Overcoming Common Objections
Part Two in Our Look at Winning Strategies
By Beth Standlee, CEO, TrainerTainment
Last month, we looked at some of the most common objections group sales people face. I promised to get back to you with the ones I find more difficult for me personally and a most-common birthday objection.
Let’s start with other subtle objections:
1. They won’t call back: It’s easy to assume that a no-call-back scenario is an objection. Be careful! Remember that it is your job to sell the customer and not the other way around. If the customer is not returning your phone calls, you must assume that they’re very busy. Think about your own inbox and the number of calls you’re faced with returning every day. Your customer is no different and maybe you just haven’t moved up the priority list yet. Keep calling back. When you leave messages, indicate a time that you will call back. If they think they can ignore you and you’ll just go away, then they will ignore you. If they know you intend to help them by introducing your product, and you are going to be persistent, then they will respect who you are as a sales professional. Remember, the sales person who shows up wins.
2. They put off until next week, and then the next week, and then… Again, do not be discouraged. Timing is everything. If a customer chooses to delay a decision, it is imperative that you, as the sales professional, discuss the situation with the customer. The conversation might go something like this:
Customer: I really need to wait until the first of the year to make this decision.
Sales Rep: Well, talk to me about your hesitation. What keeps you from making a decision sooner? (Really important: Be quiet. Anytime you ask a customer for feedback which may come in the form of a comment, a decision, or an objection, you must be calm and quiet.)
Customer: “Well, we just don’t have the budget for this type of event. After the first of the year, we will review the money that is allocated to off-site meetings, and then I’ll have a better idea of what we could do.
Sales Rep: That makes perfect sense to me. Mr. Customer, would it be beneficial for you to have our location as the site for that first-of-the-year meeting? I’m sure we could work something out so your people would be able to see how much fun it is to utilize an off-site location to get in the right frame of mind to make great decisions for the company. So much of the time you can’t see the forest for the trees and an off-site location could be the best opportunity you’ve had in a long time!
3. Silence: I have to admit, I have no idea what to do with this objection. Silence is something beyond subtle. I can’t sell well to the person who simply will not engage. In my old Tupperware days, I knew I was out of luck when I was working with a non-responsive guest who would not even answer my probing “wouldn’t you like to book your own party?” query while writing up her order. Stone cold silence is a rough one for me.
From a birthday party perspective, the most common objection seems to be, I need to talk with my child, husband, wife or mom. My favorite response to this objection is, “I’m so glad you shared that with me, what do you think they will say?” This response works very well. I’ve found the buyer often times verbalizes the real concern or talks themselves into taking care of business right then. We are all too busy to wait to do something later. Now is the best time to buy.
Conclusion: It’s really easy to offer objections yourself. I’ve done it. I get nervous and just start blabbing. I have watched the best sales efforts turn south when it comes time to ask for the sale or overcome an objection. Do not panic. Stay calm. Listen. Let the customer come up with their own objections. Do not help them with this part of the sales process! And then get ready to learn.
An objection doesn’t have to be rejection. In fact, it’s the perfect time to learn what more you need to do to sell your product to the next customer. Disappointment and defensiveness destroy any chance of gaining the sale. Debrief every sales call. Pay attention to what goes right and what goes wrong. In no time you’ll be ready for any objection and able to turn want might have been rejection into new business!
Beth is the CEO of TrainerTainment LLC, a training company devoted to the family entertainment and hospitality industries. Beth and her team are focused on helping the companies they serve make more money through sales, guest service, leadership and social media marketing training. Training products and services are delivered in person, through books and DVDs, and virtually with e-learning courses, webinar development and 24/7 online access. Visit her company’s website at www.trainertainment.com.