Answers to Your Most Common Sales Objections

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For many small business owners, selling doesn’t come easy. In fact, for the majority of people, making sales calls and developing air-tight pitches is stressful and challenging. While there is a certain level of natural skill and personality at play, many shortcomings can be compensated for by understanding common sales objections and how to address them.

Businessman portraitAs a salesperson, it is your responsibility to uncover what is stopping a potential client from making a purchase decision. In most cases, this means answering the following objections with clarity, understanding, and patience:

  • Price. By far, the number one sales objection has to do with price. You will frequently hear something along the lines of, “Your products cost way too much and I can get the exact same service from someone else for much cheaper.” If that is a true statement, your best option is to justify the cost of your products or services. Try breaking costs down into smaller amounts and carefully explaining what they get for each dollar.
  • Lack of authority. The second most popular sales objection is, “I’ll have to discuss this after consulting my manager/boss/partner.” If you let them walk away from the table and consult other sources, you may lose a sale. Ideally, you should tell them to invite that person in or setup a joint meeting in which you can all discuss the sale together. You can usually accomplish this by claiming you have a special deal that can only be offered and signed off on if presented directly to the CEO or manager. This usually gets you in the door and allows you to present appropriate terms or discounts.
  • Complacency. Do you ever hear potential clients mention a fear of change? It’s usually guised in a statement like, “We’ve been doing it this way for 20 years and I don’t want to risk messing it up.” The best way to kill the complacency objection is to provide ample examples of when change has been good for your business, their business, or some other well-known company.
  • Bad timing. A classic objection is, “We’re too busy to get involved with this right now. Contact me next quarter.” This is often the easiest objection to overcome – if it’s actually true. Simply light a fire under them and make the offer so compelling they can’t wait any longer. It’s amazing how much time a customer will make for you when he or she has a clear understanding of how the sale will benefit them.
  • Trust. One of the most difficult objections to overcome is trust. In many cases, a new client will want proof that you can handle their sale. You can overcome this objection by presenting case studies, testimonials, and honest answers to tough questions.

Understanding Objections

While these are five examples of common objections, it’s equally important to understand the different types of objections. According to Brian Tracy of SuccessNet Online, there are 9 different types. From unspoken and excuse driven objections to honest and subjective objections, each person has a different way of objecting. Your success as a salesperson largely depends on your ability to decipher one from the other.

Making the Sale: How the Best Sales Reps Do It

For traveling sales reps, sales have to be made quickly to ensure success. Having a few strategies to fall back on as a sales person makes the job much easier. This article will examine some sales strategies that you may find useful for your repertoire and show you how and when to use them for best results.

Be Personable

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The first tip is less of a strategy and more a way of life. While it comes naturally to some and is foreign to others, being personable is a characteristic that you can learn, refine, and perfect. Here are a few tips for being personable when interacting with potential clients:

Start from the beginning. First impressions go a long way in business – as in life – and your ability to be personable from the start will help you in the long run. This means showing personality and emotion instead of retaining a strictly business mentality.

Find middle ground. Being personable – as the name suggests – requires you to share yourself with others. One of the best ways to do this is to let people know you as a person. Do you have a family? Hobbies? Interests? Share these with people and find common ground to discuss things that aren’t work related.

Stop following a script. Sales scripts and processes are useful for training, but rarely work in the field. In your effort to be personable, you have to be willing to ditch the script and take unique angles. This requires knowledge of your product from the inside-out. As a result, your expertise will enable you to adapt your pitch to whatever is most relevant to your sales target.

For those people who are not naturally personable, it’s important to push beyond hesitations and force yourself to communicate. Understand that most people respond well to compliments and naturally enjoy talking about themselves. When in doubt, ask questions and put the focus on their responses.

sales-repEncourage Quick Commitment

Any experienced salesperson will tell you that the longer a potential customer thinks about a deal, the less likely they are to follow through. Doubt naturally creeps in the longer someone contemplates a decision, and it’s your job to diminish this doubt by reducing the amount of time they take. Encourage quick commitment by adding an appropriate sense of urgency. This can be done by offering a limited time deal or bonus for reaching an agreement. You want to communicate urgency without pressuring the target into a position they don’t want to be in.

Hush! Start Listening

Salespeople are known by many for being loud, constantly talking, and never listening. Imagine what would happen if you flipped this notion on its head? Try talking less and listening more, and you’ll learn what your customers are looking for. Then, take time to develop a calculated response that addresses their needs and pain points.

