By Mike Moore
Do you and your sales team know what to say when a customer says no? A quick, effective response can keep the conversation going and help you move toward the close. To be prepared, use the same secrets successful performers use to get audiences on their side — and the advice we teach in our BuildASalesperson™ class: Stay positive, plan what you’ll say and how you’ll say it, and practice by playing the roles of both customer and salesperson.
1. Build a list of scripts
Most objections focus on cost, the customer’s desire to think about it or get other bids, or their need to talk it over with someone before giving you an answer. These objections are all ways to delay the inevitable, though, because the customer needs new equipment or they wouldn’t have called. Your sales team can make a list of all the objections they hear and build a list of responses that work. This list can help your team close more sales and bring new hires up to speed quickly.
2. Stay positive
Most of the time, an objection is not a firm no. Rather than give up, try seeing each objection as a sign that you need to ask more questions to learn the customer’s needs. Maybe they’re worried about paying for new equipment, hoping to find a better price, or feel obligated to do more research. When you know, you can use the right response to move them toward the purchase.
3. Offer options and value in your responses
Your response list should include asking if there are particular things your customers need to think about, such as price, service, installation timeframe, and financing. You may be able to use their answers to advance the conversation right then.
For example, when customers say they want to get more bids, you might use this response: “I understand, and many of our other clients have done the same thing by doing more research and getting more bids. What they found after spending their time on that is that our value was the best.” This steers the conversation to value, service, and time savings, rather than price alone.
When customers say they can’t afford your price, your response can make the customer aware of finance options and the value your company offers in terms of service and quality, again moving the discussion beyond just price.
4. Use the right words
Some words automatically make customers uneasy, so leave them out of your scripts. Instead of using words like contract, signature, buy, and spend, reframe these as an agreement, an OK (as in, “I need you to OK this agreement here”), and invest. Keep notes of words that work in your script list.
5. Practice your responses
Countering objections may feel awkward until you get the hang of it, and using effective responses requires that you remember them in the field. Have your team use your script list to play the roles of salesperson and customer in regular practice sessions. The experience and feedback from these sessions can prepare your team to respond effectively to objections and close more sales.
Learn more strategies to increase revenue and boost closing rates by enrolling your sales team in BuildASalesperson™ training.
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