How to Resolve The Top 4 Financial Sales Objections

financial sales objections cost price budget value

Here’s a quick story about the first step in resolving 4 common sales objections, assessing the objection.

Have you ever heard the story of how McIlhenny’s Tabasco sauce got started?

Before the Civil War, the McIlhenny family lived on an island along the coast of Louisiana called Avery Island. If you look at the bottle, you’ll see a picture of Avery Island, right there off the coast. The island was just a great place to live – it had sugar cane,  fresh water, and cattle. The McIlhenny family loved it there.

When the Civil War broke out, some troops were stationed on the island, and they ended up killing the cattle, burning the sugar cane, polluting the water, and further devastating the island. Continue reading

Did You Verify Your Prospect’s Buying Signals?

verifying buying signals in sales traffic light

Here’s something I noticed about good salespeople. During their presentation, in particular when they are delivering their prescription to address the challenge, a good salesperson will have the awareness to recognize buying signals, warning signs, and objections. It’s these signals that will lead us into the next phase of the sales process, the dialogue. Continue reading

Sales Presentation Factors for Persuasive Prescriptions

sales presentation persuasive prescription

In a previous post, we looked at a few requirements to move the sale forward. We need to get into the prospect’s mind and answer 5 questions. We must also supply evidence to back up our claims. And we must provide third-party validation to ease the prospect’s concerns. Continue reading

Sales Training Exercise – Don’t Let a Sales Objection Stop Your Process

sales objection sales process

As salespeople, one of the challenges we have when encountering a sales objection is we tend to react in the moment.  Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m all for flexibility and spontaneity. In fact, I think salespeople need to be more spontaneous and flexible.

However, when someone puts forth an objection, you have to first get them define, defend, and explain what they are objecting. Otherwise, you’re simply reacting to your interpretation of the prospect’s statement.  Which means you’ll miss the opportunity to address their real issue. Continue reading

5 Questions You Must Answer When Presenting Relevant Evidence

presenting relevant evidence

Presenting Relevant Evidence

Back in a previous post, I outlined a sales call where the sales rep, after performing his diagnostic session, removed all documentation off the table, presented relevant evidence, and focused on the one solution that was going to address my challenge.

I emphasize the fact that he removed all documentation off the table because it highlights one important fact: More information is not better. We want to get the need or the issue right and give them enough relevant information. Too much irrelevant information causes confusion. And confusion leads to doubt. Continue reading

Sales Training Exercise – Your Sales Close Depends on Achieving This

trial close to achieve sales momentum

In the good-old-days, sales was all about the sales close. In fact, corporate sales teams had manuals stocked with various phrases and tactics their sales reps could use to close the deal. They had the Ben Franklin close, the Puppy Dog close, the Assumptive close, the Columbo close, the Now or Never close… Continue reading

Sales Training Exercise – A Technique to Focus Your Sales Questions

focus sales questions

In a previous post, we talked about who the subject of your sales questions should be. But most salespeople believe the questioning process is for them. When they ask questions, they become the center of the questioning process, not the prospect.

How many times have you entered into a diagnostic session where the central thoughts in your mind were something like:

  1. I have to ask some sales questions. Let’s get this thing over with.
  2. I have to ask questions to impress the prospect
  3. What do I have to ask to close this deal or move the sale forward

Most of the time, when we start asking sales questions, our attention is almost always focused on us and not on the prospect. In most cases, it’s probably the last conversation you had with your sales manager who told you ‘how much we really need this deal.’

Here’s a tip. If you write down the goals of your questioning session, you are more likely to achieve them. For example, if your goal is to discover information about their operating environment to install technical equipment, put that at the top of your notepad and make that the focus of your attention.

In all of my experiences with salespeople, those who write down the target outcomes of their sessions and take notes during the sessions outperform those salespeople who wing it.

Sales Training Exercise – Focus your Sales Questions by Removing Distractions

So here’s your exercise. In addition to your notepad, get yourself a small spiral bound notebook to serve as a worry notebook.

When you’re preparing for your diagnostic session, write in your notepad the general items you want to focus on – your prospect, their company, their environment. These items will be the focus of your sales questions during your diagnostic session.

