Working in sales and having to deal with and understand customers on a daily basis can be frustrating and confusing. You don’t want to appear pushy or overbearing, but you still need to get the sale or business.
Sales are a tricky trade, and even the most experienced salesperson can feel discouraged when a lead appears to be falling through. Successful closers think fast on their feet and possess finely honed people skills that help seal the deal.
One area that often causes anxiety involves addressing customer objections – concerns about price, features, and product practicality. Such worries can make it seem like the customer is slipping farther away.
Charles H. Green, consultant and founder of Trusted Advisor Associates, offers a unique way of looking at customer objections. Green says customer objections are not signs of real reluctance to buy, but in fact indicate the customer is still actively engaged in the act of buying. Customer objections should be viewed as the customer’s way of seeking reassurance from a salesperson and should be treated as such.
Let’s say, for example, a customer wonders aloud if a competitor might have a lower price than you are offering. What the customer is really seeking is reassurance that they will be getting their money’s worth. Discuss your company’s excellent customer-support system as compared to that of your competitor, or point out that your company has been a trusted name in the business for decades. Reassure the customer that he will be getting the best value for his money, and nitpicking over a small price difference won’t seem quite as important.
Another way of turning a “No” into a “Yes” is sometimes called the “Puppy-dog Close” technique. In this scenario, you offer a customer who is on the fence about a purchase a free trial period. Let them take the product – the puppy – home with them for a week to see how they like it. More often than not, a customer who tries a product on a trial basis will fall in love with it and want to keep it.
By viewing customer objections as opportunities to address and allay a customer’s concerns, the salesperson can take control of an uncertain sales situation in a very proactive, positive way.