Four Ways to Uncover the Hidden Objection

Portrait of attractive young woman showing a thumbs up on white backgroundHas this ever happened to you?

The prospect needs or wants your product or service.

You’ve made a good presentation and s/he seems interested, but for some reason hasn’t placed the order.

You think she wants to buy, but you sense a hesitation.

It seems there is a hidden objection you are not aware of.  This is frustrating because where do you go from here?   And are you just wasting your time?

To find out where you stand,  ask specific questions to learn what the prospect is really feeling about your products and presentation.

I do have an online coaching and training course, but for now I want to share this with you:

Four Ways to Uncover the Hidden Objection

1.)  Check and see if you’re on the right track by asking an opinion-seeking question.

The answer will tell you how the prospect feels about what you’ve said, and bring up any concerns she may have.

Example:

“In your opinion, do you feel the Laser Gold Service Program is a good idea for your company?”

Don’t ask:

“Do you think the Laser Gold Service Program is a good idea. . .”  because that will get a logical response and you can find out more information from an emotional response, which you will get by asking how they feel instead of what they think.

2.)  Or you can ask:  “Are you getting the information you need to make a decision?”

Move Them Closer to a Decision

3.)  If you feel the prospect is close to a decision but you’re not quite sure, you can ask:

“Do we need a purchase order number?”

The answer to this question will either be “Yes,” or “No,” or “I’m not ready to order yet.”

The first two answers will give you the sale and if you hear the last answer, you can ask:  “What questions can I answer for you?”

4.)  Another way to get feedback from the prospect and learn why s/he is hesitating to place the order is to use a trial close, like:

“How does that sound to you so far?”

or

“Am I going in the right direction?”

By asking these – and similar – trial closing questions, you are giving the prospect the opportunity to let you know how s/he feels about your company, products, services and/or benefits, based on your presentation.

Opinion vs. Decision

Why is a trial close effective?

Three reasons:

1.  You are getting feedback from the customer without actually asking for the order.

2.   You are taking pressure out of the sales situation because:
You are not asking the prospect to make a decision  –  You are only asking for his/her opinion

3.    An opinion is much easier to give than a decision.

If the answer to your trial closing question is negative, you can ask questions to find out why.

If the answer is positive, you can use a direct or choice close, like:

“I can go ahead and write up the order now and schedule your products for delivery either first thing in the morning or the following day. Which day would be best for you?”

Or:  “Will the case of six be enough – or would you rather get two cases and save $16.00 today?”

What is most important is NOT that you must make the sale now – today – but the important thing is that a relationship is developed and the prospect learns to trust you.  Asking opinion-seeking questions can be the beginning of building a business relationship that can eventually lead to a sale and then another sale, until your prospect becomes a steady customer.

If you found these tips useful, take a look at more free sales tips on my website AnnBarr.com

Three Reasons Why They Say NO

No-on-blackboard-tnIt has been said that the word NO is the most destructive force in the world.

It keeps people from reaching quotas, achieving goals, and pursuing the life of their dreams.

Editor’s note: This is a guest article by Liz Wendling who is a Business Coach, Sales Expert and Emotional Intelligence Coach. You can connect with Liz on Facebook and Twitter.

As a sales person hearing NO or business owner saying, NO the impact is the same.

No one likes hearing no and no one really likes telling you no.

In fact they would rather lie to your face than tell you NO.

What if you could change that?

What if  the word “NO” did not stop you dead in your tracks and actually became one of your most powerful sales tools?

What if, starting today, every time you heard the word NO you became stronger…more powerful…more resilient?

It is possible if you stop letting the word “NO” derail your life, business and success.

There are many reasons why potential clients may be reluctant to tell you “no.”

Here are just a few of them:

1.)  Many people are nice and don’t like to disappoint others.

They think telling you “no” will disappoint you. So, they avoid disappointing you by stringing you along. Eventually they ease themselves out of the situation and won’t return any your calls. They think the truth will hurt so lying to you is easier on them, not you.

2.)   Clients may find they are unable to come up with the money required to pay for your product or service. Yet, they know you have invested a lot of time, energy, and resources in an effort to help them fix specific business problems. They think you will get mad if they tell you the truth. So, they further string you along and tell you “maybe” or “let me think about it.” (again…easier to fib than use the truth)

3.)  Clients are afraid that telling you “no” may cause a confrontation or encourage you to “hard sell” them in a last-ditch effort to salvage the sale. So, they string you along to avoid getting into an uncomfortable situation. (again…lying to another human being is easy)

If a potential client can’t or won’t buy, a great salesperson wants to know as quickly as possible.

If you stop investing your time on customers that can’t or won’t buy and instead use that time to find and work with truly qualified customers, you will be rewarded with a significant increase in sales!

Editor’s note:  Thanks, Liz, for a great article.

I’d love to know how you qualify a prospect so you can stop wasting time with people who are stringing you along.

Please post your comments on this page.

Are You Asking the Right Questions?

If not, you may be missing great opportunities for new business.

Common questions aren’t a bad thing, but there are uncommon questions that can help you dig even deeper to discover what the prospect really needs and wants.

The question-answer process in sales is vital not only to find, qualify and close deals, but also to offer the best possible solutions to your prospects and customers.

The key in asking the right questions is to keep them open-ended.  man-and-questions

Your initial questions are to establish rapport, trust and respect.

If they trust and like you they are more likely to buy.

