"How come you charge so much?" Kinda feels like a kick to the stomach, huh? This is a classic “objection" during a sales conversation with a prospective customer, and it's no fun at all.
Customer objections can be painful and intimidating to deal with. And it doesn't have to be about price. It could be about anything: “Do you really know what you are doing?" “Does this thing really work?" “How do I know you'll follow through?"
Wish you never had to hear them again? You don't.
Sacred spiritual traditions, like the High Holy Days and the month-long fasting of Ramadan, are meant to not only leave you empty, but to drain you of all of your certainty. In the center of deep spiritual practice, you are left with many sincere questions in your heart.
Who am I? What is the silent, longing call that I hear in the middle of the night? Where do I really owe my allegiance? What is my heart crying out for? Profound questions that, when approached sincerely, can transform your life. When the time comes for these questions, you have to let go of your beliefs. If you don't, they become your prison.
The asking of these questions, dropping all of your defenses about what is right or wrong, what you want or don't want, is the doorway to freedom. You are no longer trying to force an outcome, but merely seeking the truth. How you ask the questions in your heart is critical. Are you a journalist, sniffing for scandal, sure you will find the dirt? Or are you a true seeker, allowing yourself to love the questions, because you love the truth more than anything?
A customer only raises objections when they feel at risk. At risk of losing money. At risk of losing time. At risk of looking foolish. At risk of any number of things.
Instead of answers, bring sincere, delighted questions to your prospect, devoid of any attachment to what the answers might be. Be curious and in love to learn more about what they are facing, their hopes and fears and desires in their situation. If you do this, they will feel seen. They will safe.
And they will never object. If they are the very best kind of prospects, they will have questions of their own. That's what you want, someone who cares enough to question you, so the two of you can form a true collaboration, whether you are selling a simple product that brings more enjoyment to their life, or if you are providing complicated, custom services that transform huge organizations.
Questions: After connection, it's the second step in a successful sales conversation.
What questions are you asking, and what's the most important one? Practical steps below in Keys to the Questioning
Keys to Questions
And, go beyond treating them like a problem. Find the place in your heart that cares about them, and ask larger questions: Tell me about how this pain is affecting your life, your work, your relationships.
"I can sure see how troubling this pain has been for you- it sounds miserable! (pivot ->) What brought you to talk to me about this? How did you see what I do fitting in with what you want to do about your pain?"
The pivot is an important step, because it elicits an invitation from your prospect that gives you permission to talk about how your business works, and how you can help them. Without that invitation and permission, you are trespassing. With the invitation, you are collaborating.
Questions are second nature to your heart, and the key to a successful sale.
Mark Silver is the author of Unveiling the Heart of Your Business: How money, marketing and sales can deepen your heart, heal the world, and still add to your bottom line. He has helped hundreds of people in small business succeed without losing their heart, through integrating1500 years of spiritual tradition with down-to-earth business practices. Get his free workbook, Getting to the Core of Your Business, online: http://www.heartofbusiness.com