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12 Selling Skills! Overcoming Opposition

12 Great Selling Skills

Chapter 9: Overcoming Opposition

A formal education will help you make a living;

Self-education helps you create your future. – Jim Rohn

Customer objections are a normal,

natural and unavoidable part of any sales process.

However, many salespeople become discouraged

and demoralized

when customers begin to oppose their offers

for reasons

such as their prices being too high,

their competition, etc. have better policies,

and other reasons.

The reality is that today’s customers are bombarded with hundreds,

if not thousands,

of advertising messages every day.

As a result, they are always suspicious, suspicious

and extremely careful

with their money and time.

No matter what you sell,

customers will have questions

and concerns that you need to address

before you can move forward with a transaction.

The ability to address these questions

and concerns is a fundamental but critical skill

for your business success.

*************

Basic problems

“Cashflow is not bragging rights. It’s financial freedom.” – Grant Cardone

Rule: No transaction will be made without objection.

You need to always remember three things:

First, a potential customer’s objection

is a good sign of their interest in the product/service you offer.

If the customer is sitting there passively,

not asking any questions

and not participating in the sales conversation,

it is a sign that the customer

is not really interested in what you are saying.

Second, objecting is a sign

that you’ve touched the prospect’s emotional nerve.

And only when potential customers really pay attention

to your product/service offering will you have the opportunity

to make a transaction,

no matter what type of transaction.

Third, successful deals face twice

as many objections as unsuccessful deals.

Thousands of sales conversations were recorded.

What we have observed is that customers,

who will eventually buy the product,

protest much more

than those who don’t buy the product at all.

When you go fishing

and you cast your line,

you expect a fish to bite.

You sit and wait

and expect the rod to jolt,

a sign that a fish is interested in your bait.

Without that strong recoil

and resistance kick,

you would never have had a chance to catch any fish.

Likewise,

when a potential customer starts to protest

and ask you questions about your product/service offering,

it’s like having your fishing rod yanked.

It means that customers are starting to care.

It means that the client begins

to move from the position of a skeptical

and neutral person to that of a caring

and curious person.

That is a good sign.

**********

Rule of six

“Be nice to people.

It doesn’t cost anything.” – Grant Cardone

One of the most powerful rules you can use to identify

and overcome objections is the rule of six.

The Rule of Six states

that the number of customer objections

to your product/service,

whatever it may be,

will be no more than six.

Six objections,

or less,

when applied

to your product/service will be very different

from when applied to other products/services.

These objections will depend on many factors:

your product/service itself,

your prices and the prices of similar competitors’ products,

your competitors’ offers competition,

the needs of the particular customer you’re talking to,

the client’s political and financial situation,

and the current market situation.

When you go to sales and meet

with customers,

you will be surprised at the number of objections they raise

and also the reasons they don’t buy.

Customers can be incredibly creative people.

They can think of objections you can’t even imagine,

dozens of reasons,

even hundreds.

But they will always fall into

the six main categories of objections.

How can you identify the six main objections

to your product/service?

You start by asking yourself the question:

“Can we sell to all of our really potential customers if they don’t say…”

This is a sentence completion exercise

that you can do alone

or with your entire sales team.

This is a powerful tool

that can be used by both large and small companies.

It is sometimes called a “sentence completion exercise”.

When I advise companies

that want to launch a new product

and need a pitch,

this is one of the first exercises we do,

any time.

Make a list of all the objections

you receive in a week or a month,

and then divide them into six logical categories.

They will often revolve around the product’s price,

its usefulness to your customers,

your competitors,

potential effects or outcomes,

current market conditions,

and other factors.

**************

Why or Why not?

“Have a higher purpose than money.” – Grant Cardone

“Why don’t our potential customers buy our products?”

This is the key question

that helps you identify the most important objections.

Sometimes,

just by identifying

and eliminating a key objection,

you can double or triple your sales.

The basic reason people don’t buy a product/service is

because they don’t believe

that the product can deliver the results

or benefits they want at a reasonable price.