The way to get to know your prospect is to have a dialog where they respond beyond a simple yes or no.

You can get to know their needs and wants better if you ask the right questions. These would be fact finding questions.

Open-ended questions.

Examples:

“What went into the decision to purchase your copier?”

(Not “why did you buy that copier” which puts them on the defensive.)

“How are you currently handling back order situations?”

(Not “do you have a second source in case you have a back order situation?”)

“How would you describe that experience?”

Think in terms that this is an interview process. This way you will uncover information that will allow you to come back on a follow up appointment to prompt them to purchase.

 

If these tips are helpful to you, get more free sales tips on my website AnnBarr.com
Thanks for visiting!

 

3 Easy Ways to Create Customer Loyalty

When someone registers for one of my online sales seminars, I send back a questionnaire to find out what his or her goals are.  A few months ago a seminar participant sent back an email with this statement:

“I am interested to know what differentiates the ‘phony salesperson’ from the genuine salesperson trying to find you the best options for the best cost. I would like to be perceived by my clients as sincere and driven towards a common goal.”

As soon as I read her statement, I immediately thought of someone who personified what this sales rep’s goal is all about.

Creating Trust versus Trying to SellCustomer-loyalty-cycle

Nearly everyone has had an experience with a sales person who was simply trying to just “sell.”  This type of person is thinking only about what s/he wants to accomplish and not what would be best for the customer.

Sometimes we are lucky enough to find an example of a genuine, caring sales person.I had this kind of luck.

During the years that I sold imaging supplies for an office equipment dealership in Virginia Beach – and bought all of our supplies – I learned some important lessons from one of the sales reps I purchased from.

What I first noticed was her positive attitude and cheerful personality. After introducing herself (her name was Rita) she said something very impressive.

First Impressions Count

I was new at the job, so what Rita said meant a lot to me.  Here it is:

“During my ten years in this industry,  I’ve come across a lot of different supply products and we have every cross-reference catalog in existence, so don’t hesitate to call me if you can’t find a particular item. 

“I’ll be happy to help you – even if we don’t sell the product you need.”

That was impressive.

It sounded as though she cared about helping me, not just selling.

She answered my mental what’s in it for me question during our first telephone conversation.

Rita seemed to be sincere, so I took her up on the offer and did call her.

Sure enough, she always found the answer for me – either immediately or later the same day.  I came to depend upon her knowledge and expertise, and I became a loyal customer. Whenever we needed to buy a product she sold, I made the usual calls to our regular supply sources, but made every effort to buy the products we needed from Rita whenever possible.

During nearly every phone call, she told me about one or two products her company sold – but that we had never ordered.  But she never tried to “sell” me anything.

How Rita Earned my Loyalty

Rita made herself unforgettable, and always reminded me of other products – so much so, that she was at the top of my list to call whenever we needed something new or different.  And because she was so consistently helpful, I trusted her and felt a sense of loyalty that resulted in sales for Rita for many, many years.

Three Easy Ways to Create Customer Loyalty
Source:  Geoffrey James, writing in Inc.com

1. Relationships are critical. Customers immediately sense if you’re using them (and the relationship) to work your own agenda. Put the relationship first and treat it as more important than making the sale.  Your customers will sense you’ve got their best interests at heart.

2. Have real conversations. A customer meeting should be a conversation and never a “sales call.”  Always spend more time listening to the customer rather than talking to the customer.  (And never, ever talk at a customer.  No sales pitches!)

3. Be willing to recommend competitors. When you’re open to the idea that the customer might be better served elsewhere, your customer will begin thinking of you as a trusted adviser and consultant rather than a salesperson trying to make your numbers.

How do you create customer loyalty?  I would love to know what works for you. Tweet @annbarrblog

This 4-Letter Word Earned the Sale

Three weeks ago I called the local newspaper to cancel my subscription.

The person I spoke with at the newspaper used all the right words – especially one “positive power” word – to try and change my mind.

First she said, “I’m so sorry you have decided to cancel.”concerned-woman-on-phone-medium

(She sounded as though she meant it.)

Then she asked an important question:

“May I ask why you would like to cancel your subscription?”

I was truthful.

I answered:  “Because I get most of the news online and I don’t usually have the time to read the newspaper.”

Then she used that powerful positive 4-letter power word.

It worked.

Even though I teach students in my online e-course to USE this word, I have rarely heard it used in a business conversation with me.

This professional not only asked the right questions, she actually listened to my answers.

After I told her why I wanted to cancel, she described a new “special” offer.

It was an offer I could not resist, especially when she used that persuasive positive power word.

What was this “magic” 4-letter word – and how did she use it?

She said:

“We would love to keep you as a customer.”      Four-letter-word-tn

And then . . .

“There is one special offer you may want to take advantage of.”

I was all ears.

The offer was a two-day a week newspaper delivery:  Wednesdays and Sundays.

After telling me about the offer, she asked:

“Would you like to try that for 14 weeks?”

I said yes.

Three reasons she earned the sale:

1.)  I felt as though she really cared and did not want to lose me as a customer.

                  (Whether that was true or not; it is the impression I had.)

2.)  I did not want to say “no” to her because she used all the right words and – honestly – I felt she deserved the sale.

3.) She asked for the sale!

If you have not been using “Love” in your conversations with prospects and clients because you feel it is not professional . . .

. . . think again . . .

. . . because it works!

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