Today's guest post is from Sarah Jo Wood
What’s your greatest fear when facing a sales call? If you’re like most business owners, it’s that the prospect will say “no”…and you’ll either be forced into the uncomfortable position of trying to “push” them into the sale or will have to walk away without the sale (again!), all the while drowning in defeat and wondering how you’ll ever get the clients you need in your business.
The problem is that if you’re inexperienced with sales, you may get discouraged at the mere hint of an objection, seeing it instantly as a rejection of your product/service (and, in many cases, yourself). And as a result, as soon as that objection hits, you might find yourself frozen in shock or fear, unable to respond to their objection at all, much less in a way that helps get past the objection and on to the sale.
Or you might make a classic mistake: trying to change the subject in hopes that your prospect won’t notice (they most likely will, even if they may be too polite to point it out right away…but you’ve still lost the sale, and potentially the customer’s respect too).
Or perhaps most frustrating of all, you may find yourself thinking up the PERFECT response…right after the prospect has walked away empty-handed.
First, no matter how many times you’ve found yourself in any of the above scenarios, don’t beat yourself up about it…they happen to everyone at some point or another (even seasoned pros have “off” days now and then J). What’s important is to learn from your mistakes and polish your skills so that the next time you’re talking to a prospect, you’ll know EXACTLY what to say when the dreaded “no” rears its ugly head.
Only then will you be able to face sales conversations with confidence and, more importantly, success in the form of “yes”s to your products and services.
Mastering Objections 101
The first step in beginning to master objections is to determine what’s really behind their objection. The excuse of “I don’t have any money” is widely popular and a very easy excuse to throw out…mostly because many sales folks instantly back away. After all, a person with no money is hardly an ideal prospect, right? But what many fail to consider is that there’s usually an objection that goes much deeper than just money. Perhaps they’re worried it will be a frivolous purchase. Or that they will just be throwing money away on a product/service that doesn’t work. But they don’t want to come right out and say that…so they fall back on the tried-and-true “no money” excuse.
And besides, most people will find the money for things they really want, so this excuse is typically just that…an excuse. Other times, your prospects may throw out a generic objection because they don’t fully understand what you are offering them…and saying “no” is easier than trying to understand further.
That’s why it’s crucial to dip deeper to find out whether the objection is really a “no” or just uncertainty in disguise. The best way to do this is to ask probing questions. For example, in my work as a sales and business coach, if a prospective client throws an objection my way, I might ask:
“So tell me, where do you want to see yourself in 60 days from now?”
“If you stay where you are, and keep doing the same things, how will you feel in 60 days from now if nothing has changed?”
If you ask open-ended questions like these, you can help your prospect to open up to you, and the two of you can work together to find the right solutions.
© 2011 Sarah Wood
About the Author: Sarah Jo Wood is founder of Evolving Advisors Inc. and author of ‘How to turn a No or a Maybe into a Yes!” Her coaching program teaches entrepreneurs like you to overcome objections so you can sign up all the clients you want, fill your practice, and increase your bottom line. To begin supercharging your sales, download your complimentary sales package today at www.evolvingadvisors.com.