Now, before you step into the meeting with your prospect, ideally before you get out of the car, write down in your worry notebook the items that are grabbing your attention. Things like:

  1. The conversation with your sales manager telling you they need this deal.
  2. You session with your physician who said your blood pressure was too high.
  3. Your car payment
  4. Shots for the family pet

Anything of a personal nature that you think needs addressing goes into the worry notebook. Then, put that worry notebook in the glove box of your car and give yourself permission to forget about those issues for the next hour. Don’t worry. They will be there when you get back. But for the next hour during your diagnostic session with your prospect, they are in your worry notebook, leaving you free to focus on your prospect.

Remember, selling is an away game. It takes place in the mind of the prospect. That’s exactly where you need to be, in their mind, seeing the world as they see it. And you can’t do that if you are paying attention to your problems.

 

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Make Your Sales Presentation Pop with Evidence

sales presentation evidence

Once the salesperson has diagnosed the problem correctly, they need to present the right prescription in such a way that it persuades the buyer to see value in the solution or opportunity. As salespeople, we need to gain the high ground in order to overcome doubt quickly and effectively.

And what inherently overcomes doubt? Evidence!

Check this out this sales example and discover what’s revealed in the process. Continue reading

Sales Training Exercise – Building Powerful Sales Testimonials

sales testimonials thumbs up

One thing you have to remember when you’re standing in front of your prospect is that they perceive everything you say as suspect. After all, you are the salesperson. You’re supposed to say good things about your product or service. That’s why we coach our clients to answer one of the critical questions in their prospects’ minds – who says so besides you. Sales testimonials will do that for you.

Here’s a tip: If you make a claim about your product or service, your prospect will have doubts. If someone else make a claim about your product or service, your prospect sees the claim as more credible.

When we performed sales in our call center days, I encouraged my sales team to gather testimonials from their customers at every opportunity and to get those clients to print out the testimonial on their letterhead. My team then assembled those sales testimonials into a 3-ring binder. This became a tool for every salesperson when they went to a prospect and performed their solution presentation. The client then had physical evidence that someone else, a peer in their industry, was backing the sales team in their efforts.

This concept isn’t new.  In car sales, sales managers have been posting pictures of happy, satisfied customers standing next to their new vehicle for years. Letters of recommendation are a variation of this principle. And if you attend any webinar that is selling a service online, you’ll notice the speaker trots out several sales testimonials from happy, satisfied clients before they make their closing statement. The latest hype with online reviewers like Yelp is simply the digital incarnation of this principle.

Sales Training Exercise – Sales Testimonials Exercise

Here’s your assignment this week. Contact 10 of your best customers and simply talk to them.

Ask them:

  1. Why they bought your product or service
  2. Why they decided to do business with you
  3. How your product is currently performing
  4. If they’re satisfied with their purchase
  5. How the product or service has impacted their lives professionally and personally

You want to know everything about how your product or service has changed their situation.

There are three reasons for this:

  1. First, you need a reason to reconnect with your customers. Many salespeople don’t call their old customers back until they’re ready to sell them something new. While that may be a reason to call, it certainly won’t make your customer feel good about the interaction.
  2. Second, your customers need to remember why they did business with you. They need to reconnect with how you were a problem solver and how your product changed their lives.
  3. Lastly, ask them to write a testimonial for you. This testimonial will highlight everything you just asked them: the challenge they faced before your offering, how their situation changed after your offering, and the impact it’s had on them personally.

These sales testimonials are a powerful form of evidence that you can use to support your sales process. Now you have a response to the question that’s in your prospect’s head, “who says so besides you.” And it gives you more credibility when advancing your sales process.

 

Are you currently using evidence in your sales process? Want to know if your knowledge of the sales process puts you in the game?  Take our online sales evaluation here  and determine if your sales process gives you an unfair advantage over your competition!

 

LinkedIn Ain’t Selling – Insights Into Social Selling

linkedin and social selling

This post on social selling was originally published on Nov 17, 2016  and updated on Feb 13, 2019.

I often get asked to give a talk on the power of social media and how that works in the profession of sales. There’s still a lot of buzz around the topic of social selling and it makes sense with more professionals using platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter for business. But make no mistake, social media is not a substitute for strong sales skills and processes. Continue reading