To counter this initial objection,

you can offer your product/service

with a money-back guarantee

if it doesn’t work.

Plus, you can offer more products/services

for free that customers can use even

when they return the product/service

they bought from you

and you give them a full refund.

A lot of companies use a “no risk” approach

to sell their products/services.

I have personally used this approach in my career

when selling educational products/services.

I said, “Try my product/service for 30,

60 or 90 days,

and if you’re unsatisfied for any reason,

you can return it to me

and I promise to give you a full refund.”

If your product/service

is truly capable of delivering the results

and benefits you promise,

you can have complete confidence in ensuring

that the customer is satisfied

or offering a full refund money

if the customer wants

to return the product for any reason.

Nordstrom,

one of the most successful chain stores in the US,

offers life insurance on all products

you buy from any of its network stores.

This forces the company

to provide really quality products/services.

People can buy Nordstrom products/services

with complete confidence

because they will get a refund if,

for whatever reason,

the product/service makes them unsatisfied.

****************

“Great sales people build value.” – Grant Cardone

When to respond to objections?

There are four specific times

that are appropriate

for handling objections.

The first moment is immediate.

There are some objections

that you should counter as soon as possible.

This is especially true

when the integrity

or quality of the product is questioned

by the potential customer.

If your prospect says things like,

“I see people say that the product you sell will fail

as soon as the warranty expires,”

you need to address this question immediately.

If the customer believes the story

they’ve heard about your product is true,

you won’t be able to start your pitch.

You could say:

“We’ll give you a 90-day warranty in principle,

but if you have any problems

with this product/service,

we’ll repair or replace them for you. .”

When a customer has an objection,

whether it’s said or not,

it stays in their mind like an obstacle.

They will think about it

and no longer focus on your offer.

The second time to respond

to an objection is

during the course of the offer,

when the objection occurs spontaneously

or when you prompt it to arise.

If you have carefully thought

through all the objections you may encounter

and prepared good answers to them,

you will be able to respond fluently

and professionally.

The third time to respond to an objection is then.

Always delay an objection,

especially one involving price,

until you can respond.

Inappropriate pricing will kill the transaction.

In other words,

if the topic of pricing comes up

and you start discussing pricing

before creating in the customer’s mind

a fair value of the product/service you offer,

the problem is price will become an obstacle

in the mind of customers.

They will think too much about the price

that they don’t really listen to you

and pay attention

to the value your product/service can provide.

Often customers will start by saying,

“How much does your product cost?”

Instead of asking for a price,

you could answer something like this:

“This is a great question,

I’ll answer it within a few minutes,

and I think you’ll be delighted

to hear the actual price of the product.

Can I continue what I am talking about

and then answer you about the price of the product?”

Nearly always, the client will say okay

and agree to let you continue with your presentation.

If you receive a pricing question

before you have even had a chance

to discuss and explain the value

and benefits your product/service can offer,

and the price of your product

Depending on what the customer is going to buy,

you must make every effort to avoid

or put the question of price aside.

But if the customer insists on knowing

the price of your product/service,

you can say something like,

“I have no idea.

I don’t even know if this is a product/service right for you?

But if I can ask you a few questions

and show you what we have,

I can give you a fair price,

down to the dollar.

Is that okay?”

The fourth time to handle an objection is never.

A lot of objections,

especially when they appear at the beginning

of your sales conversation,

are simply a thoughtless response

and don’t necessarily require a reply or response.

When a potential customer says something like,

“I’m sure these are expensive

and I probably don’t have the money to buy them,”

you can simply smile,

nod,

acknowledge the client’s concerns,

and begin his presentation.

You don’t have to respond to that concern.

Remember the rule you learned in chapter 8

– careful preparation minimizes the chance of an offer failing.

The best-paid salespeople think through

and identify the types of objections

they are likely to encounter

and then prepare well to respond

to those objections at the right time.

You should do the same.

