A new solution can change a business or a consumer’s life in the same way paint can change a room. However, selling a product to someone who isn’t ready is like trying to paint over the holes. Sooner or later, you’ll notice them.
Preparation is as important to the sales process as it is to painting. XANT senior corporate sales manager Keith Manley explains, “The best way to overcome objections in sales calls is through the discovery process in the beginning and managing expectations.”
The more time you spend getting people to open up right at the beginning of their buying journey, the more prepared you will be to field their objections. It makes the entire process run more smoothly.
The best way to overcome objections is by connecting on an emotional level and discovering compelling events.
Use these three steps in your discovery process to find and patch the holes in your sales pitch:
1. Build credibility
Credibility starts with you. Quickly share some career highlights, but don’t dwell on the subject. One of the fastest ways to build credibility is to create an emotional connection. How? Research the company or prospect to figure out how your product fits into their needs.
Researching a company is an important part of the process and one that many sales reps still don’t do well despite having all kinds of tools at their fingertips.
A website will tell you a lot about a company, but checking out social profiles will also give key insights. See whom you’re mutually connected to on LinkedIn — not to name drop, but to get a bigger picture.
Check their latest tweets and who they’re following to see what they deem important.
Using this knowledge appropriately will not only show you care, but also that you’re prepared.
2. Ask open-ended questions
To get the information you need, ask the right questions: open-ended questions. The answer to these can’t be yes or no.
- Tell me about your process?
- What are your pain points?
- What challenges are making it difficult to achieve your goals in 2015?
This is the time to discover the information you need to make the process run smoothly.
“Uncover what their buying process is,” Manley says. “You could be talking to the VP of sales, but that person may not have the ultimate authority to sign on the doted line.”
Find a compelling event. Just as an event like moving can expedite painting, certain goals and deadlines in a company can create urgency for using your solutions.
Maybe they’re looking to implement new technology or replace their old system. Maybe they’re using a competing product they don’t like, or maybe they have an important quota to meet or presentation to give.
You’re typically not going to find these things online. It’s not necessarily because it’s secret, but because most people won’t find them interesting enough to share unless you ask.
Identifying these events is a proven way to overcome an objection in a sales call without being too pushy. It allows you to become an advocate for achieving their goals by demonstrating how your product will help.
People will open up if they trust you and if you’re asking questions the right way. If you’re just a slick salesman who talks a lot, you’re not going to sell very much.
Your prospects may have a compelling event, but if you’re not paying attention, you might miss asking about it.
If they don’t have time to talk, you could kill your chances of continuing the conversation at a more appropriate time by trying to keep them on the phone.
“It’s rude to keep people on the phone if they have to go,” Manley says. “Use tact and common sense.”
If you build credibility, ask the right open-ended questions, and listen, you can take a consultative approach to overcoming objections. This approach shows you care about fixing the holes that are keeping your customers from reaching their goals, and you’re not just trying to paint over them with a pretty, new color.
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Image credit: Flickr via de.laina