How to successfully handle objections

A practical guide to handling objections in business
Always focus on creating value

Happy Saturday to everyone…I hope you are having a nice and relaxing weekend where ever you are. I was asked by one of my blog readers to write about Objections. As always I never refuse an opportunity to talk about business even on the weekend. so I thought to try to address the subject in this short blog. Knowing that Objection in Life in general or in sales/business can be traumatizing for many of us, but it is not hopeless situation, I look at objections as an opportunity. Let us dive into the subject of objection

How do you handle objections? Let’s say you just talked with your client on a fairly large project and they suggest to you that you are not in the ballpark on the deal. What do you say and how did you get to this point in the first place? I also have difficulty when someone asks me about objections. I know it is important and each time this happens, I have to reach back into my memory and think about how I’ve handled objections in the past. I remember the sales training early in my career regarding objections. What do you do when you get an objection? Is there a certain set of questions you should ask as you work with the client to assist them? Then it hit me! I know why I don’t get very may objections.

If you were to phone the most experienced and successful business people you know, how would they answer the question? Would they give you good advice? Chances are they would have the same problem we sometimes have with giving good advice on old issues. As strange as it may seem, most successful business people don’t handle too many objections. Don’t get me wrong, they used to, particularly in their early their career years. But after learning and working a business/sales process, they no longer encounter many opportunities with objections.

How Successful business people deals Objections?
The primary reason professional business people don’t get objections is because they eliminated them along the way. It is almost as if a professional business person gets advance warning that the client may have an objection. Before the client has a chance to voice their concern, the business person identifies it, supports it with information and overcomes the objection. This happens before the client has a chance to fully think the issue through. They know the right questions to ask and they listen to the answers. Yes, they listen carefully to what the prospect has to say.

Always building your: Experience, Confidence and Knowledge
There is a difference that experience, confidence and knowledge brings. Often, it can’t be quantified or qualified, but it does exist. And, it can exist only in the mind of the business person. One word to describe this is attitude. Confidence plays a big role in this too. Sometimes, the expectation that the call will be a success and the business is yours is all that is needed. Although we don’t want you to lean on this alone, confidence and attitude play a role. Selling yourself is part of the whole process of selling your product and company.

Possible ways of handling an objection
If you find yourself getting objections, you must first realize that the objection is really a question. The basis of almost every objection is how you can justify what you are telling me. In many cases the prospect needs to believe what you are saying is true. They may offer an objection to test you. When you haven’t provided enough support for your solution, an objection will develop. Objections occur more often with new and inexperienced business people.

An objection is often subtle and you must listen carefully to hear them. Sometimes the hint of an objection is only a facial expression. Look for it, identify it and eliminate it with a support statement. Honesty and openness are great sales tools and you should use them. Ask the client if they have a concern. Invite their issues to be placed on the table. After all, you are a professional and can support your proposal regarding all aspects of the sale. These might include quality, service and price. If you haven’t eliminated all their issues, you aren’t ready for the close.

Here are few tips that you should keep in mind:
1. Always try and ANTICIPATE objections in your presentation and COUNTER-OBJECT before the prospect gets the chance to use them. Too many business/sales people wait until objections come along. This makes more hard work that is often not necessary with efficient script planning.
2. Never rush your response to an objection. STOP and REFLECT. Show the customer you are listening! Sales people often respond too quickly in these situations. This will often create friction with the client which could also be avoided.

3. Repeat the objection back to the customer. This will buy you time and it will also show that you are interested in what they have to say. It’s a good idea to say the same thing but with slightly different wording. It just sounds a bit more natural and less construed.

4. Remember that objections are often a “BUYING SIGNAL” because the customer is questioning your offer. If they had no interest, why would they still be talking to you? Watch out for an objection that is followed by another question! This is another sign that the customer is interested even though their “tone” may not make it that obvious.
5. Ask the customer if they are interested if you think that their objection is just a SMOKESCREEN. Smokescreen objections can be a real time waster for sales people and unfortunately even the more seasoned professionals can fall into this trap. Some clients can feel overpowered by a confident sales person and there only escape is to create a “false objection” A simple way to eradicate this type of problem is by further probing in order to make sure that the objection is genuine.
6. Remember that statistically speaking 3 OBJECTIONS are needed before a person will buy. How many sales people give up after the first or second objection without realizing that this person would have bought if they had persisted a little more? This can be particularly the case when a sales person is experiencing a “Bad Patch”
7. Objections are part and parcel of the Sales Process. Don’t let them stop you from reaching your goals. Yes it’s true that objections can be a form of unwelcome distraction but the true professional doesn’t let them ever get in the way of end goals.
8. LISTEN carefully to objections. They often hold valuable clues about the client’s needs and PAIN. An objection can often reveal important information that is often worth noting because even if the customer doesn’t buy on this occasion you may know what buttons to press the next time you speak to them.
9. The better you explain your offer, the less objections you will hear! It’s important to articulate your presentation in a way that the prospect clearly understands what you’re on about. This will help to avoid objections that arise from not clearly understanding what you have said.
10. Wouldn’t selling be boring if people never objected? This may appear strange at first but I actually think some customers enjoy the “bartering element” of buying and business people should be fully aware of this. In my career I’ve often been congratulated for my persistence. I sometimes imagined that the client hated me by the time we were closing the deal. The reality was often very different in that they actually complimented my stamina and will to overcome all the obstacles that stood in the way.
Remember that attitude plays a huge part when handling objections. It’s never about winning a battle of minds. “Think solution and use an agreeing tone rather than a contrasting one!”