****************

“You don’t have time an money

because you don’t invest time and money.” – Grant Cardone

Preemptive strike method

Use the preemptive strike method

to deal with general objections.

Anticipate objections,

knowing that the customer will sooner

or later bring it up.

Make your own objection

before the customer mentions it.

Then answer clearly and candidly

to get it out of your way.

We taught this preemptive strike method

to the sales force in a telecommunications company.

The products of this company

are the most expensive in the market.

Competitors insist on price comparison

in all of their newspaper advertising campaigns,

enough for nearly every potential customer

to know that the sales guys are coming

from this company will offer a very expensive product.

The sales force feels very depressed.

They are rejected

from the first contact with the customer.

When they meet a customer,

that person almost immediately says,

“I know your products are the most expensive on the market,

and I can’t afford them.

If there is a need,

I will buy them from your competitors,

because I know for sure

they are offering much cheaper

than the price you are offering.”

We taught the “preemptive strike” this way:

When salespeople meet their prospect

for the first time, they say,

“Thanks for your time.

I know that you are very busy,

and before we begin,

I would like to tell you a few things.

We have the most expensive telecom product

on the market today.

Our products are about 12% more expensive

than competitors’ products.

And the truth is that there are thousands of companies,

like yours,

that buy our system every day,

all over the country,

even though they know that our product

is much more expensive.

Would you like to know the reason why?”

In nearly all cases,

when asked this question,

customers will say,

“Oh, okay, so why is your product

so much more expensive than your competitor’s?”

The salesperson will then say,

“That’s exactly what I’ll explain

to you in the next few minutes.

I think you will realize

that it would be better

if you pay more for our product/service,

with all the extra services you will get,

instead of buy cheaper products from others.”

Armed with this feedback,

the sales force gets back to work.

In a falling capital market,

their sales skyrocketed 32% the following month.

Not only that,

one of their female salespeople,

who hadn’t been able

to sell a single product

for two months

and was thinking about giving up,

met with a customer last Friday,

and immediately completed the transaction at 10:00 a.m.

the following Monday.

She walked away with a $22,000 voucher

and was overjoyed.

**************

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” – Grant Cardone

Remove mental obstacles

Every potential customer has key concerns

or objections that you need to get out of his

or her mind and put it on the table

so you can address them.

The existence of objections

in the customer’s mind makes the conversation

for the sake of sales incomplete.

You need to encourage the client

to voice whatever objection comes

to their mind by praising them

and making them feel good about raising the objection

in the first place.

People are afraid to confront others,

for whatever reason.

There may be very assertive

and aggressive clients,

but in general,

customers won’t want to have to argue with you.

They want harmony.

The more pleasant

and comfortable you make a conversation

for the purpose of selling,

the more likely it is that customers will share

with you reasons that might be preventing them

from making a purchasing decision.

********************

Listen fully to the objections – be patient.

Even if you’ve heard this objection many times in the past,

you should lean back,

nod,

smile,

develop all your listening skills,

and act like you’ve never done it.

I’ve heard this kind of objection once before.

Remember, if you focus on listening

without interrupting the other person,

pause before responding,

ask questions to clarify the prospect’s opinion,

repeat the information the customer has just conveyed.

In your own language,

you continue to build trust in the customer,

even though he/she is opposing your offer in some way.

*****************

Learn the right words

“To maintain your enthusiasm,

you have to make your goals substantial enough

that they keep your attention.” – Grant Cardone

There are a few word combinations you need to use

to effectively respond

to objections in sales conversations.

The simplest of all the answers,

when you get an objection,

is to ask your customer the question:

“What do you mean?”

or “What exactly do you mean?”

This is a feedback that has many uses

for nearly everything a customer has to say,

especially in the case of an objection or a concern.

This question always prompts a customer

o expand on a comment

or observation they just made,

giving you more information

that can help you close a deal.

You could also say,

“Obviously, you have a good enough reason to object.

Would you mind telling me the reason for this?”

