-called closing techniques, tips, tricks and magical scripts, just don’t hold much water today.
The reason for this isn’t so much that the techniques themselves are bad, old or actually suck. It is simply that you need to look at them from a slightly different angle; a new point of view. View your old closes through this new thought process and watch how the sucky-ness dissipates!
An Updated Way Of Thinking
In looking at the closing techniques available today, you first want to consider the objections they are used for. In doing this, begin to look at these objections a little differently than the way you thought of them in the past. As an example, if I were to ask you, “Why do you try to overcome objections?” What would you answer?
As you consider that, think about this, “Who is it that actually has the objection?” I am not trying to be funny, I’m serious. Who has the objection? Is it you? It is the prospect who actually has the objection.
Now, the old way of thinking about objections was to think of how to OVERCOME them. However, if you just think about it for a moment, you see that you do not have anything that you need to overcome. It is the prospect who has the problem.
Therefore, you need to
HELP THE PROSPECT OVERCOME THIER OWN OBJECTION.
Does that make sense?
What’s The Difference?
The difference in the two thoughts is in the way you approach the problem. Whereas you could continue to throw rebuttals and reasoning at the prospect in an effort to get him or her to reconsider or change their mind and come around to your way of thinking.
Or, you can understand that it is the prospect who has a problem and give the prospect additional information, answer outstanding questions and
HELP THE PROSPECT MAKE A NEW DECISION.
Partners On The Same Side
Understand that as a professional sales person dealing with today’s modern and educated buyer, that you both want the same thing. You are both on the same side and the sales process is not a fight where someone wins and someone loses.
So when the prospect raises that objection, don’t begin rattling off rebuttals trying to overcome the objection. Instead, work together with the buyer to HELP the buyer overcome their own objection.
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You did everything right. You maintained an excellent prospecting track and qualified the decision maker. You got through a tough gatekeeper screen, set a good appointment and sealed it with cement. The sales interaction was flawless; you covered every objection and left the prospect no choice but to buy. So, what happened? Why didn’t the prospect buy?
People Love To BUY
People actually do love to buy things. That is, they love to make a decision on their own and make a purchase they consider a good one. They make such decisions based primarily on emotion and then use whatever logic and reasoning they can find to help them to justify that decision.
In such buying however, the person has to feel and believe that it was their freewill CHOICE. The prospect must believe that they and they alone made the decision. This is why asking questions is such a powerful way to help persuade people to buy. By asking questions, people can come to their own conclusions based on the answers.
Hate To Be SOLD
However, people cannot tolerate being sold. In that, I mean that when a person feels that he or she did not have a choice, or was tricked or trapped into buying, they will vehemently object. This often what happens when you leave a prospect no other choice but to say YES.
When you cover every possible objection and you have an answer for every possible thing the prospect can say, the prospect will resist. Basically, the prospect will object when there is no objection!
Don’t Sell. HELP The Prospect Buy
As a professional sales person you have to be careful not to push too hard or to do your job too well. You want to help the prospect to understand that the purchase is in their best interest, but leave room so the prospect feels he or she has a choice, an option.
Of course, you can have the answers or the successful rebuttals to those objections. But it is usually a good idea to hold on to an ace-in-the-hole. Hold on to some objection that the prospect can use. Then, slowly, discuss the issue and overcome the objection. In this way the buyer feels he or she had some say, some option.
Don’t be the slick sales person who has an “answer for everything.” Instead be the consultant who, together with the prospect, can figure out a solution to every problem!
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“I want to think about it…” may be the most popular objection in the world, and still causes many sales people a lot of grief and substantial income. The reason behind the objection is usually that the sales interaction did not successfully inspire a sense of urgency in the prospect. As I have said before, you need to address and nullify most objections during the sales process or interaction and long before you ask for the order.
However, I know the “Want to think about it…” objection still haunts many professionals, so allow me to give you one little gem that can help you close a few more sales, even if you waited until the last minute.
You Have BEEN Thinking About It
Before I give you an example, I want you to understand the concept. In answering this objection, you want to help the prospect realize that they have already BEEN thinking about it, and for a long time.
Essentially, you want the prospect to understand that he or she has thought about, desired and sought the benefits your product or service offers, long before you ever came along. The prospect always wanted those benefits; always wanted the results that your product delivers.
Your next step is to help the prospect also understand that while they have been thinking about the benefits, the exact vehicle, method or tool that would help them achieve and receive those benefits, is what they did not know of, and that is what they really need to think about.
Value, Affordability, Competition
When you successfully accomplish the first two steps, you turn the “think about it” objection into one of value, price or competition, which you should be able to handle.