I wish everyone happy selling, and may your fortune multiply successfully

Until next time
How to be successful

The secret to being successful in sales

Being successful: What is the most important character trait

I have not been writing for a while, I have been on the road traveling between the US and Canada. Being alone on flights gives me time to think about various topics especially my next blog subjects, Sometime I write my blogs while in flight (if the idea is exciting enough and it can’t wait).

In today’s blog I thought to address the reason for success, what is the single most important character that defines and makes the sales person successful? In fact what is the single most important character trait that makes anyone successful in what they do, and it doesn’t matter what they do (personal life or professional one)

We are always at ah and envy when someone who is self-made successful story. Yes he/she didn’t get his fortune from a rich daddy or mommy. He/she worked hard for everything he/she is today and who he/she became. I heard many ask the following question: Why can’t that be me? In fact yes it can be you…don’t worry I will give you my perception of the answer…but I had to set the scene for you here in this pre-amble.

And for those who I heard many times saying: must be nice to have the bucks!!! This is in my opinion the most disgusting statement I ever heard, this is equivalent to wishing ill to someone. You say how can that be so negative? Having felt the effect of this statement many times, here is what it feels like to the recipient, you are wishing the individual to fail, to lose everything and drop to a living conditions that are equal or below to that of the person leveling the statement, this is absolute communism/defeatism which I totally dislike because I believe in individual achievements and continuous progress forward. Here is another way to express what we feel: supportive, helpful, admire, congratulate the individual on their achievement.

So what makes an individual and particularly a sales person successful?

Here it is: PASSION

Ok let’s assume we are talking about a sales person, a successful sales person needs extreme amount of passion in order for success to start to formulate. Contrary to common believes it is not a good commission plan, company, product or anything else. You absolutely need PASSION. You don’t have passion toward what you do; you should reconsider what you do.
So what is passion? Passion is that inner drive; passion that is hungry beast that lives inside you all the time, Passion is never satisfied and for ever seeking to fulfil a desire. Passion doesn’t know money, doesn’t recognize titles, jobs, or anything else that us earthlings seems to worry about in our personal and professional lives. Passion is so unstoppable that will take down the highest fortresses (Real or imaginary). Passion is so pure to a point of being indiscriminate between any being, object or idea that you are passionate about.

There are 3 types of people:

1-      People that makes things happen
2-      People that watches things happen
3-      People that says:  What the heck just happened

Don’t just do ok job, leave lasting impression
So which one of the 3 types I listed here do you think have PASSION? Obviously the people that make things happen. Why do you think these people makes things happen, why not be like the people who watches things happen or even the people that wonder “what just happened”? Some people would say it’s much less complicated to watch from the side line, to let others (the people with Passion) spend their effort while we enjoy the view of struggles, failures, successes from the comfort of our armchairs. Here is why, because when you have passion, you can’t keep it bottled in, you can’t hide this precious character. Passion has to manifest itself in good deeds, in extraordinary things to satisfy the ever hungry sole.

The Greeks didn’t write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: Did he have passion? Passion is our legacy; passion is the inheritance which we pass along to humans/generations after we were long gone.

I am sure you are anxious at this point to find out, what is passion in sales or business development?

Passion in sales is that never ending journey of being your customer ‘sadvocate, to carry your client’s objectives in your heart, and always in your mind. To serve your client is your passion, which this character has to manifest in everything you do. Yes Passion in sales recognizes one being only: your client why? By having passion toward serving and finding your client’s best interest (and please don’t use this as a cliché) fakes are easily detected. It is that passion that will produce the successful legacy for the sales person, the client and the company they are working with.

Let me be clear on something, Passion it is something you are born with, you cannot buy passion from the market.  Most importantly, you cannot fake passion.  For instance, some people will say, sales jobs pays well, I want to be a sales person. I wish I had a big buzzer noise here to tell you this is wrong approach, this is recipe for failure. Why? In the case where you don’t have passion, I don’t care how good of an actor you think you are, you cannot look and feel sincere to anyone not even to yourself and that’s a recipe for disaster.