Sometimes the prospect doesn’t have a good enough reason

to raise that objection.

But when you use these phrases,

you’re complimenting the customer

and encouraging them to expand their thought process.

This gives you more information

so you can move towards completing the transaction.

******************

Respond to objections with questions

“Success tends to bless those who are most committed

to giving it the most attention.” – Grant Cardone

Always respond to objections

with a question instead of an answer.

Remember,

the person asking the question is in control.

If a customer asks you a question,

and you start answering it,

the customer will now take control of

the conversation for sales purposes.

You become a puppet

and the customer becomes the puppeteer.

****************

“Never lower your target.

Increase your actions.” – Grant Cardone

You are dancing verbally to the customer.

How can you handle this situation?

Just simple.

When a customer asks you a question, answer:

“That’s a great question!

Would you mind letting me ask a few questions

before answering that question?”

You then continue your story

and ask the customer your own questions,

and then one additional question

and another additional question.

Most customers will immediately forget

that they were the first to ask the question,

and you’ll be back in control of this sales-oriented conversation.

Force yourself to resist the spontaneous reactions of answering

when you are being asked a question.

Remember to practice

this strategy in your personal life as well.

Whenever someone asks you a question,

stop, smile,

and then ask the person a question again,

before you answer.

Remember to use objections

as an opportunity to build trust.

When you lean in and focus on listening

to an objection,

and treat your customers

and their words

with genuine respect,

you build trust.

You make customers feel more comfortable

and like you,

and thus become more open

to buying your products/services.

“Selling is really about having conversations

with people and helping improve their company

or their life.

If you look at it like that,

selling is a very admirable thing to do.” – Lori Richardson

*******************

Handling objections related to price issues

There are a number of proven ways

to handle price-related objections,

which often arise

in the majority of transactions.

The first rule to remember is

that you should never argue

with objections related to price,

never try to explain

or make excuses.

The price of the product has been carefully considered

by your company,

based on a variety of factors.

So you can be proud of your prices,

loyal to your prices,

and defend your prices with courage and confidence.

When a potential customer says,

“Your product is too expensive,”

or “I can get it for less at other companies,”

you can respond by saying one of three things:

“Don’t find customers for your products;

find products for your customers.” – Seth Godin

***********

Response 1:

Why do you say that?

Instead of arguing, your job is

to find the reasons behind the objections related

to the price issue.

Where does the problem really come from?

Quite often, customers have seen

or heard of a similar product at a lower price.

Your job is to uncover that information.

“If you don’t believe in what you’re selling,

neither will your prospect.” – Frank Bettger

***********

2: Why do you feel that way?

Whenever you ask a person

how they feel about something

or why they feel that way,

they will always respond with an answer of some kind.

This is a good question

to ask whenever you want

to take control of any conversation.

“How you sell is more important than what you sell.” – Andy Paul

***************

Response 3:

Is price the only issue that concerns you?

Especially when the customer

Before you even have a chance

to pinpoint their needs and make a smart offer,

you have to put the price in place.

When you ask this question to a customer,

the answer you expect will be “no”.

You might say,

“Sir Potential,

I know price is important to you.

Can we talk about this in a few minutes?”

Sometimes the customer will say,

“No, tell me the price of the product,

and I will tell you

if I am interested in it.”

But, as said in the previous section,

setting the price at the wrong time kills the trade.

If the pricing is arbitrary,

depending on what the customer buys,

and you set an estimate

at the start of the offer,

you’re killing the deal.

Customers will become price-obsessed

and there will be no value to compensate

or justify it,

simply because you haven’t made your offer.

In case the customer insists on knowing the price,

you can ask:

“Sir, I know price is important,

but let me clarify a bit.

Is price more important than the quality of the product,

the installation service,

the guarantee and warranty that comes with the product,

and other services we provide you?

Is price more important to you than all those factors?”

At this point, customers will often say,

“Yes, those other factors are

as important to me as price.”

then you can say,

“That’s great, I’ll tell you the price of the product,

but can I ask you a few questions first?”

