I wonder what customers are thinking sometimes.
Why is it that a lot of the time as soon we begin talking, they immediately try to shut us down? It can’t be anything we’ve said, because we haven’t even had time to say anything yet! Yet they seem so skeptical and unyielding. Maybe it’s because of where they live:
The Trail of Unkept Promises
Unfortunately for you and me, a lot of really sloppy, lazy and even unethical things have been done to them previously in the name of sales. It’s not our fault. It’s quite likely nothing to do with us personally, but it will stop us from doing our jobs if we let it. How will we be different from the rest? When it comes to objection handling in sales, we will often need to overcome the stigma they have in their minds with all sales people in general.
I work with hundreds of new contacts every week and this is a formidable hurdle. When I ask them to consider the possibility of working with our company – Oh, the stories I hear! Here are some things I’ve found that can leave prospects misgivings in the dust and get them to look forward to the possibilities instead.
Why Should I Trust You?
By default, when we contact someone for the first time, we’re already starting from a negative position. In order to gain the respect of prospects and be granted time and access, we will often need to overcome the negative stigma in their minds first. “I have gotten ten calls from guys like you today. I’m all set.” How do we overcome this? More times than not I’ve gotten past this by developing the habit of asking great questions; questions that lead them to realize that I am indeed not like those other ten guys. It’s not easy, but it is possible to demonstrate insight that shows we are in fact capable of helping them navigate the #%$^&storm they are facing and provide some real value that is worth their consideration.
What Does That Even Mean?
My customers are artists, entrepreneurs, craftsmen, lawyers, dog groomers, realtors, doctors, etc. They do not live in the realm of digital marketing. It’s on me to get their position, to learn and speak their language; to express value in terms that mean a lot to them personally in their industry. Moreover, it’s my job to tell the story in such a way that it holds sway in their world, and do it right quick, because they are trying to cram 20 hours of work into a 12 hour day.
Just Answer The Question.
So you know everything about your widgets. Nice. Shut up about them! Nobody cares about your products and services. Talk with them about their problems or opportunities instead. Speak with them about the things that they find important. Ask questions about their business until they begin asking questions of their own. When answering, let your answers be simple and direct. As soon as you are done meeting with them, write those questions down. In your “spare time,” think about how those questions tell you exactly what they really care about the most. Practice what you will say next time, when you get asked those same questions. Think about how you can be even more direct, concise and on their radar next time.
I Need Some Time To Think About It.
Often we sales people are all too eager to say yes. Soon as we find someone who will listen, we get all excited and start with the open ended questions (AKA: discovery mode), visions of dollar signs dancing in our heads. But before you get down that road too far, stop and think about the total time you wasted on tire-kickers last month.
Tibor Shanto does a great job explaining why closed ended questions have their place in sales too. There’s great value in open-ended questions, but at some point we must determine if a prospect is ready to move or not? If not, keep the door open, but remember, there are plenty of others out there who have already had time to think and are ready to go.
Objection Handling In Sales
Check out these other great posts about objection handling:
What are some other things your customers have said to you by way of objections? How else have they been disenchanted with previous sales yabos? Do tell! (leave a comment below and win a free reply)