If you are currently in a sales position and you don’t have passion toward what you do, please do yourself a favor and go back to engineering, being translator, writer, or whatever you were doing before. How does passion demonstrate in sales behaviour? Here are some clues to look for:

1-      Complete disregard to working hours, their day is 24×7 always on
2-      Don’t accept failure (this is different from don’t take failure well)
3-      Don’t know the word “impossible” doesn’t exist in their vocabulary
4-      Always moving forward in their personal life and business life

Always searching solutions/always on
To put this in more tactical terms: A sales person with passion doesn’t care about the comp plan. Don’t get me wrong we all need to make money to live. But a sales person with passion will compensate what the comp plan will lack. As long as you have a formula to make money, passion will take care of the rest of the void in the comp plan. The main ingredient for success is not how much the employer is paying you to perform a job, or what product you are selling, or the market you are selling to. The main ingredient for success is within us as individual is that eternal fire that continue to light us up and like insects on summer nights it keeps on pushing us toward the fire. It’s our destiny not to take the easy road, not to sit on the sideline and watch. It’s our destiny to continue moving the world forward including the ones who choose to sit on the sidelines.
I am always asked if you can train a sales person to perform better, or what is the sales process you use to guarantee success? The simple answer is not Miller Heiman sales training, Power Base, or Star etc. The answer is inside us as individuals…indeed you need to know the process but I have seen people that can recite any sales process impeccably but since they have no passion to what they do they have not been able to move the world forward.

I encourage you to recognize your passion as an individual, and I implore you to find out what makes you  feel free on top of the world sort of speak. And if you are in a place in your life whereby you are not feeling the passion and huge fire burning deep in your sole, consider change. I guess I will save the “Change” topic to another blog.

I will conclude by saying, I’d rather have lived with passion than die without having felt what passion is

Face to face Networking

Increase your sales using face to face networking

Growing Your Sales using Networking

One of the many methods we can use to grow sales and promote the business we represent is face to face networking.  This topic fits nicely in the series of topics that deals with growing sales and revenue in general which I have written about in previous blog postings and shared some of these ideas already; today my blog topic is using networking as a mean to growing your business
Every one of us is looking for ways to grow his or her sales, and respective business we seem to always hear mentioned around us that Networking is a great way to grow our book of business, generate leads, market and promote our ideas, services and products. It’s a great approach; so now let’s discuss what is networking and how can it help you grow sales/ business?

What is networking?

Networking is the face to face connection you establish with individuals whom you meet the first time or you already know from previous events. Also networking is a way of establishing and maintaining relationships for receiving information and resources to help your business grow. The focus of networking should be to build rapport and long term relationships. Networking gives you access to a variety of information and resources. A piece of advice, don’t walk into a networking event remembering your boss’s words (how much did you sell today???) this is a networking killer attitude. Remember networking is planting the seeds for future harvesting.

Some think negatively of networking thinking the emphasis is on, “What can you do for me?” (Remember my comment earlier about the boss) However, successful networking is about being genuine and authentic, building mutually beneficial relationships. It’s not just about what others can do for you, but what you can do for others. Consider these questions: “How can I be of help to others? What can I contribute? What kinds of resources do I have access to that I can share? What type of support can I offer?” Choose a group that will help you achieve your goals and is supportive of one another.

Your task is to motivate and educate your network

I would always keep in mind when I attend a networking event the following statement: What am I doing to compel my network to refer you? Are you interested in what they do and do you refer them to your customers? The basic philosophy here is if you start by offering help, you will receive support, referral and business will grow trust me on this one. Try it sometime.

Make sure you always ask yourself and re-evaluate this question, what have you done to educate your network about what your business? Have you kept them informed of new products and services? Have you given them succinct information about your business, such as business cards, brochures, web-based information, so they can also educate others they know?

You should set a goal for yourself, to become known as a powerful resource for others; people will remember you and turn to you for suggestions, ideas, referrals, etc. Follow through quickly and efficiently on referrals you receive. When people give you referrals, your actions reflect on them. Respect that and your referrals will grow.

Authenticity and Networking

Following up with business contacts you meet at a networking group is great. However, be sure your follow-up is authentic.

Recently I attended a networking function and received a hand-written, hand-addressed piece of correspondence from a business owner who also attended. I was very impressed to have received a hand-written follow note from this business owner. It certainly left an impression on me to receive a hand -written note. A hand-written note often has greater value than a follow-up by email.

However, I found out later that this business owner outsources the job of sending out these notes because he meets too many people each month to be able to do it themselves. The personal note was not authentic. I felt let down and I wasn’t inclined to pursue a business relationship

Always you need to find time to be authentic with your response to a referral this is your reputation online, be genuine always.

Ethics in business is absolutely important that’s what should be your differentiator factor, not just your superior products and services, once you become know for your authenticity and your ethics you will have more referral…if you doubt this theory, let me run this by you, who do you think get more referral, a not so honest mechanic or the honest one? Think about that….

Until next time…please keep reading my blog