Then you immediately ask a question,

and take control of the conversation.

Here are some other examples of price-related objections

you might hear

from potential customers and how to respond

to a question of your own.

Potential customer:

That price is higher than what I’m willing to pay.

You: Exactly how much higher is it?

This is an important question

for you to ask

and wait for an answer from your customer.

If your product costs $1,200

and the customer

only wants to pay $1,000,

that’s not too far off.

You can find a way to handle this problem.

But if your product costs $1,200

and your customer only wants to pay $500,

the gap between

what your customer wants

and reality is too wide f

or you to walk across.

Potential customer 1:

Its price is too high.

You: How much is “too expensive” here?

Lead 2: Can you lower the price?

You: Of course.

What features or services do you want

to remove to get a lower price?

Both of these questions will leave

the customer feeling a bit shocked.

You force the customer to think,

in a positive light,

which often causes price concerns

to be greatly reduced and gone.

**************

“You will not have a successful life surrounded by negative people.” – Grant Cardone

The method of feeling,

felt and realized

The “felt, felt,

and realized” method

is one of the oldest methods of dealing

with price objections,

but it is still one of the most effective.

Best.

When a potential customer says something like,

“It sounds really expensive,”

you can respond by saying:

“I understand exactly how you feel.”

“Others felt the same way

when they first heard the price of the product/service we offer.”

“And this is what they noticed

when they started using our product.”

Then you give a logical enough reason to explain

why the value

and benefits that your product/service brings

to the customer is far greater than the price you offer.

For example:

“I understand how you feel.

Others felt the same way

when they first heard the price

of the product we were offering.

But here’s what they noticed

when they started using it.

They found it would pay

for itself within the first 60 days

and turn out to be a much better deal

than the lower priced product our competitors were offering.”

You can even use an anecdote

or story about another customer

who was also worried about the price issue

but later bought your product

and told you the company was happy with it,

purchase decision because of the unimaginable results

and benefits that it brings to them.

*************

“The world isn’t going to come

and make your dreams come true.” – Grant Cardone

Handling price issues over the phone

A few years ago,

I started selling a new product in the midst of a recession.

Business is terrible.

Cash flow plunges.

Companies compete to cut costs.

The budget was also reduced.

I hear all the reasons not to buy

that a creative customer can think of

as I call one prospect after another in an effort

to get more calls is appointment.

My products have perfect quality,

reasonable price and unconditional warranty service.

It has proven itself that

The results it brings are much better

than the money people have to spend to buy it.

I know that as long as

I can sit across from a potential customer

and show him the benefits,

advantages, and warranties of the product,

I can close the deal in almost any time in all situations.

But my problem is

that I can’t get past the sales calls.

When contacting a potential client,

I introduce myself and say,

“Hi, I’m Brian Tracy,

and I’m with R&D…”

before I can say another word.

Anyway, the customer interrupted me

and asked,

“How much does it cost?”

At first, I would appease my prospect

by saying,

“Oh, only $295 per person, sir.”

Then the prospect will say,

“I can’t afford it.”

Then hang up.

Now I know that if I tell the price over the phone,

I will kill my chances of selling.

I will never see a client.

And having that first face-to-face meeting was key

to my success in this product business.

So I came up with a way

to answer the question

“How much does it cost” over the phone.

The next time a customer asks,

“How much does it cost?”,

I immediately respond,

“That’s the best part!

If it doesn’t really suit you, you won’t lose a dime!”

This affirmation immediately brought the potential customer

to pay more attention to our conversation.

He would say things like,

“What? What do you mean?”

Then I would say,

“Mr. Potential, no matter

what I call you to recommend,

if you don’t see it as a real fit

for you there’s no way you’re going to buy it, right?”

The prospect will reply,

“Of course it is!”

And I would say,

“Yes, Mr. Potential,

if you don’t buy it,

you obviously won’t have to pay a dime.”

