How do you turn hesitant prospects into customers? Within any sales team, why do the same salespeople, month in and month out, sell more than the others? The sales skills you possess to uncovering and overcoming objections can make the difference between sealing the deal or not.
To get to the step of overcoming objections and closing the sale, we must assume the salesperson has successfully qualified the prospect, initiated a relationship, understands the customer’s needs, has sold the benefits of the product or service, and has established confidence. Once you have completed the necessary building block steps of the sale, you are many times challenged with uncovering the real reason people are not ready to buy? The reason your prospect is not ready to buy is the 64 Million dollar question the professional salesperson must solve. A recommended read is Jefferey Gitomer’s, The Sales Bible. The following are ideas to help you to build successful sales skills to close more sales.
Typically used stalls by prospects are not the real reason people are not ready to pull the trigger. Common stalls sound like the following:
- I want to think about it.
- I will have to talk it over with ……….
- I can’t afford it at the moment.
- I’ll call you in a couple of weeks.
- I am too busy right now to make a decision.
- The price is too high.
Real objections will sound something like this:
- I don’t have the authority to buy it without another person’s permission.
- I have another product or service in mind.
- I think I know I can get a better price elsewhere.
- I have a relative or friend in the business I want to check out.
- I do not have confidence in you, the company, and/or the product.
- I do not have confidence in my understanding of benefits of the product.
A salesperson should always welcome objections. It is a signal the prospect is interested. Keep in mind, no one wants to make a purchasing mistake. Objections are usually raised because the prospect has already made a decision not to purchase your product or service or he has unanswered questions, needing more information before he can confidently make the right purchasing decision.
The following is a list of ideas to help you be prepared to uncover the real objections and close the sale:
1) Listen to the objection and determine whether it is a stall or a real objection.
2) Regardless of your interpretation, agree with the prospect.
3) If you believe the statement to be a stall, you will need to press on to uncover the real objection. For example, if the prospect says, “I would like to think about it for a few days,” you can respond, “You are telling me you want to think about something and I respect that, but I think there is something else you are not comfortable with. Let me help you sort it all out. What exactly is troubling you?”
4) Once you have uncovered an objection, question the prospect to confirm whether there are any more objections. For example, “Are there any additional concerns you have about purchasing this product other than______?”
5) Confirm the objection with the prospect before continuing. For example, “Am I correct in assuming if it wasn’t for __________you would consider purchasing this product?”
6) Confirm that a solution to the objection will move you closer to a sale. For example, “If I were to assure you….or guarantee you….that we would be able to _________, would you consider doing business with our company?”
7) Proceed to offer convincing solutions to satisfy objections in the prospect’s mind.
8) After presenting your solution, ask a trial closing question to confirm you have indeed satisfied the prospect’s objection. For example, “Are you convinced beyond any doubt we can_______?”
9) Assuming you have solved the prospect’s objection and he or she answered you trial closing question in the affirmative, proceed to ask a closing question in an assumption format. For example, “I can set up the delivery for next week. Is that soon enough?”
Learn to Listen for buy signals
Once you detect a buy signal, it is time to start closing. For example, listen for these typical buy signals:
- Questions about availability, delivery, or payment options
- Question about the price of a specific item.
- Questions about the features of a product.
- Questions about quality and warranties.
- Questions about specific company policies.
- Questions about optional products or services.
- Questions about previous customer experiences.
- Request to see a demonstration.
- Request to handle or test a product.
Once you detect a buy signal, be prepared to close with a list of questions requiring your prospect to make a decision. For example:
- When the customer asks, Do you have these in stock? Reply with a closing question, “When do you need it.”
- Does this come in a different color? “What color would you like?”
- Can you deliver next week? “Do you need it next week?”
- Does this have a warranty? “What type of warranty would you like?”
With more knowledge, more practice and preparation, more questions, and improved listening skills, you can improve your closing ratio. Start today by utilizing these tips and examples into your sale strategies and role-play training programs.
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