In almost every sales training seminar or book on selling ever written, there is inevitably a chapter on “overcoming objections.” They will tell you that these are buying signals or a marker that tells you the customer is really requesting more information. I’m here to tell you that is a farce.
Nobody likes to be sold or persuaded. In the business environment of the last few years, their buying decisions carry an incredible amount of risk. One buying mistake and they could be out the door. Change? Risk? In 2012, that’s awfully scary stuff.
The buying process is really quite simple. If you think of it like a pendulum, on one side is their current situation, and on the other side is your solution. Now, their current status quo may range from mildly problematic to mission critical. However, your proposal also carries:
1. Work for them.
a. They may have to change established processes.
b. They may have to hire new people.
c. They may have to engage in training on new systems.
2. Risk for them.
a. What if it doesn’t solve the problem?
b. What happens if you go out of business?
c. What happens if you are sold to another company?
3. Cost for them.
a. How quick will the ROI be?
b. How big are the risks that your solutions mitigate? Is it worth it?
c. At what threshold does it make sense to make a change?
d. Am I paying too much?
If your solution does not tip the scale resoundingly over the current challenge, they will not buy. Just because you saved them 5% on cost, the scale will not move. The sad part is, they’ll never tell you the real reason during the sales autopsy, but there will safer choices that you will lose to. They will:
1. Do nothing.
2. Go with a choice that carries less risk.
a. Cheapest price.
b. Biggest competitor,
c. Whoever they’re doing business with currently.
How do you overcome objections? Make sure they never happen. Once they are voiced, they hang in the air for all eternity. They lead to a combative and hostile sales process, and they certainly don’t lead to healthy ongoing partnerships. You can use all the “feel, felt, found” techniques in the world, and they won’t go away.
How do you make sure they are never put forth? You need to show you have the following:
1. The right people – How much experience does your organization have? How many years have you been in business? Do you have proven industry experts in your company? Where do you rank? Are you growing?
2. The right solutions – Have you solved these problems for other companies that are similar to your prospect? Do you have case studies available? Can you show, in real dollars, the impact you can make for them? Can you prove that your benefit far outweighs your costs?
3. The right future – Is your company cutting-edge? Can the customer grow with you, or will your solution be obsolete in a year? What investments in innovation are you making? Will the customer be able to upgrade seamlessly?
You lose the sale in the beginning, not the end. If you’ve done your homework, you should know what the objections will be before you ever enter a potential customer’s office. Show them what they need to see to make an informed decision, remove all risk and trepidation, and have an open and honest conversation. Your sales will increase, your customers will be more loyal, and you’ll help your company thrive.
Dave Eisley has over 15 years of experience is sales force recruiting, training, and management. In his dealings with thousands of salespeople he has learned what works, and more importantly, what doesn't.