Have a look at some sales questions from small business owners, just like you. With each one, we have applied some Simple Skills to answer the question and give you some great sales tips to help you in your Sales Journey in your business .... dig in!
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Answering objections is one of THE most important sales skills a person can have. In my experience objections is a key area where sales people lose (or don’t win) the sale. I would weight this very highly as a skill say 80 or more. Here’s why.
Objections show that a client is thinking about your solution … thinking about buying from you. An objection starts to show you where a potential area for concern is for the client. This doesn’t mean they don’t want to buy … this means that they are thinking it through and perhaps this is an area that you haven’t shown them the value of your solution or explained the process well enough.
It is true that sometimes people use objections as a scapegoat. “I have to check with …” “It’s too expensive…” are not true objections, often they are a response to feeling pressured to give the sales person an answer about feeling that you are being cornered into a sale.
I think the primary reason that objections are mishandled is shown in how we describe them. Handling or overcoming is something that we do with adversity or a dangerous animal or threat. The reason that this terminology persists is a throw back to the ABC (Always Be Closing) dinosaur of sales philosophy.
ABC in sales focuses on us and what we want – but we know that great conversations and relationships actually are mutual and so focus on both parties. If you are building a relationship and someone objects … you don’t ‘handle it’ …. you stop and listen, you attempt to fully understand their position … and then you carefully explain yours and how you can together overcome the objection.
I listened to your webinar with ABN - loved it!
Unfortunately I missed the Q&A at the end. Once you have gained permission to follow up and you call and call but keep reaching voicemail, what is the best approach to take? Thank you!
I know it can be tricky when you are calling them and there is no answer. The most important thing is to be clear in your own mind that you have permission and that it is ok. That way, when you leave a message it sounds genuine and like you know they will return your call.
I have written two blog posts on this … one on the first part (how to get permission to follow up) … and then the second to answer your question (on getting on the phone).
They are here:
Sales Follow up Etiquette I - Sales Follow Up Etiquette – How to do it without feeling pushy!
Sales Follow Up Etiquette II – A Nice person’s guide to connecting with people
Good luck & happy selling !
Great question Hugh thanks.
I know you’re not supposed to answer a question with a question … but I will anyway … What product or service do you want to be providing…. if you had enough customers to choose?
Often in business there is a product or service that we focus on, that we see as our main reason for being on business. The one we want to be known for. Sometimes we sell ‘other things’ in the interim until we get enough custom to specialise in the area that we really want to focus on.
I think that you are better to split your sales numbers by client type. You might have some clients who just come in for minor work or to buy set products from you. These are transactional customers and should be treated differently to longer term relationship customers who buy larger products and or regular services from you.
In most businesses – it is the longer term, larger purchasing clients that we focus on. That’s not to say that we ignore the transactional customers, because they are still important and can over time move to become relationship customers.
From a numbers perspective I would have a line item for your run-rate from transactional clients and focus your sales efforts (and tracking of number data) on the larger target clients.
Your referral program should be known by everyone associated with your business. So by that I mean employees, friends and family, suppliers and of course your existing and prospective clients.
If you are getting high referral rates .... this is something to be proud of and something that I would be adding to the story that I tell about my business and why you should do business with me.
For your employees, I think about it like this: Everyone who has any contact with (or impact on) your customer is really in your sales team. The reason for this is that they are the one's that have to deliver on your business promises.
Sales is about representing your business truth, and these representations are then borne out by the actions that you and your employees take. If you can understand what your client needs & wants to buy, can accurately describe why your business is unique in answering this need and why people should be your clients, and then seamlessly deliver on that ... then you will win! This involves everyone ... and your employees should know about the referral program so that they can help spread the word.
Good luck and let me know how you get on.