Customers are saying ‘It costs too much.” “Business is slow I don’t need to advertise.” And most sellers have a prepared response. Unintentionally, these responses are often framed to prove the customer wrong. There’s a better sales technique. It’s very simple: You don’t need to have an answer. You only need a question!
This week Ed Baron of Ed Baron and Associates and myself are facilitating an annual 5-day Sales Boot Camp for 18 sellers of radio, internet, newspaper, alternatives and community newspapers. The week consists of sales training topics on selling skills, competitive media, proposal writing made easy, and powerful partnering. We finished Day 3 and have been having very interesting conversations about sales objections. One seller asked, “Do advertising executives have a cologne of their own? I walk into businesses and they immediately know I’m an advertising sales representative and often before I can even say hello and shake their hand I’m hearing everything and anything from I can’t afford it, to I tried it before and it didn’t work, to the economy is bad and I’m not advertising.” A big discussion ensued about what to say to each of these ‘objections.’ Everyone had many different ‘come backs.’
After listening intently to this conversation, Ed and I asked how often do their responses work and the customer opens up and accepts the opportunity for a meeting to discuss their business and how the seller may have a marketing solution to turn cost into an investment and no customers into more customers? And they said very few.
So, I guess that way isn’t working! I can see where that would be very frustrating and after enough of that kind of rejection begin to demoralize a seller. Sellers can fall into the trap of believing the economy is so bad and business owners won’t buy from me now.
We know that’s not the case. Businesses are buying and they could and would buy from these sellers if they changed how they are currently responding to these objections.
It’s very simple: You don’t need to have an answer. You only need a question! Think about that. If you have a question you:
• Engage the customer. They will be the one talking and often they talk themselves into advancing the sale! Their talking builds rapport and trust.
• Gain more information. It costs too much is too vague. What does that really mean? I don’t have money, I spent money before and didn’t get a return on my investment or I don’t see a value in what you are selling. How do I even know how to respond if I really don’t know specifically what ‘it costs too much’ means to them?
• Reduce stress. Knowing you need the perfect answer is stressful. Wondering if what you say will satisfy the objection and help you advance the sale is stressful. Think about this… having a good question is less stressful. Good questions to those often asked objectives are easy to have – and having several questions to select from is easy which also makes it less stressful.
I challenge to you list the objections you hear and prepare at least one question you can ask to help you advance the sale.
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