This is the third post in our Step-by-Step Guide to Sales Prospecting Success. In the first post, we covered the Cold Call. That call culminated in setting an appointment for a ‘First Meeting’ which was step two. Here, in step three, we will show you how to overcome the objections you are likely to face when working with Prospects. Since this is such an important topic and so key to a Salesperson’s success, we have broken this into multiple parts. Here is Part 1.
Objections are often a Salesperson’s nightmare – they keep them up at night and make them reluctant to pick up the phone to make calls in the first place. Knowing you will face them and having a plan and scripting to address and overcome them, is a sure way to reduce some of the frustration.
- Objections at the BEGINNING of the relationship
If you are frequently encountering objections right at the beginning of the relationship with a Prospect, it may be that you are coming on too strong. You may be sounding pushy or ‘salesy’ and making the prospect uncomfortable. If they are feeling that they are being ‘sold too’ or not listened to, it is likely that they will balk and throw up more obstacles.
As we mentioned in Step One: The Cold Call, the Cold Call is NOT a sales call. It is a time to listen and learn. Eliminate objections by making it about THEM, not you or your services.
Price will almost ALWAYS be a point of contention. No one wants to feel like they are paying more than necessary or that they aren’t getting the best deal possible. Focus on the value you and your services ADD and what they will LOSE by NOT investing in them rather than spending time talking about the specific dollars and cents.
- Deflections and Stalls
A typical stall is when a Prospect says, ‘send me an email’. Or when they say, ‘We tried this in the past and it didn’t work’. Sometimes this type of response comes as, ‘We are good‘ or ‘We are happy with what we have’.
When you hear something like this, I suggest leaning INTO it. Say something like, ‘Gee, how did you get so lucky?’ or ‘Wow, I don’t usually hear that – what are you doing right?’. This is NOT what they are used to hearing from a salesperson and underscores that you want to have a CONVERSATION. You want to LISTEN to what they are saying and doing. The information you gain from these conversations will help you better tailor your responses and offerings.
- Happy with the status quo
A frequent obstacle is when a Prospect says, ‘I am happy with my current provider’. I will be honest with you, when someone has a provider that they are happy with and have been with for over 15 years, it IS hard to capture that business but there are a few tactics to try.
Ask, ‘when was the last time you had a third party review your policy or services?’ or ‘would you be open to seeing what options a new vendor can offer?’. The goal is to keep the conversation going so you can uncover more info and identify the Prospect’s pain points.
- Ask for the truth
In our post, ‘The Truth Will Set You Free’, we talked about how you want to be honest with Prospects and you want them to be honest with you as well. If it sounds like they are blowing you off, ask, ‘often, when someone says this to me, it is just to get me off the phone. If that is the case here, it’s OK to let me know. I don’t want to waste your time nor mine. I would rather you be honest with me.’
And if it really is the end of the call, remember to ask for the referral. Even if they haven’t done work with you, they may know someone who could use your services, so be sure to ask!
- Setting an appointment just to get you off the phone
Sometimes, in our excitement to set an appointment, we can get too pushy. And that can lead to people setting appointments they have no intention of attending, just to get you off the phone.
Be cognizant of this and don’t push for an appointment if it is not qualified and agreed to.
Keep an eye out for Part 2 of this post when we show you some techniques for re-directing conversations that are not going as planned.
And if you or your sales team need help with scripting or preparing to address obstacles, give us a call at 908-879-2911 – we can give you the words, encouragement and support you need to face obstacles like a PRO!