EP Huddle #25
You don't have to be in sales long to understand how important it is to believe in your product. And, the buyer picks up on this belief system quickly. That's why a lot of people give used car salesmen bad names and why some mechanics are more trusted than others. We've all been screwed by someone, which then makes the trustworthy salespeople a little less hesitant to push a deal. They don't want to be viewed as a pushy salesman.
But this can only be an issue if the salesperson doesn't believe in what he's selling. If you have belief in your product and the service your company can provide, if you believe you can truly help your customer, and if you believe the prospect needs to hear your pitch because she'll benefit from working with you, then you can be strong and persuasive! In a good way.
Here are two examples of how I've done this in my own sales career.
As a team:
Think of mini-sales in your business. What can you do to convince yourself the prospect NEEDS your service? What questions can you ask to make sure you understand their needs and goals? What problems can your company solve for them? What can you commit to that will give you strength and conviction in your sales approach?
Your salespeople will immediately have more confidence and your sales will increase immediately.
EP Huddle #24
Every salesperson knows how important it is to be able to effectively overcome objections and get the customer to agree to moving forward with a deal. And, every buyer knows when a salesperson is trying to overcome their objections. Too often, we hear things like "your solution is too expensive for our budget" followed by the salesperson's response "well, we can discuss a discount", or "ok, click".
The number and severity of customer objections can differ greatly based on the type of service or product being sold. Complexity, price, risk and many other factors can affect how many objections a salesperson will hear during the selling process. In order to solve these problems, it's important for the salesperson to not rush and try to resolve each objection as it comes up.
So, what's the best way to get past customer concerns and set the stage to move forward? Don't hurry through the process... Instead, ask questions to better understand their objections first. In the scenario above, the salesperson would say something like "I can understand it may sound expensive now, but tell me a little bit about the options you're currently exploring to solve your XYZ need".
Follow these steps to improve your ability to overcome objections:
Now, here's the important part.
Step 4: Ask your prospect "In addition to (that concern), what else would prevent you from moving forward with this solution?". Repeat steps 1-4 until there are no additional concerns.
Now, it's time to solve these objections by following a one-by-one approach. Reference the notes you took during steps 1-4 and work to overcome each specific concern. As you resolve each one, ask a trial close (see EP Huddle #22) to confirm that you're in agreement that the objection is no longer viable. And, then move to the next objection.
By taking these steps and waiting to overcome the set of objections one at a time, you'll see a big increase in your ability to work past customer concerns and you'll see improvement in your close rate and number of deals won.
As a team:
Discuss the common objections that you hear from your prospects and make a list of all of the ways your company can overcome them. Role play with your team to practice asking questions to clarify and confirm the objections, and then practice resolving the concerns one at a time to ensure you can work past it and gain more business.
EP Huddle #23
There are a lot of strategies to cold calling, and most of them have similar goals in mind. We've often found that successful cold calling entails the salesperson trying to secure another time to talk with the prospect.
Unless you have an appointment, your prospect is likely busy when you call. You're disrupting him and whatever project he's working on. So, it's not likely that you'll get someone on the phone and close a deal immediately. You might not even be able to thoroughly qualify an opportunity on the first call. So, consider changing your strategy and instead, focus on getting someone excited to talk to you again at a scheduled time in the near future.
In practice, you can acknowledge that you're calling out of the blue, and explain that the purpose of your call is to see when a good time would be for the two of you to talk. Share that you're know they're busy and that you're calling to see when might be a better time to speak again. This can often diffuse any hostility for your interruption. You should see more appointments fill-up on your calendar.
Once you've found success getting more people to commit to a second phone call, start monitoring your data for appointment "shows" and make sure your prospects are following through. If they aren't, then you need to revisit the way you're scheduling these calls and make sure there's enough value in the second conversation for them to show up.
As a team:
Think through your sales process and talk about how you can get someone excited enough on the phone to be willing to schedule time to speak further about your solution. What is your elevator speech or quick hook to get them interested? And, how can you build value for talking to you again when time permits?
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