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Everyone is in sales, because everyone is selling something to somebody. You may be selling your recommendations to your manager. Or you might be trying to convince your family where to go on your next vacation. Or if you are applying for a new job, you are selling the ultimate product, yourself.
Sales professionals have long known that the secret to closing the sale often rests in "overcoming" a prospect's objections. And since classical sales training suggests that you must first identify the objections, it makes sense to understand the different types of objections that might come up - and how they might be addressed.
I don't have the problem that you're trying to solve: In this particular case, you may not have done your homework and are "selling" to the wrong buyer, or they do have the problem but they just don't realize it.
I don't want your solution. Ask why, to get at the underlying reason. Get them to describe what the perfect solution might look like.
I don't need that now. Probe for the criteria that will be used to determine when your product or service might be needed. If they aren't sure, you may be able to suggest some. You may also develop an understanding about how that date might be moved up.
It's too expensive. Refocus the conversation to the value equation and return on investment. Then think about how the price can be spread across time or allocated to different accounts (training, maintenance, etc).
I don't want to get it from you. Ask why if you're unsure. Probe to see if it was because of a prior bad experience with the organization, or a lack of trust with you personally. Depending on what you find, put in place a plan to address these issues.
I need to check with my boss/get approvals. This usually means that you have not been dealing with the decision-maker. At this point, you should ask them to describe their buying process more fully; you certainly don't want even more requirements surprising you.
Despite the value of analysing (and addressing) potentiol objections, classical sales training can only help you get so far. It doesn't speak to the importance of relationships; even the terminology of "overcoming" objections is adversarial.
This week's action item: If you can think of major objections, it is too early to think of the sale. Instead, develop the relationship, so that you can work together to truly understand their needs. When you do this, you're less focused on making the sale, and more focused on helping them buy - and when they're ready, they will. This week, focus on selling your next idea, priority, (or yourself), with no objections.
Randall Craig is an expert on Career Planning, Work-Life Balance, and Networking; to find out how his workshops, webinars, and keynotes can help your team or add to your event, contact him through www.PersonalBalanceSheet.com, or by email at email@example.com.
Make It Happen Tipsheet
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Copyright © 2009 Knowledge to Action Press and Randall Craig. All rights reserved.
Publication Date: Jan 20, 2009