As a sales trainer, I often hear sales delegates asking how to get over some of the tricky objections. The most common of course being “I have no budget”, “wrong time of year” “I can get it cheaper elsewhere” etc. Dealing with objections can be tricky and if sales people cannot anticipate what is coming, then each time it happens the sales person is caught unawares. Objections are going to happen, but if we examine the reasons why clients object or more specifically why a client didn’t buy, we can learn that it is in large part down to three things. 1- the client doesn’t want it enough, 2- the seller hasn’t made themself unique enough and 3 – the client simply doesn’t believe.
In their recent and quite brilliant book Insight Selling by Schulz and Doerr we are introduced to what is described as The Value Proposition. This very simple and very elegant model really works and I have myself realised its value in my own business! After reading this book and using the tools, I wish I had known this a long time ago. They address these three areas in quite some detail but the idea is as follows.
Make them want it!
A sales person needs to create what is known as ‘resonance’ with their client. This resonance is a feeling that both parties are on the same page, speak the same language and have a connection. This connection manifests itself in two ways.
The first is emotional resonance and occurs when the client connects specifically with the sales person. The client will say things like “I see you understand our business and I believe we could work well together.” The second is technical resonance, and this is where the client connects with the product being sold. They will say, “That looks like it could work well for us and deliver some great results.” See the difference. By getting the client to resonate with either the sales person or the product or even better both, the chance of the client objecting at this level is heavily reduced.
Head and shoulders above the competition.
We often hear sales people claiming to be different, and often this is dropped into sales calls or meetings early on. As such it has little meaning, as the explanation as to why doesn’t connect with the client. Personally I hate hearing sales people say this, it sounds trite and shallow. I prefer the word relevant. Relevance makes the difference and therefore has to mean more to the client. Being different to the completion is one thing, being relevant to the client is something better. This approach is known as differentiation, and this ultimately makes the seller the only choice in the clients mind. Furthermore, if there is a tender process going on or if multiple sales people are being considered, then the salesperson that is savvy will establish not only if the client is seeing other people, but also where they are in the order of being seen. If they are first then they need to ensure that their business and by default themselves, are the business that every other sales person will be compared to. If however, they are further in the order, they need to establish what previous sales people have offered, that the client has liked, and then make their offering more relevant. By doing this effectively, the sales person creates a point of differentiation and is less likely to have objections based around price comparison or service comparison, for example the client that asks “what is you best price?” definitely wants the product but the sales person has not done enough to make themselves first choice.
Back it up and make them believe.
For years I have been training sales people to understand the people buy from people they trust, like and believe in. If you don’t believe this, then just look at how hairdressers work, their whole business is built on whether their client trust them, believe in them and like them. This concept of belief is about ensuring that any claims a sales person makes about their product or service can be backed up or substantiated. Substantiating claims reinforces trust and builds on the understanding that the product being offered has validity. One of the easiest forms of substantiating is to use the testimonial or recommendation, as it simply tells the client “don’t take my word for it, read my recommendations.” These testimonials need to be farmed and used on sales collateral and marketing material as well as in meetings. Other ways of substantiating and building trust include reference official groups or formal research and statistics, as this too offers valid impartiality. By substantiating effectively you remove the probability of the client seeing the sales person or their product s a risk.
Whenever sales people call or meet with a client, calling on this powerful trio will help to reduce to probability of some of the key objections. In preparation for these calls, the sales person should have ready a method to resonate with the client either emotionally or technically, evidence of relevance to differentiate themselves effectively and finally real proof to back up and substantiate their claims. Get this right and the result will be great sales wins, higher sales values and in time loyal clients who will in turn deliver repeat business and testimonials which can then be used on the next generations of sales prospects.
This blog forms part of Sales Training delivered by me Simon SerialTrainer7. If you require training for your sales team please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07979 537824.