Know When to Walk Away

Nobody likes to walk away from a potential deal, but it’s a skill every successful salesperson has perfected and used at one time or another. Treat every potential client like a long-term customer, and you’ll quickly find that immediate results aren’t always necessary to turn a profit. For example, when a target becomes agitated or visibly frustrated, it’s time to walk away. Frustrations have a way of boiling over and causing damage in the future, while they will almost always heal with time if appropriately dealt with.

Study, Study, Study

In the sales world, there are generally three types of salespeople. There are those that have a deep understanding of the products or services they sell but little personality or sales skills. There are those that have tons of personality, but little knowledge of what they’re actually pushing. And then there are those that have equal parts knowledge and sales skills. While you ideally want both, you want to start with knowledge of what you’re selling. Become an expert, and people will see you as a source of information, not just an advertisement.

By understanding each of these strategies and tips, you will be on your way to becoming a more successful salesperson in the coming year.

Dress for Success: What to Wear in the Field

Fashion Do’s and Don’ts for Sales Reps

Field sales reps travel all over, and the job necessitates making a strong first impression. This means that wardrobe matters. What are the best practices for clothing, grooming, and presentation as a field sales rep? Let’s find out.

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What to Wear

As far as determining what to wear, your choices will likely be dictated by the industry you are in and the function of the meeting. Ideally, your attire should be neat, clean, and professional. Depending on the situation, it may be appropriate to go causal, but never underdress for the occasion. Whenever you are in doubt, overdressing is much preferred.

When dealing with a client who operates out of a large distribution center, khakis and a tucked-in polo shirt is usually appropriate. However, when making a sales offer to the CEO of an accounting firm, a suit and tie is best.

For women sales reps, professional attire requires a suit, skirt, dress, or blouse. When opting for a skirt, the length should hit just below the knee. In terms of colors, black, grey, navy, and white are safe, traditional choices. Shoes should be polished and closed toe. For a more casual meeting (i.e. the distribution center sales call), dress pants and a conservative blouse are appropriate.

For men sales reps, professional attire consists of a pressed suit – black, khaki, or grey – tie, button down shirt, and polished shoes. When choosing a business casual outfit, you can either ditch the jacket or the tie, but never remove both. For patterns, it’s best to avoid clashing designs and to coordinate attire based on color scheme. Stripes and plaids should never be combined, unless for a small accent.

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Tips for Grooming

For men, proper grooming plays a major part in dressing for success. Maintaining a neat appearance shows that you care about yourself and those around you. You should either be clean shaven or have a neatly trimmed beard. A beard that is neatly trimmed has a distinct line at or just beneath the jawline and is evenly cut throughout.

Fashion Accessories

While most salespeople have the professional dress routine down, it’s common to run into problems when it comes to fashion accessories. Both men and women frequently make mistakes in this area, and it can have major effects on a first impression in the field.

Women may wear their wedding rings and small earrings if so desired; however, anything past this may come off as showy, distracting, or tacky. Men should also keep jewelry to a minimum, accessorizing with a nice watch and wedding band if applicable.

Outside of jewelry, it’s important for both men and women to bring along a small briefcase or leather portfolio. Not only is it useful for keeping your documents organized, but it shows a certain level of professionalism. You can store sales catalogs, spreadsheets, brochures, endorsements, and more inside your briefcase. If you don’t really need a brief case but want to carry one as a statement of professionalism, you can use it to store personal items you don’t want to carry in a purse or on your person.

Making the First Impression

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In addition to dressing for success and knowing what not to wear, it’s important to make a solid first impression from the very start. Introductions are always key, and they set the tone for the rest of a meeting.

When meeting a potential customer or client for the first time, remember four aspects: posture, handshake, eye contact, and body language. As soon as you walk in the room, your posture will say a great deal about you. A slumped or tense posture portrays meekness and fear. A strong posture, on the other hand, shows confidence. Your handshake should be firm and last anywhere from two to four seconds. Eye contact should be maintained throughout conversation, with only brief breaks.

Finally, your body language should be warm, inviting, and professional. This requires you to smile occasionally while maintaining composure at all times. Additionally, avoid closed poses like hands in pockets and folded arms. When talking, use your hands as a form of expression, but never let it be a distraction. Hands should remain between your chest and neck and never extend too far in the direction of the person you are speaking with.

Putting it All Together

As a salesperson, much of your success will depend on making strong first impressions. Next time you’re in the field, remember to be aware of how you groom yourself, what you wear, and how you present yourself.