Yet, surprisingly few salespeople treat their vocation as a trade-craft.
Effective salespeople maintain contact with their sales network. Successful salespeople view rejection as temporary. They constantly work to uncover and deal with objections. Here are 5 Cool Ideas for stronger sales.
1. Network “five deep.”
The idea is to network throughout the buyer’s organization, making sure everyone knows how to reach you and why they should want to. Communicate with the primary contact’s immediate supervisor, an accounts payable representative, the purchasing agent, and the primary contact’s assistant.
2. Consistent contact is essential.
If your product or service is competitively priced, customers and prospects are likely to keep you on their vendor list. You will be removed from the list, however, if your contact with them is irregular or uncaring.
According to the book, Guerrilla Marketing, by Jay Conrad Levinson and Jeannie Levinson, 69% of dissatisfied customers leave due to inconsistent or nonexistent contact.
3. It’s never “no,” it’s “no for now.”
If a prospect refuses to purchase, do not consider this a rejection. In fact, rejection is an opportunity to uncover an objection. Try to find out exactly why the person is not interested. If you can, fix the problem.
If you can’t close, odds are that the uninterested person can refer you to another prospect. Ask, “Who do you know that would be interested in my product/service?”
4. Objections should be challenged.
Most sellers struggle when hearing comments like “I need more time to think about this” and “I’m not interested.” Is the prospect unqualified or just veiling an objection? Ask bold questions to probe further.
Ask in a soft “librarian tone” so you don’t seem pushy. Say things like “It’s interesting that you should say that. Please tell me why you need more time” and “I’m surprised that you’re not interested.” Act as if not doing business with you is the most unpredictable response you’ve ever heard.
5. Objections are opportunities.
First, test the objection to see if it is legitimate. Then, deal with the objection. Beware of “The Flinch,” a common price objection that is usually a bluff. Remember that just because prospects object to the price, doesn’t mean they are unwilling to pay that price. In a worst case scenario, price objections can be handled by trading value.
In my sales training seminars, I teach sellers to have an answer to every conceivable objection. By thinking five moves ahead, salespeople can use objections to move the prospect closer toward an affirmative decision.