Archive for January, 2012

Handling Objections – Head them off at the pass…

January 30, 2012

The best way to overcome objection from sales prospects is to make sure they don’t come up in the first place. Head them off at the pass. If you can get out in front of an objection before it comes up, you have a better chance of making sure it never comes up. By definition, objections are statements that prospects make in response to being offered something. If you offer to drop by next Tuesday, your prospect can raise the objection that Tuesday isn’t good. Objections are also standard equipment for any prospect in need of a quick excuse to avoid making any commitment to you.
What if we sold in a world where there are virtually no objections, and anytime an objection was raised, you could handle it with ease? Is it possible? Perhaps, if you can head the objection off at the pass, and keep it from coming up in the first place.
I think salespeople struggle with objections because they don’t understand what an objection really is. I also don’t think salespeople understand how much they help prospects bring up objections. They shoot themselves in the foot because they talk too much, and that’s just what a prospect needs to raise an objection.
I’ve already defined what an objection is, so let’s examine how salespeople help their prospects bring up objections. Whenever someone speaks to another person, and the other person responds, it’s called an exchange. Two people speak, and they form their response based on what they other person said to them. It works like a tennis match, it’s back and forth until the conversation is over. As for objections in conversation, when you propose something to a prospect, or make a claim about your product, it signals prospects that it’s time for them to respond in some way. Unfortunately with objections, they tend to be negative (for you). So, if you offer something to a prospect that you know in advance would generate a negative response, do you think it makes sense to offer it anyway? Of course not, but that’s what salespeople do.
The best way to head objections off at the pass is to stop offering things to prospects, or making a claim about your product, and start asking simple questions that qualify them. Ask them for time to talk, ask whether they are the right person to call, ask if they have a problem, and so on. And, only give a short introduction of your business in terms of the specific problem you solve. Exercise your Miranda rights, and don’t say anything that will get you into trouble. Spare them the details early on. Say less up front, and you’ll find there’s less for prospects to object to. That’s how you head the objection off at the pass!


Why Can’t Prospects Just Say “No”?

January 7, 2012

Some prospects just can’t say “No”! The fact is that most prospects take to the middle ground of ‘thinking it over’ when they really want to say “NO”. The problem is that they don’t have the guts to tell you. This can drive you crazy if you don’t manage your expectations in advance, and know how to effectively deal with those prospects that just can’t say “No”.
I had a phone conversation with a sales prospect of mine today. We had met at a seminar I conducted earlier this week, and at the end of the seminar I passed around an application for my next Gold Call Club training class the following week. I told the audience as I passed out the applications that by filling out the application it meant that they were interested in paying the $250 to join the club. I went as far as to say that they shouldn’t feel any pressure to sign up, and that if they weren’t interested, by all means don’t fill out and return the application! Could I have been any more up front, and fair about it?

Once the seminar ended, several people came up to me and handed in their applications. All followed through and made their purchase on-line except one. After a couple of days I called him up on the phone and asked whether he had received my email. He told me that he hadn’t been on his computer in 2 days. “Uh Oh”! I said to myself, and from what I could gather from the tone of his voice, I started to get that sinking feeling that this guy is about to back out of the class.
 So… I reiterated what it was that I said to the seminar group two nights ago that there was no pressure to say “No”, and asked my prospect if I should cross his name off the class roster. That’s when he stalled by saying, “No, I just need to digest his stuff first”. Huh? After a 2 hour seminar, and answering all his questions following the seminar, now he needs to ‘eat’ and digest’ my course to figure out what he wants to do? Baloney!
 Why didn’t he just say “No”? After all, that’s what he wanted to say, or something to that effect. But no, this prospect just could not tell me the honest truth, and tell me “No”. He wanted to play games, and ‘Think it Over’ instead.

How many times have you had prospects avoid making a decision, even after you’ve laid out the ground rules, and given them permission to say “No” if they weren’t interested? Frustrating isn’t it? 
In my career I’ve had all sorts of ‘Think it Over Prospects’. Some are animals – They want to; “Bear it in mind”. Others are insomniacs, and have told me that they “want to sleep on it”. As for my prospect this week, he was on a diet, and wanted to “digest” my application. 
Despite my encouragement, my prospect refused to tell me “No”. Sure I could have gone on and on, wearing him down until he finally gave up and told me “NO”. But I just decided to let it go. Why get all worked up over a prospect that just wants to ‘pull my chain’?

I ended the call politely, but as I hung up the phone I crossed out his name on the application, and threw it in the trash wondering why he bothered to fill out the application in the first place.
 Some prospects just can’t say “No”. Instead they say things like “digest it”, “sleep on it”, “bear it in mind”, “noodle it over”, “maybe”, “possibly”, “perhaps”. Whenever I hear these little quips, I know it’s a “No”.  No sense in fooling myself that it means anything else…