By Jim Ewan
Objections! A word that strikes terror into the salesperson’s heart! But should it? Let’s examine the facts.
First, there are probably no more than half a dozen objections to whatever your sales proposition may be. That being the case; learn the answers! Obviously the objections you encounter will be different to those other people in different businesses find recurring. But mostly objections boil down to:
Price/Value/Cost – The price is too high compared with what I sees as the value.
You need proof of the value – testimonials/profit or savings figures
Time – I don’t need it yet or I need it sooner than you can deliver.
Reveal the cost of them putting off buying and/or justify your delivery timescale perhaps with proof of value argument
Credibility/Trust – I like the sound of it but don’t yet trust you or the concept is unproven.
Again testimonials, test results, profit/savings facts
Politics – What will my boss think? What happens if it goes wrong? I need to discuss it with partner/spouse/co-directors.
Why do you think double-glazing salespeople always insist both spouses be present? Establish early on who is involved in the decision and get agreement to present to all of them
Knowledge – I don’t know enough about this to make a decision. (Usually combines with credibility/trust.)
Testimonials from recognized authorities. Trade/professional journal articles or sell your training course as an add-on!
Second, the best way to handle an objection is before it is stated. This is what a barrister would do when presenting a case in court. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” he/she would begin, “You may be thinking that the accused has a guilty look about him. But looks are not evidence of guilt; they are an accident of nature.” He/she might continue, “You may be thinking that the accused’s confession represents solid evidence. But that confession was extorted under duress and has since been retracted most forcefully.” And so our barrister would continue; exposing the jury’s unstated prejudices and demolishing them one by one. You can do the same with those half dozen objections that you find keep cropping up. If you are selling on-line then the only way to handle objections is in advance of course. That’s why you have a ‘FAQ’ section! This is where you gather all the objections you have ever heard – still probably only half a dozen basic ones but with variations that you need to include to make sure you cover all eventualities. Then you turn the objections into questions and answer them in depth and detail.
Don’t worry about being long-winded; if they have come this far they are truly interested and the more information you provide, the more likely is it that you will make a sale. But if your answer is very long, drop in some ‘buy now’ opportunities along the way for those who become convinced early.
Article contributed by Jim Ewan, personal development and business development expert.