Here is a generic example, and as always, remember, this is a hypothetical example and is in no way meant as suggested script. It is the idea and the concept that I want you to digest.
Selling advertising and marketing services to a small business owner
Prospect – “Like I said, it looks great, but I really need to think about it.”
Sales Person – “Steve, you’ve already thought about it. In fact you have BEEN thinking about this for years.”
Prospect – “What are you talking about? I just met you and found out about your services.”
Sales Person – “Steve, you told me you opened up the store, what was it…11 years ago? Is that right?”
Prospect – “Yeah. Last month made it 11 years.”
Sales Person – “Then Steve, you have been thinking about this for at least 11 years. For 11 years you’ve been thinking about becoming the biggest most successful Widget maker in this area, haven’t you?”
Prospect – “Uh, well yeah…”
Sales Person – “Steve, from the very day you opened the doors, you wanted to get ALL of the business in your doors. You wanted to capture the largest possible share of the Widget market that you could get, didn’t you? I mean from DAY ONE, you wanted to become NUMBER ONE in the Widget industry, outshining all of your competition, isn’t that right?”
Prospect – “Well, of course…”
Sales Person – “Steve, our products and services do nothing less than help you get what you have always thought about getting, and help you do what you’ve been thinking about doing for the last 11 years.
What I am saying Steve, is that you have been thinking about these issues, these benefits for years. The only thing you may not have known was what was the best vehicle, the best and most cost efficient method or tool to help get you there. Does that make sense?”
Steve, there are only two issues that you do have to decide on, and they are, number one:
Do you really believe that our ExecPlan Service will actually help you get those things you’ve been thinking about? “
(Note: If the answer is NO, maybe, I don’t know or anything but a resounding YES, then guess what? That’s right; you blew it in the sales interaction somewhere. Go back to what you missed, to what you failed to help the prospect understand, and take it from there. If the answer is yes…”
Prospect – “Oh yeah! Like I said, I think it’s a great plan…”
Sales Person – “Well Steve, it sounds like the main thing you really want to make sure of is if the plan truly is the best value for the money, and if you can really afford to make the move today. Does that sound more like what you want to ponder?”
Another important thing to understand about this close, is that often, the main thing the prospect needs is that rekindling of their dreams.
Husband and Wife
“Sharon and Mike, you have been thinking about this for years and years. The very day you bought this home and began to start a family, you already thought about providing your children with the very best home environment and education that you could. You have been thinking about making sure they stay in the best of health. The day little Mike was born, you vowed then and there to make sure he would have…”
You get the idea.
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You ask for the order and the prospect does not accept. Is the prospect objecting, stalling or is there a condition that is preventing the sale?
I know these terms are familiar, but I don’t believe most sales people understand the differences between these three no-sale responses. However, understanding the difference will allow you to respond in the proper manner, and help you close a few more sales.
#1 = An Objection
First, understand that an objection is a situation in where the prospect CAN buy, but has made a decision not to do so. While there may seem to be 10,000 objections out there, essentially there are only two. The prospect, for one reason or another, does not fully believe in, or is not SOLD on, the analysis of the problem, or the solution to solve it.
Diagnosis and Prescription
For the prospect to buy, your product or service has to solve a problem the prospect is having or satisfy some desire. Therefore, as you heard me say a million times, you have to unearth the prospect’s problems to expose the want and need. You then present the solution to solve those problems and satisfy the want and need.
When the prospect objects, they disagree with your assessment of the problem or your solution to it. Either, they do not believe that the problem, the need, is as bad or as urgent as you say, or your solution will not solve the problem or it cost more than the problem itself.
Objections are actually a good thing, in that they expose areas in your sales interaction where you may have come up short. Remember, however, that with an objection, the prospect has made a decision. The decision was “NO.” That is also good, because now you can give the buyer NEW information so that they can make a NEW decision
#2 = A Stall
A stall is where the prospect has NOT made a decision, and is doing everything possible NOT to make a decision. The problem sales people have with a stall, is that they usually try to get the prospect to make a decision AND make a positive buying decision at the same time. That’s too much to ask for.
Often, the sales person is trying to overcome an objection, when the prospect has not yet made a decision. In such a case, there IS NO OBJECTION to overcome. The prospect will not decide. With a stall, just help the prospect to make a decision, either “YES” or “NO.” Then, if the decision is no, you have an objection.
#3 = A Condition
A condition is a situation in where circumstances make it impossible for the prospect to buy. A condition is something that neither you nor the prospect can do anything about. A condition is an obstacle in where even if the prospect desperately wanted to buy, they could not.
You should have qualifying filters in place to eliminate prospects that cannot buy, very early in the sales process. However, you will sometimes end up in a situation where something will prevent the sale.
