One of the biggest challenges facing many salespeople is cold calling for new business meetings and winning new sales on the telephone. In many industries cold calling is the most cost effective way of uncovering new business opportunities. It is also an activity which strikes fear into the hearts of even some of the most proactive and confident of salespeople. Not surprisingly, therefore, it is one of the most commonly sought skills for sales training and sales development sessions.
One of the reasons for this is the amount of rejection that a cold calling session can attract. Even the best cold callers can expect a wide variety of client objections and client evasion tactics during even the shortest bout of activity on the phone.
For this reason, many salespeople spend far too much time avoiding cold calling and far too little time actually doing any cold calling. When consulting and sales training with businesses I am always impressed by the imagination that salespeople display when dreaming up their excuses (or SATs – Sales Avoidance Tactics) and reasons for not cold calling.
It’s amazing how interesting an admin tray can look when the alternative is cold calling!
One sales skill which can significantly alleviate the pain of prospecting and dramatically improve your cold calling skills is learning how to handle sales objections effectively. One of my clients directly attributes £1 million pounds in extra revenues to practising and using the sales techniques outlined in my first sales training book on objection handling. What! You haven’t bought it yet? You can get your copy any time you’re ready here, objection handling book. If you make cold calls, it really is a must have sales boosting resource.
Handling objections professionally requires a combination of the right mindset and the right linguistic skills. Here are 10 proven strategies for smashing some of the most stubborn objections.
“It’s too expensive!”
Most salespeople think that their product, service or solution is expensive. In sales training sessions, I have asked thousands of salespeople where they think their product ranks against their competitors and roughly 80% think that their product is priced above averagely. If you think about this statistic, it cannot be right. So why do salespeople think this?
The answer is simple, because clients and prospects are forever telling us that we are too expensive, that’s why. The more we hear it, the more we believe it. The more we believe it, the more we tend to hear it. This plays right into the hands of clients because if salespeople think that their products and solutions are too expensive, then they are going to be much more open to client negotiation tactics.
Prospects are not going to stop using this objection any time soon but you can change your attitude to it today, right now. In my sales training sessions, we start by focusing on your beliefs – you need to believe that your product adds more value than you charge for it. The more you believe in the value that your product adds for your clients, the less this objection will affect you.
Why not try asking, “When you say that it’s too expensive are you looking at the cost on a piece of paper or the total cost of ownership?”
“I’ve not got enough time!”
As salespeople we spend a lot of time trying to catch up with prospects and clients. Secretaries, personal assistants and prospects tell us daily how busy they all are. That gives this objection a ring of truth.
What’s more, this objection not only has a ring of truth to it, it may well actually be true and that can make it difficult to deal with. Because many salespeople believe this objection to just be the truth, they do not handle it particularly well.
So remember this, you’re busy too!
And if you’re not, you soon will be once you start applying my sales training techniques and strategies. If you’ve had a good conversation, built some rapport and uncovered some value that you may be able to add for your prospect and their business, then try something like this,
“John, I’m busy too so I won’t waste a moment of your time. I wasn’t thinking of meeting for at least 2-3 weeks. How’s your diary looking…?”
“I don’t need it!”
For many, this objection sets off feelings of despair,
“I knew no-one was going to buy anything today. No-one’s got any money being so close to… Christmas, summer, Easter, Thanks Giving…”
You can substitute your own moan or a tide of angry frustration instead…
“Why is our product so over-priced?! Why does no-one want what I am selling? Why does nobody ever buy?”
Stop! Here comes the truth. How do they know? How do they know if they need it or not? How do they know if it will add value or not?
You’ve not met this person yet, you know little or nothing about them or their business and they know even less about you, your products or your solutions. This objection is totally meaningless so try,
“When I first spoke to them many of my other clients said that they did not need it either, however they found it really useful to have a look at what we do and see how it complements what they’re already doing…”
For part II of this article and more sales training techniques for improved cold calling and objection handling check back soon. Got your own objections that are giving you grief? Use the comments form below and let me know what they are…