The prospect will pause for a few seconds and then say,

“Okay, so what is it anyway?”

And I said, “That’s exactly what I wanted to tell you,

and I just need 10 minutes of your time.

I have a few things

I want to show you,

and then you can make your own judgments.”

Then I set up a face-to-face meeting

with the prospect,

where I could ask questions

and make a smart pitch.

Eliminate unclear understandings

In sales, your best friend is clarity.

Your biggest enemy is customers

who don’t understand

why buying your product/service

at your price is their best choice.

Much of the objections stem

from unclear understandings.

If you don’t ask the right questions

or execute an effective pitch,

the prospect won’t be able

to fully understand the problem your product will solve.

Because they don’t understand how your product/service

would be an ideal solution to their problem,

they won’t be motivated to buy it.

All the customer can see is the price,

not the benefits.

Your customers need to clearly understand

that the product you are offering can satisfy their needs.

Remember,

need stimulates buying behavior.

If you do not touch the real need that the potential customer has,

the customer will not feel anything about your product/service

and therefore will not be able to make a purchase decision.

The benefits of the product/service

you are offering may not be obvious.

Customers must feel that the benefits

they will receive outweigh the selling price of the product.

If they don’t see that clearly,

they can’t make a purchase decision.

Claims about the uniqueness of the product/service

you offer may not be obvious to potential customers.

Claim of uniqueness is one of the advantages

or advantages that your product/service offers

that can make it different

and superior to what your competitors are offering.

First you have to know

what is unique about the product/service you offer,

and then you have to make sure that

the customer understands that too.

Chances are the prospect won’t necessarily act right away.

He or she sees no reason to even act.

Remember:

“No urgency, no trading!”

Even if that person likes what you’re selling

and how you describe your product/service,

if they believe they can buy it next week,

next month or next year

and still get the product /service for that price,

they will hesitate in making a decision.

Or, simply to avoid the stress of making a purchase,

they tell you that they want to think about it a bit before making a decision.

That’s why you should always have a “push bar” on hand;

something that you can offer the customer

as a reward to get him/her

to make a purchase decision today.

Follow the formula for responding

to objections is simple:

Respond politely and professionally,

provide proof in the form of a confirmation letter

or something from your sales literature,

offer The prospect confirms that

the proof has answered his question or concern,

and then continues with your offer.

Remember, objections are the steps on the ladder to sales success.

The more interested a potential customer is in your product/service,

the more objections they will give.

That is a good sign.

When you hear a objection,

you should express your gratitude

and then turn the objection into a reason to buy.

Practicing the martial art of jujutsu the objection.

Jiu-ji literally translates

from Japanese to mean “the art of courtesy” or “a flexible tool”.

It is a martial art developed

to fight powerful enemies using the attacker’s energy instead of against it.

To master of opposition, do the following:

Don’t use any objectionable phrases,

especially in the beginning of a conversation.

Anticipate and identify objections to the prospect’s role.

If they use them only to argue,

they will stop being wary.

Intersperse answers

to common objections in your pitch.

Ideally, let go of all objections whenever possible

and go straight to closing the transaction.

****************

ACTION EXERCISES

“Your greatness is limited only

by the investments you make in yourself.” – Grant Cardone

Here are some exercises to help you respond

to future objections more effectively:

What are the three most common objections you receive

when you first contact a prospect?

Complete the following sentence:

“I can sell to everyone

I talk to if that person doesn’t speak…”

What are the three most common non-purchase objections

you get at the end of every sales conversation?

What are three ways you can handle objections related to pricing,

especially when a customer says your product/service is too expensive?

What are the three most powerful affirmations you use

to neutralize objections in your sales conversation?

What are three things you can do to encourage customers

to raise objections and express any concerns

they may have about purchasing your product/service?

Show three examples of “ambiguity” that

customers may have that delay them in making a decision

to buy your product/service

when you close your offer.

Finally, if there was one thing you wanted to do immediately after

what you learned in this chapter,

what would you do?

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