In my previous post, we covered sales objections and some of the most common reasons why a potential client may be hesitant to do business with you. Once you know where that objection is rooted, you can start to work on helping the client overcome it. And it’s possible to do this successfully, even if you’re not completely comfortable wearing the sales hat.
Note that this process of overcoming objections is based on the assumption that the client is open to and interested in what you’re selling. If the client has offered a refusal, as opposed to an objection, it’s best to move on.
One of the worst things you can do when faced with a sales objection is tell the client what you think they want to hear. First, it almost always sounds disingenuous, and second, you might be wrong. Instead, after you’ve listened closely to what they’re saying, and what is not being said, approach their concerns with honesty.
Your job isn’t to brow-beat a client into believing that you are the best choice, but to give the client the information they need to make a solid decision. Being honest and direct makes the sales process easier, especially for those of us who are not sales-minded, and it also sets the stage for a great client relationship if it progresses.
Instead of blowing off the client’s concerns, or becoming defensive, acknowledge them as being valid. Take some time to put yourself in the client’s shoes and truly look at it from their perspective. What would you be feeling? What would your concerns revolve around? What would make you feel more confident?
By focusing on understanding the client’s perspective, you will be in a better position to address their concerns and help them move past them.
Point Out the Benefits
After you’ve recognized the client’s concerns and tried to understand their viewpoint, list all of the benefits they stand to gain by working with you. What will they save in terms of time? How is your work superior? What are some of the “hidden” (non-obvious) benefits that make you extraordinary?
Take each of the client’s concerns and match up one of the benefits they will receive. Is their objection price? Point out that it comes with your 10 years of hands-on experience in their industry, helping other clients like them. If their objection is logistical and focused on their lack of time, point out how you will streamline the process and make their role as painless as possible.
Offer a Compromise
Sometimes, it’s not an all or nothing situation. Some clients simply aren’t the close-your-eyes-and-dive-in type. If the client is willing to put a toe into the water, start slow. Break the project down into smaller parts to make the risk more tolerable and to give both parties a chance to build trust and mutual respect.
Focus on keeping the lines of communication open, listening to the feedback that the client provides and following their lead and comfort level. It may be easier for the client to commit on a smaller level, and getting your foot in the door gives you a chance to show your excellence, making future sales a lot easier.
It’s Not All Bad…
While we’re never happy to hear an objection that halts the sales process, objections aren’t all bad. They indicate that the client has an interest in your products and services and, most importantly, objections present an opportunity. By being proactive and attempting to work with the client to overcome the objections they are facing, you can create a great foundation for a long-term relationship based on meeting the client’s needs.
What has been your experience with sales objections? How have you overcome hesitation?
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