It can be the most dreaded point in any sales call — the objection. For many newer reps, that first objection results in a sinking heart, a stomach that goes into turmoil, and a mind racing into overdrive trying to figure out how to deal with it. It’s simple enough to say that if you can’t get past those objections,
you are not going to make the sale. If you are following the proposal guidelines
provided by most publishers to their sales teams of having at least one more aggressive plan than the advertiser currently has, even with your best of clients, you can expect you’ll hear some objections. Objections are a necessary part of the buying process. Objections can be our friends. In fact, the only thing dumber than not being prepared for objections is hoping you don’t get any.
Many objections are simply knee jerk reactions that advertisers have been conditioned or programmed to say to sales people, all sales people (and they get to see many of them). Things like, “I can’t afford it”, “I don’t need to advertise, everyone knows who we are”, or even the famous “I’m not going to buy anything today” line.
Sales experts will tell you that most of the time; these are simply stall tactics, and not really true objections. Some objections can be out and out lies, like, “I need to talk with my wife first.” or “I can’t do anything until _________ happens.” Depending on which source you look at, the average customer will object or tell you “No” between four to seven times. So by definition, a true salesperson has to ask for the sale somewhere between five to eight different times before an average customer can look you in the eye, tell you “No”, and actually mean it!
How do you get past these objections? Here are a few simple but effective tips
we’ve gathered from those sales experts.
Tip #1: It’s not personal, it’s just business
First and foremost, understand that it’s not personal. They aren’t rejecting
you. Many objections don’t even necessarily mean, “No,” they just may mean “Not yet.” They are simply requests for more information or to understand how this proposal you made is really going to help their business.
Tip #2: Did you do your fact-finding before you started the proposal??
Jacqui Ponkey, the President of Genesis Publishing Services, a provider of sales training to numerous publishers believes that poor fact-finding (needs identification) is an instant opportunity for objections — “if you haven’t identified a need that your recommendations are fulfilling, then where is the value of what you’re offering to that business? You need to understand
where that business is positioned and then give the customer enough relevant
information, i.e., build value, so that the benefits of owning outweigh the
cost of ownership”
Tip #3: Create an objections cheat-sheet
To help you be prepared for objections, it can help to have a tool or guide
that outlines all of the most common or anticipated objections that you are
likely to get while cold calling for the product or service that you are
selling. And to be most useful, this list of objections will also include the
best responses that you can use to respond to those objections.
Do a little brainstorming and create a list of all of the possible objections that you are likely to receive. This list will be different for each product and service but there are some that are common objections that come up regardless of the scenario. From my rides with industry reps, the three most common ones are:
- I don’t advertiser//everyone knows me//I get
all of my business from word-of-mouth.
- No one use print yellow pages anymore.
- I do not have money (budget) to advertise.
Tip #4: Script out your best responses
Now that you have anticipated what those most common objections are, prepare a script of the best responses that you can have for these objections. If you talk with your fellow sales peers, you will get different opinions on what the best responses are, but the goal for the responses should be for to keep the cold call going and to get the prospect to put down that stop sign.
Tip #5: Practice those responses and keep adding to you list
In front of the mirror, with your significant other, or even with your dog (if
he will sit and listen long enough), go through those responses so you can be
confident in quickly presenting them as the objection comes up.
Tip #6: Don’t argue. Show some empathy:
Never say, “I don’t agree with you”, “that’s not really true is it”, or “…no that’s not right and here’s why…” Trying to suggest or prove that they do not understand or have made a mistake will simply make them feel foolish or angry.
Ponkey again recommends that you “acknowledge their concern or issue, and then make your point to support why this ad program works for them.”
Objections are not to be feared. Consider it being half way to getting to a