Here is part III of my short sales training article on handling cold calling objections…
“I’ve had a bad experience with your company in the past!”
As objections go this one is slightly different as it may not be an objection at all, it could potentially be a complaint. For this reason it needs to be dealt with as a complaint to avoid stirring it up into something more.
Most salespeople are confrontational when put into this kind of scenario. That’s a shame as it really is the complete opposite of how you need to behave to deal successfully with this kind of situation.
Here’s a simple 6 step process for dealing with complaints…
- Apologize e.g. “I’m sorry that you’ve had a bad experience with our company in the past.”
- Make a powerful lead statement e.g. “We pride ourselves on ensuring that all of our customers are nothing less than delighted with our services.”
- Ask a question e.g. “Tell me Mr. Client, what happened?”
- Listen, listen and listen some more. Do not interrupt. Do not argue points. Do not put up a defence. The only two things you do are listen and empathize verbally. You do nothing else until the client has no more to say.
- Apologize and make another powerful statement e.g. “I’m sorry that you had that experience Mr Client. As I said, we pride ourselves on our happy customers.”
- Move to the next stage. This could be done in several ways, the most common of which would be to ask them what they want to happen next or to organize a face to face meeting with them.
Simple though this process is, many salespeople struggle with it as they take the client’s comments personally and do not listen and empathize with them effectively. This will derail the whole process and can destroy rapport.
“I don’t like you!”
This purely emotional complaint is designed to make you feel bad. What’s more, for many salespeople, it usually works!
Most salespeople like people. Most salespeople are people oriented. Most salespeople work hard to get their clients and prospects to like them. Being liked is important to them. It’s not surprising then that this little line hits them where it hurts.
Objections are not personal! Selling is not personal. Business is not personal. Selling and business are professional activities so don’t take them personally.
Try, “Then it’s a good job I don’t take myself too seriously, tell me John…” and move to a question. Taking this route shows the client that you cannot be rattled that easily.
“I’m not interested!”
In the highly competitive and sophisticated markets of today, salespeople face a lot of objections and rejection. Salespeople know that a lot of their prospects will not have any interest, need or desire for their products, services or solutions.
For this reason, the “I’m not interested” objection is quite effective from the client’s point of view because many salespeople expect this response even before they pick up the phone and believe it totally when they hear it.
Firstly, it is highly likely that this objection is quite simply untrue. Most clients have found that this objection works so they use it even when they don’t mean it and even when it is not true.
Secondly, even if they do mean it, it doesn’t mean that you can’t build rapport, find out more about them and their business and uncover some areas of mutual interest.
Try, “I wouldn’t expect you to have any at this stage. The reason for my call is to…”.
So there we are, over the last 3 blog posts we have looked at 10 sales superstar strategies for dealing with 10 very common objections. Invest some time now in writing down some of the most common objections that you get. Think about what effect they have on you, decide how you want to feel and behave in the future instead and then plan some responses that you can use to get more productive results and make more sales.
If you want to catapult yourself towards sales superstar status and become a master of objection handling strategies and techniques then make sure that you get hold of a copy of my sales training book Objections! Objections! Objections!. Many of my clients find it useful to have it on their desks when they are selling on the phone. Maybe you will too…