“Your price is too high.” “We’re loyal to our current supplier.” “I prefer your competitor’s product.”
Classic objections such as those are very hard to overcome when they pop up near the end of your sales call-after you have presented your company and your product, and after you have expended most of your sales ammunition. But objections are far easier to handle if you uncover them earlier in the process.
An objection is the customer’s response to an unasked question.
Action Selling defines objections as the customer’s response to questions you failed to ask earlier in the sales call. If you can ask all the right questions before making your formal product presentation, you will uncover every potential objection that otherwise would come back to bite you-and you can modify your presentation accordingly.
Here are those three classic objections again, with questions that could have exposed them before they arose:
“Your price is too high.” (Q: How much do you currently pay?)
“We’re loyal to our current supplier.” (Q: What do you like about your current supplier? What would you like to see them improve?)
“I prefer your competitor’s product.” (Q: What are the capabilities of the product you’re using now? What would you like to see added?
Does this sound obvious? Then why aren’t you doing it? Probably because, like 19 out of 20 salespeople, you don’t plan to do it-you don’t prepare good questions prior to a sales call.
But suppose you do ask excellent questions and an unforeseen objection surfaces anyway? In that case, just follow the same rule: Ask questions to understand the objection, try to quantify it, and look for possible solutions.
Objections are the customer’s response to unasked questions. Ask The Best Questions early in the sales call, and customize your presentation so that you’ll hear far fewer objections later. If you do hear an objection late in the call, figure out the question you should have asked-and ask it now.
Action Selling In Action
“We had never prepared questions in advance of a sales call before,” says Brent Bearden, Manager of National Sales at Summit Biotechnology. Now, thanks to Action Selling, Bearden says, “we uncover the information we need to gear our presentations in a way that prevents objections from arising.”
In one case, good questioning delivered an even greater benefit. Summit, a division of billion-dollar agricultural giant Monfort Inc., sells animal sera and related products to pharmaceutical companies. Questions designed to uncover and thoroughly understand one customer’s resistance to a particular product led Summit to develop an extremely successful new product that anticipated and overcame the objection. “We would have missed out on a multi-million-dollar opportunity without Action Selling,” Bearden said.
The best way to deal with objections is to ask good questions early in the sales call-questions that reveal and quantify potential objections, allowing you to search for solutions. To teach these important skills to your sales force, contact
The Sales Board at 1-800-232-3485.
ABOUT DUANE SPARKS
Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling. He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations. Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).
Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).