When is the best time to overcome objections? Before you get them. Old-school-sales says the sale doesn’t start until objections are raised. Untrue! Objections slow the sales process, not speed it up. Avoiding objections creates stress-free selling. Here are nine ways to avoid objections:
1. Believe. In every cell of your body, believe what you are doing is good for your prospect. If you don’t, your disbelief will be believed. If you don’t believe 100 percent, develop it or find another job.
2. Call the right people. When I first started selling, I was told to call everyone. It didn’t take long to realize everyone was not a good prospect. Selling to bad prospects is hard. Since we don’t have time to call everyone we want as it is, choosing those most likely to buy makes objections evaporate.
3. Plan before calling. Before getting your prospect on the phone, find out who to speak with, how often and where they advertise, and what their most likely hot button is. Check their Web site. Read their ads. Talk to people in associations. Preparation builds trust, an essential ingredient permitting sales to occur effortlessly.
4. Introduce yourself meaningfully. Use the information you gathered to create interest in speaking with you. This kills the objections within minutes of a call. “I’m not interested,” “Send your media kit to me,” and “How much is it?” are other ways of saying, “You haven’t given me a reason to speak with you, so I’m going to say something to get rid of you.”
5. Find out what’s important to them. Before talking about yourself, uncover their goals, challenges and top priorities. Get the information you need to overcome objections.
6. Sell benefits. Include a benefit statement after every single feature. Your clients and prospects don’t want to buy advertising. They need advertising to help accomplish goals. They do have non-advertising options: PR, trade shows and direct mail, for example. They buy ads to help achieve results, not because they want advertising. Show how you will help achieve results, and watch objections vanish.
7. Check In. Before leaving one point for another, make sure prospects agree with what you just discussed. If they don’t, you haven’t earned the right to talk about anything else. Or better said, if you don’t check in, you will hear, “I have to think about it,” “Your price is too high,” or “I’m not interested,” because they don’t feel like telling you what the problem is. After all, you didn’t respect them to find out what their concerns were at the right time, why should they respect you and tell you at the wrong time? Before moving on, check in, and you will uncover concerns and cause objections to fade into oblivion.
8. Raise objections first! If you know you are going to get an objection raise the issue first. Unaddressed objections do not go away. Unsurfaced, you have no chance to address it. Plus, and here’s the kicker, if you raise it first, it’s your objection, not theirs. If they raise it, you’re on opposite sides. Raising objections turns them into discussion points.
9. Stay customer focused. When you talk about yourself, only raise points that help achieve their goals, which you know because you did such a great job planning.
Effective salespeople spend more time talking about benefits than features. Customers don’t care about features. They care what the features will do for them.
Check your sales tactics to see if you are self-centered or customer-focused. Record a presentation, look at a letter you’ve written, or have someone take notes while you make a presentation. Count the number of times you say “I,” “we” or your magazine or company name. Now count the number of times you say “you,” “your” or their company name. Inexperienced salespeople talk about themselves ten times more than their customers. Successful salespeople say “I,” “we” and their company name one time for every ten they mention the prospect.
When you focus on their needs, goals and objectives, you naturally speak about them and not you.
Zig Ziglar, one of the greatest sales trainers of all time, said, “You can get everything you want in life as long as you help others get everything they want.” Stay customer focused, and objections will become a thing of the past.
Jena� Rubin is president of Sales Powerhouse, a sales and marketing consulting and training firm whose mission is to help you become number one in your market. Jena� is currently writing Stress-Free Selling, the 7 Steps to Successful Sales. Jena� may be reached at www.SalesPowerhouse.com or 954-476-0067.