A critical part of every sales funnel is the conversion of prospects into customers.
It takes work to convert your prospects into customers: There are the intense marketing efforts needed to compete in the marketplace, as well as the preliminary research and prospect-qualifying efforts. But when it comes time to pitch and close the deal, the biggest obstacle is objections that your customers raise. You’ve probably heard your fair share of them: Price, speed, quality, prior vendor commitments, upper management approvals, you name it. These are sales killers. Piles of books have been written about this topic.
HOW SHOULD YOUR BUSINESS HANDLE OBJECTIONS?
Rather than facing the possibility of objections with dread, embrace objections like collectable sports cards. Collect objections like they’re going to be worth millions someday (because they could be).
Start by sitting down with your sales team (or with a coffee if you happen to be the sales team, CEO, and janitor all rolled into one busy person) and listing all of the objections you’ve heard in the past. Some of them will be common, others will be rare, and others could be ridiculous. Write them down. Write each objection on its own 3×5 recipe card.
Then, brainstorm the answers. Yes, answers – plural. Try to come up with as many answers as you can for each objection. Write them on the same recipe card.
Soon, you’ll have a big pile of objections and answers. Review them regularly. Use them as flashcards. Pin up the most confounding objections and work tirelessly at adding responses to them. Sometimes you’ll need to hunt down data, and sometimes you might have to actually retool part of your business processes in order to effectively resolve an objection.
Then, jump back into your sales funnel with confidence: You’ll either meet each objection head on, or you’ll hear a new objection that you can go back to the office and add to your recipe card collection. Dare your prospects (without actually explicitly daring them, of course) to give an objection that you haven’t heard before.
DON’T STOP THERE
Don’t wait for your objections to be raised by your customers. Address them earlier in your sales funnel through marketing and through prospect qualification. Embed the objection-countering answers into your presentations and brochures and blogs. Casually counter potential objections while building rapport.
OBJECTIONS ARE AWESOME
Objections can stop sales cold. But if you shift how you think of objections – thinking of them as something valuable to be collected, rather than something annoying to avoid – you’ll create an arsenal of objection-countering that can help you close more sales.