It seems like that we hear in the news is doom and gloom. The media talks about the bad economy, company closings, bankruptcies, layoffs and lack of consumer spending are enough to dishearten the most optimistic salesperson.
If you seem to be getting more “recession-objections” these days while calling on prospects, and feel like our tough economy is hindering your sales efforts, then I challenge you to look at those objections as sales opportunities, and respond accordingly.
Handling objections is just part of the sales process – – – in a good or bad economy. I’ve been wondering if our bad economy just makes for an “easier” objection on the part of the person you’re speaking with.
The best way to overcome objections is to avoid them in the first place. Since, that’s not always possible, use objections as an opportunity to learn more about your prospect and position yourself for a sale – if not now, then in the future.
Understanding the objection is critical, and determines how you respond.
It’s my opinion that objections really boil down to three types:
- Legitimate – some prospects are truly not qualified, and don’t need your product or service.
- Avoidance – some people just don’t want to deal with sales people and the timing of the call.
- Misinformed – the prospect has a preconceived idea on your company’s product or services.
Often times, objections can be addressed by highlighting certain aspects of your product or service that “answers” their objection. For me, today’s tough economy means I have to sharpen my listening skills, so I can be sure I’m getting to the “heart” of the objection and truly understand it.
Use open-ended questions to encourage dialogue with your prospects which helps “peel apart” the objection to determine the “true” objection.
For example, on a recent call, the decision-maker first said they really didn’t use the service I was calling about, and they didn’t have the budget anyway.
However, by the end of the conversation, I found out the true objection was that everyone’s energy was focused on a major company website overhaul – – – the key person really just didn’t want to deal with one more thing right now. We ended the call on a friendly note, with a scheduled touch-base call when this major project is closer to completion.
If you are knowledgeable, excited about your product and service, confident in yourself, honest, a good listener, and use open-ended questions, you will be able to overcome objections, even in a tough economy.
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