In our last article, we discussed the basics of overcoming objections. The techniques discussed included bypassing the objection, releasing the pressure and asking if there was anything else. If you can get that far, you are ready to actually solve the objection. This article will take a look at some common objections and ways to overcome them.
"We'll Get It in Three Months"
This is a classic delay objection. If you have done a calculation at the beginning of your demonstration as to how much the family wastes on cleaning products or commercial beverages, this is a great opportunity to point out that the delay will just cost them more money. For example, "Could I ask you folks if during the three months we are discussing you intend to keep clean? You do? Well, that means you will continue to waste the amount on cleaning products that you told me a few minutes ago was $66 per month. It just doesn’t make sense to continue wasting that money when you could be saving starting tomorrow and enjoying all the benefits we talked about. Let me see if I can get the equipment installed this week." Notice that you end by writing the order, not by asking them if they want to go ahead.
"It's Too Much Money"
This is a value objection. After using the three steps we described in last month’s article, I suggest you try something like, "Well, it is an investment, but Bob, you know you don’t get anything of value without investing. You did say you liked how the soft water cleans your glasses, didn’t you? You did say you liked how the soft water felt on your skin didn’t you? You did say you liked how the soft water will save you almost two hours per week in housework didn’t you? Well, all those benefits and more won’t cost you a penny. You told me before that your family wastes $56 on cleaning products every month and all the equipment we talked about tonight only requires a monthly investment of $42. That means we will in effect be paying you $14 per month to enjoy all those benefits. When you see that, you can’t afford to wait any longer to start saving money. Let me see if I can get it installed this week."
"We Have to Think It Over"
Ah, yes. The dreaded think it over. The best way to handle this objection (after the three basic steps) is to say something like, "I’m glad you are going to give it your consideration. Before I go, may I ask what part do you want to think about? Is it the size? (they say, "No") Is it the model? (they say, "No") Is it the price?" If you ask in this order, almost all customers will say it's the price. Now you have converted this to a price objection. Now simply ask, since they don’t like the price you company though was fair, what price did they think would be more appropriate? When they tell you the price, look surprised and say "you doubt you could get it at that price but that you will give it a try." Write the offer at the price they said they would agree to. You have converted a delay to a price objection.
We don’t have the space here to cover all the objections that come up, but there are two things you should realize. The first is that there are only really three objections in all of life. Delay, Value and Lack of Interest. All objections are variations on these basic three. You will be getting these objections in 66 percent of all the demonstrations you do for the rest of your career. Therefore, I suggest that you sit down on a regular basis by yourself or with a group of co-salespeople and work on ideas for overcoming objections on a regular basis. The more you practice, drill and rehearse, the more confident you will be when a customer brings out an objection.
The second thing that makes us better at overcoming objections is knowing how often you try to overcome objections. Most sales people are shocked when they take a look at this statistic. Remember that the average person says "Yes" after they have been asked to buy five times. If you are only asking once or twice, you could be making a lot more money. I suggest you make a mark on the order form (such as a stick) every time you try to overcome the objection and ask for the order. Count those marks when you leave and keep track of your average. The closer you can come to averaging five per demo, the closer you will come to earning your true potential.
This is where really believing in your product, your company and yourself is measured. Remember that someone buys at every demonstration. Either they buy your equipment or you buy their excuses. No one gets them all, but I hope you will try some of these techniques to increase the number you are selling.
About the Author
Carl Davidson is president of Sales & Management Solutions, which provides sales and management training designed exclusively for the water equipment industry. For more than 13 years, he has helped more than 1,400 companies in seven countries. For a free demonstration tape and catalog, contact the company at 800-941-0068; www.salesco.net.