Moving Forward In the Sales Process

You don’t have to speak to a prospect for very long on the telephone before you encounter an objection. There is a natural or should I say instinctive, “knee-jerk” response that people make to anyone (particularly strangers) calling on the telephone trying to promote their products and services.

But the last thing you want to do is spend a long time chasing up a prospect that is going no where. So you need to be able to distinguish between “knee-jerk” responses such as “not interested” and the genuine reasoned argument against your product or service.

Harrods

I talked about the selling process in my last blog. The third stage was the Presentation. You could also refer to this stage as the Plan. This is the Plan you use to identify the REASON that it makes sense for the person to use your product or service.

Scfiffman says that 70% of the sale is completed prior to the presentation. This is because your presentation should just make sense to the prospect. It’s the pre- Presentation stages of Qualify/Open and Information where you are listening to the prospect and gathering information that you can use to explain to them in the Presentation why it does indeed make sense go ahead with the purchase or appointment.

After you have finished the presentation the “close” is just a matter of saying, “Makes sense to me, what do you think?” It either does or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t then ask them to explain why not and they will be giving you an opportunity to refine your proposal and show you how you can make it right.

Over the next few weeks ask yourself – does what I am presenting make sense to the prospect? Ask you prospect does it make sense? Please feel free to post a comment; I am interested to know how you get on.

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The selling process and objection handlers

Stephan Scfiffman says there are four steps to an ideal selling process: Qualify/Open, Information, Presentation, and Close. After the initial greeting and qualifying step you reach a critical point where the prospect is likely try to drop out of the conversation. If you can turn that around you reach the information-gathering phase after which you may again encounter another critical point before the presentation stage where you recommend your product or service.

So how do you turn the response (e.g. not interested) at the critical point around? For a start learn from your experiences. The first time you are faced with a new objection it is understandable if you are not to sure how to respond; however take note of the point the prospect raised and later after your calls, work out the best way to respond to that sort of objection.

Objection!

I recommend you make a list of common objections and have prepared responses for them. Ask other sales people what they say or do when the objection is raised. Ask your colleagues, your sales manager and get a range of ways to respond. Then try them out and see which are more successful at turning the call around. Remember you can practice your script, practice responding to objections.

How do you keep track of the objections you encounter? Some people write the common objections on queue cards, flip charts or use an online knowledge base objection handler solution such as Acarda’s NowSayWhat.com service (www.NowSayWhat.com). What is your system? Can you give us an example of an objection you encounter and how you respond to it?

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