Every salesperson around the world has met stalls and objections when calling on potential buyers. Just as many salespeople have witnessed the wide repertoire buyers have for introducing stalls and objections.
The buyer’s job is to hand you stalls and objectives to withstand your selling something to them. Or to control the sales situation by making you jump through hoops and seeing how you behave when they squeeze you.
Traditional sales models for handling stalls and objections really don’t help much, because they’ve been over used so many times. Buyers have heard them before and know how to stop you in your tracks, or at least slow you down. Here’s better food for thought:
First off, don’t look to get your emotional needs met on a sales call. That’s not why you’re in sales. Your job is not to get your emotional needs met. Your job, first, last, and always is to sell.
Second, remember this: The first objection you hear is never, ever the real objection. Some buyers stall and object, because they’re on a fishing expedition. Others, because they’re frustrated with their current situation. Still others, because they’re just confused about what to do. And on and on. You need to find out what the real objections are.
Third, whatever you do when you hear an objection, avoid defending your product or service. That’s what most salespeople do. And that’s what many prospects expect you to do. Being defensive equals being disadvantaged. Being non-defensive equals holding the advantage. Plus, behaving non-defensively works as a great pattern break.
Fourth, the time to prepare for handling stalls and objections is not during sales calls. It’s during your pre-call planning. The buyer you call on will have a plan that he or she will follow. If you fail to prepare your pre-call plan, you’ll be caught off guard. And without a sales plan you’ll set yourself up to fail. No pre-call plan, no sale.
Here’s how to pre-call plan to close more sales:
1. Define your objective, your purpose. What’s the best possible outcome for you? What’s the next best possible outcome
2. Write out your objective. Get it from your head to written form. This involves more than just thinking. Writing involves your senses and makes your objective concrete.
3. List the questions you’ll ask to reverse a suspect’s potential stalls and objectives. For example, develop a list of questions your buyer may ask about budget objections, quality, availability of your product, and the like. Then for each potential stall or objection, write down what reverse you’ll use.
4. Plan to avoid asking for permission. Asking for permission makes you seem less than your buyer, when you should be on an adult-to-adult, peer level. For example, don’t say, “May I ask what you really want?” Instead, say something like, “I’m a little unclear about your objection. Please tell me more about that.”
5. Define for yourself what your mind set will be on the sales call. In particular, be clear about the head trash you may tell yourself and discount this before the sales call.
Naturally, all this takes lots of frequent practice. After all, that's what selling is all about. But be patient, stay with it, and you’ll find yourself turning stalls and objections into spring boards for sales.