Far too many sales people today, accept routine objections and stalls as if they are conditions, when they are not.
“Your displays look great, and I really wish I could buy them. But, our home office will not allow us to display merchandise from outside vendors. It is a violation of my franchise contract.”
That is a CONDITION.
“Your displays look great, and I really wish I could buy them. But I really just don’t have the funds right now…”
That is NOT a condition.
An objection = give more information to get a new decision.
A stall = help the prospect make a decision and be willing to accept “NO.”
A condition (a real one that is) = qualify your prospects better and avoid this.
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Objections: those reasons, stalls, excuses, or otherwise barriers that prevent you from closing the sale. Every professional sales person is familiar with objections, and has invested significant amounts of time learning how to deal with objections. You may not like sales objections, but let’s face it; if prospects did not object, you probably would not have a job.
A Different View
Today however, I want you to take a moment and THINK a little differently about objections. I want you to look at objections from a different perspective. In doing so, I believe it will help you better understand the buyer and your processes in handling and overcoming more objections successfully.
A Good Question
“Why do you try to overcome an objection?”
Before you answer that question too quickly, let me add this bit of news. Who is it that has the objection? Is it YOU? No. Ok. It is the prospect who actually has an objection, not you. How then, does anything really change if YOU overcome the objection?
You see, since it is the prospect that has the objection, the problem, the mental block that is stalling the sales process, then it is really the prospect who has to overcome the objection—NOT you.
A Different Way of Thinking
If the prospect objects on price, then it is the prospect that has to overcome that feeling and belief. Whatever the objection, it is the prospect that has to get past it. I say this because the only thing you can truly do is HELP the prospect get over the objection.
Instead of viewing the objection you get as an obstacle, as an obstruction, as a call-to-war, look at it as a time that you really need to HELP the prospect get through a difficult point of understanding.
The Same Side
As a professional sales person dealing with today’s modern and educated buyer, remember that you are on the same side. You want the same thing. The sales process is not a fight or a battle where someone wins and someone looses.
When the prospect raises an objection, you can battle with rebuttals and try to overcome the objection, or you can HELP the prospect solve his or her problem by working together.
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You have gone through the entire sales presentation. You have closed a dozen times. You faced and, you thought, you overcame, what seems like a thousand objections; and still the prospect will not buy.
It’s all over and it’s time to leave. Try this last ditch effort. Hey, you have nothing to lose!
No scripts or magic words here. I want you first to understand the philosophy about this concept. When you have lost the sale, the fact is that you have failed. If you believe in your heart that the prospect would be better off by owning what you sell, then if they do not buy, they have to be worse off. Does that make sense?
The prospect is going to suffer, pay more, lose more, save less, or in some way, pay the price for not buying your product or service and it is YOUR fault. You failed to help the prospect see and understand that they truly need what you have. When you do not close the sale, if your only concern is that you lost a commission, you are not yet a true professional. You should feel that you let the prospect down.
So apologise for your ineptness. Apologise that you were not able to help him, her or the organisation.
“I’m sorry. But like I said, I am not going to go ahead with this. It looks great, but I just cannot swing it right now.”
“No Steve. I am sorry. I really apologise to you. I’m sorry. ”
“You have nothing to be sorry about.”
“Oh yes I do. Apparently, I was not able to show you how much you really need our XJ200.”
“No. I can see that I need it…”
“Well, then I was not a good enough sales person to help you see that it will save you thousands of pounds every year.”
“No, you did that. Like I said, it really looks good…”
“Well, then I must not have been capable of making it clear of how easily affordable it is and that it will pay for itself in a short time.”
“I can understand that…”
Accept Apology or Explain
As you can see, with this approach the prospect has to either argue with your apology, in which case he or she eliminates all the objections. Or the prospect can accept your apology, in which case they tell you exactly what the problem is that is holding them back.
“I apologise that I am not a good enough sales person to show you exactly how our help desk software will save you thousands of pounds every month.”
“Well, that’s ok. I think other companies have more problems at their helpdesk than we do…”
Once you found where you came up short in your sales interaction, you can try to go back and fix it.
“You are so right, Sarah. That is what I think I missed. Give me another minute; let me show you how the help desk features work…”
Hey, it won’t save every deal. But you are sure to close a few that you thought were lost!
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It’s that wonderful time of the year again! Unfortunately, for many professional sales people, this otherwise joyous and happy time spells a predictable period of slowed sales and reduced income caused by an age-old seasonal objection.
“It all looks very good, but I think I will wait until after Christmas…”
“We are going to hold off until the beginning of the New Year…”
Below are three powerful tips to help you deal with this yearly Christmas break objection.
