I am so proud and honoured to provide sales advice and guidance to companies large and small up and down the Country. There are so many fundamental elements to sales that all need to be addressed, coached, and practiced to ensure overall sales success. It is so hard to just learn a few sales principles and wake up the next day and be a true sales professional. Sales is like any subject you study; you need to be coached from start to finish and be given ample opportunity to go out in to the field and put your new skill base to the test.
Despite there being so many sales elements to study, all of which do need to be taught, there is one key skill that so few think about and so few work on.
This is the skill of questioning objections.
Whenever you sell a product or service, you are going to face objections. Rejections. And rebuttals. It is so easy to hear these objections and walk away with your tail between your legs. Perhaps you know of sales people who turn quite arrogant when they face rejection;
“Oh, they were just time wasters.”
“They don’t know what they want.”
“They would never have been able to afford us anyway.”
Some, blame themselves and shoulder the embarrassment of not getting the sale. But what if there was a way to truly find out why your prospect chose to not buy from you? What if you could get to the bottom of the reasons why your offer was not taken up upon and why you lost the sale?
Well, quite simply, there is. Question the objection.
“We aren’t interested right now.”
“I need to speak with my wife.”
“Let me run it past my boss first.”
“It’s just not the right time.”
“I cannot afford it right now.”
All of these are genuine rebuttals that I am sure you would have experience at some stage in your sales or business life. And they are all fair enough, right? I am sure you may have used them when a sales person has asked you for a sale, right?
But how many of you are honest enough to admit that upon hearing an initial objection you have walked away without a second thought? Perhaps making up excuses on behalf of your prospect? And how many of you have had the confidence to ask the prospect for further clarification?
“I hear what you are saying. When do you feel will be a good time to catch up about this again?”
“Is it worth me sitting down with you and your boss so I can answer first hand any questions she has?”
“I understand. When do you feel will be the best time? Is it worth us booking a meeting again for then?”
Sometimes an objection is just a shield put up by the buyer to stop making a decision in the heat of the moment. How many times have you heard; “I need to think about it”?
“I understand that Mr prospect. What exactly do you need to think about? Perhaps I have not explained the opportunity that well?” For all you know, by asking a question such as this will open up the real reason why the prospect does not want to buy from you – and from here, you can find the solution to that problem.
Let’s look at it from a personal point of view. I get so many people fighting for my business and people sending my proposals for various bits and bobs. I decline quite a lot of them, I will be honest. Primarily because I have no need for what they are offering, but sometimes to put the business person or sales man to the test. I like to see if they are willing to fight for my business and to see if they are worth me spending money on them. Recently, I declined an advertisement offer. I emailed the sales person to politely decline, and I heard nothing back. No one came back to me to explain my thought process, to see if they could do anything better, or to even thank me for my time. Nothing. Does this make me want to support, buy from, or do business with this person again in the future? Hell no.
You know that I am the least pushy sales person in the world, in fact, I detest pushy sales people, but I still get results. My sales records speak for themselves and everyone I have trained in sales have had incredible results. But, always be willing to question the objection. You do not have to be pushy, manipulative in your response. Asking for reasons why will give you a second chance to make the sale!
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