By Dave Nichols
If there is one skill most sales people would like to be more proficient in, it would be how they handle objections. No wonder the most common sales call goes a little like this: "Here is my business card. I have written my price on the back. Call me when you're ready to make a decision." The salesperson builds rapport with the customer, selecting the right products that will fit the customer's needs - and then he or she has to tell the customer how much the investment will cost. So naturally, the Comfort Advisor is anxious because he or she doesn't know how to handle the possible "no."
Customer objections can be boiled down to four main issues:
- "Your price is too high."
- "I want to get other bids."
- "I want to think about it."
- "I need to speak to my significant other."
The purpose of the objection is to delay the inevitable, which is investing in the replacement of a new HVAC system. An objection is not a "no" but an invitation to continue the conversation. As a salesperson, we must always remember that the customer has invited us into the home because they have a need. We are there to satisfy that need by listening, evaluating the technical aspects of the situation, and then proposing a solution.
There are three things we need to remember when dealing with an objection:
- Isolate - Is the objection offered the real reason for the delay?
- Tie down - If we can solve the immediate concern, can we move forward with the project?
- Close - We have openings in our install schedule on Monday and Wednesday next week, which would work best for you?
Many salespeople tell me they don't want to seem pushy, and consumers don't want that either. But we need to challenge them when given an objection. Get to the heart of the issue and solve it. This can always be done in a warm, conversational manner so the customer doesn't feel threatened, and you can guide him or her to the right decision.
The best way to handle objections is to write out a script for each one you hear and then practice it over and over until it flows like a normal conversation, so that when you are in the customer's home it will work for both of you.
Guest blogger Dave Nichols is a sales training manager at HVAC Learning Solutions.