#1. Up The Urgency
While you always need to infuse a strong sense of urgency in your sales interaction and during the entire sales process, during this time of year, it is imperative that you overwhelm the prospect with the need to act today.
If you have done a proper sales interaction, you should have uncovered some real problems and pain the prospect is having, and exposed the need. You should be able to show the prospect that they are losing or suffering in some way.
Relate the Problem to the Christmas Break
Now take the problems that you have unearthed and relate them directly to the Christmas Break, and illustrate how those problems intensify, grow and become worse during the holiday.
As an example, consider a situation where the prospect is losing customers and your product or service helps solve the problem. If the prospect’s potential customers increase during the holiday, then they lose even more customers during that time.
Relate the problems that you solve to the negative effects of Christmas. Explain that this time of year is not the time to wait, but the most important time to act.
#2. Use the Holiday Yourself as a Positive
Use the Christmas Break objection as a positive reason to act now, before the prospect can use it as a reason to stall. Start out talking about how this time of year is exactly why you are there now.
“Susan, since your store traffic increases so much during this time of year, the savings that our X22 System provides increases dramatically as well. That is why I wanted to get together with you before the start of the New Year.”
“Steve, you get the most value from our service during Christmas, since so many of your employees are out of the office. In fact, the system could actually pay for itself between now and the start of the New Year.”
#3. Expose the Real Objection
Like most economy objections, the Christmas Break objection is usually something else in disguise. Figure out the real objection and deal with it. Here is an example:
Prospect: “Like I said, I love the idea, but I need to wait until after Christmas before I do anything. “
Sales Person: “Sara, can you help me understand exactly what will be different in mid January? I mean, what will change between now and then?”
Prospect: “Ah, well…I’ll have a new budget first of all. I don’t really have the funds right now.”
Sales Person: “Ooh! So, then what you are saying is that it is not actually Christmas, but rather that right now you don’t feel you can afford it. Is that right?”
Now deal with the affordability objection. Another example:
Sales Person: “Ethan, what is it that will be different between now and after Christmas?”
Prospect: “Ah, well, I don’t’ know. I just rather wait until then.”
Sales Person: “So, it is not that anything will change, it is just that you have not made up your mind?”
Prospect: “Ah, yes. I’m so busy during this time; I just need some time to go over all of the options.”
Sales Person: “Oh, ok. Then it is not so much about Christmas or even the New Year. It is really that you just feel you need time to think about it. Is that right?”
Prospect: “Yes. And next month I’ll have more time to sit down and think about everything…”
Now deal with the “I want to think about it,” objection.
Push the urgency.
Use Christmas as your objective, rather than the prospect’s objection.
Expose the truth.
Bestselling Author, Sales Authority & Speaker On Modern Day Selling Methods
How frustrating is it when your client has gone through your proposal and your presentation and then said ‘I want to shop around and get some quotes form other suppliers’? It’s not obvious from his statment what exactly his objection is to your proposal, so it may be necessary for you to probe a little deeper to find out precisely what he is needing to shop around for.
Here are some ideas on what to do to find out exactly what they will be shopping for:
1) Confirm that they want to get the best product and service around. It may be that they don’t mind what quality they get, as long as it’s cheap. If that’s the case, you need to identify exactly what they want for the money they will be investing. Basically, people want value for money rather than cheap, so you need to confirm if the quality of what you’re offering will be good for them.
2) Ask what they will be checking with the other suppliers. This gets the real objections out in the open, whether it’s price-orientated, delivery-driven or quality-based. It enables you to deal with the challenge up-front if it’s a specific area of concern for him.
3) Confirm that they will buy from the supplier that meets or exceeds their requirements in the particular area(s) they are looking at. This way, you get commitment from them up front
4) Show him your prepared document of how you fare against the competition in all competitive areas. This document shows you’ve done the homework for him. If he’s price-sensitive, look at all the prices your competition offers against similar products, and how you compare against them. Be ready to justify any higher prices you charge through your back-up services, warranties, deliveries, services, etc. This comparison will help your client make the right decision without having to do the legwork themselves.
5) If you don’t have that comparison chart already prepared, tell him you will do it for him and let him have the comparisons. If the competition win, you will tell him how your company can still offer value in other areas that will outweigh the benefits of going with the competition. If they say they don’t want you to go to that trouble, then confirm that their business means a lot to you and you don’t mind going to the trouble of finding out. It keeps you at the top of your game and helps you with your competitor analysis.
So, the prospect saying that he’s shopping around shouldn’t be the major obstacle that many salespeople think it is. If you do your homework properly, you will be able to help your prospect realise you offer the best possible quality and service out of all the competition, and you will save them having to do the hard work themselves. You also prove that you would be the kind of supplier that will offer great back-up and service after they start their partnership with you.
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