The Sales Training Series: Stopping Objections Before They Start

 


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"Your price is too high. " “We're loyal to our current supplier. " “I prefer your competitor's product. "

Classic objections such as those are very hard to overcome when they pop up near the end of your sales call after you have presented your company and your product, and after you have expended most of your sales ammunition. But objections are far easier to handle if you uncover them earlier in the process.

An objection is the customer's response to an unasked question.

Action Selling defines objections as the customer's response to questions you failed to ask earlier in the sales call. If you can ask all the right questions before making your formal product presentation, you will uncover every potential objection that otherwise would come back to bite you and you can modify your presentation accordingly.

Here are those three classic objections again, with questions that could have exposed them before they arose:

"Your price is too high. " (Q: How much do you currently pay?)

"We're loyal to our current supplier. " (Q: What do you like about your current supplier? What would you like to see them improve?)

"I prefer your competitor's product. " (Q: What are the capabilities of the product you're using now? What would you like to see added?

Does this sound obvious? Then why aren't you doing it? Probably because, like 19 out of 20 salespeople, you don't plan to do it and you don't prepare good questions prior to a sales call.

But suppose you do ask excellent questions and an unforeseen objection surfaces anyway? In that case, just follow the same rule: Ask questions to understand the objection, try to quantify it, and look for possible solutions.

Objections are the customer's response to unasked questions. Ask The Best Questions early in the sales call, and customize your presentation so that you'll hear far fewer objections later. If you do hear an objection late in the call, figure out the question you should have asked-and ask it now.

In The Field:

"We had never prepared questions in advance of a sales call before, " says Brent Bearden, Manager of National Sales at Summit Biotechnology. Now, thanks to the Action Selling sales training program, Bearden says, “we uncover the information we need to gear our presentations in a way that prevents objections from arising. "

In one case, good questioning delivered an even greater benefit. Summit, a division of billion-dollar agricultural giant Monfort Inc. , sells animal sera and related products to pharmaceutical companies. Questions designed to uncover and thoroughly understand one customer's resistance to a particular product led Summit to develop an extremely successful new product that anticipated and overcame the objection. “We would have missed out on a multi-million-dollar opportunity without Action Selling, " Bearden said.

The best way to deal with objections is to ask good questions early in the sales call; questions that reveal and quantify potential objections, allowing you to search for solutions.

Duane Sparks is chairman and founder of The Sales Board, a Minneapolis-based sales training company that has trained and certified more than 200,000 salespeople in the system and skills of Action Selling. He has personally facilitated more than 300 Action Selling training sessions.

In a 30-year career as a salesperson and sales manager, Duane has sold products ranging from office equipment to insurance. He was the top salesperson at every company he ever worked for. He developed Action Selling Sales Training while owner of one of the largest computer marketers in the United States. Even in the roaring computer business of the 1980's, his company grew six times faster than the industry norm, differentiating itself not by the products offered but by the way it sold them. Duane founded The Sales Board in 1990 to teach the skills of Action Selling to others.

Contact The Sales Board for more sales information or sales training that's been documented and research-proven to help you sell more! 1-800-232-3485

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