Some questions answered in this chapter. . .
* How should salespeople sell value and build relationships when responding to objections? * When do buyers object?
* What objections can be expected?
* Which methods are effective when responding to objections? * How do you deal with tough customers?
The goal of this chapter is to build relationship and sell value to buyers. So, what’s with building relationships? Whether you recognize it or not, all successful small and businesses–regardless of what they do or sell–have one thing in common: their owners know how to build and maintain relationships. The truth is that entrepreneurs too often get caught up in the details of the kinds of products or services they are selling to notice how critical it is to build relationships not just with your customers, but also with your vendors, employees and–gasp–even your competitors. "Without strong relationships, it is impossible to have success as a business owner," says Michael Denisoff, who is the founder and CEO of Denisoff Consulting Group in Redondo Beach, California. We need to build relationships to our buyers for us to be able to have long- term relationship with them and for doing so we are having an edge from the competitors. Selling value is also one of our goals. What do we mean by selling value? As we sell in these tough economic times, sales people need to think about how they position themselves with accounts. It’s too easy – and often tempting – to focus on price. Many organizations will do just that, leaving sales representatives to believe that winning business under these economic conditions requires offering price concessions. While price has moved to a more prominent position in all sales, it still remains central primarily in transactional sales. In major sales, while customers may be more price conscious than in the past, value remains the cornerstone to successful selling. And, to grow the business in major accounts, sales people need to do more than sell product. They cannot create value for the customer and separate themselves from their competition by talking about features. They must have the ability and confidence to carry out technical and business conversations with the customer about the unique benefits they can provide. After all, customers care most about solutions to problems. The main topic of this chapter is about objections. To be able to understand better, we need to define objection. An objection is a concern or a question raised by the buyer. Salespeople should do everything they can to encourage buyers to voice concerns or questions. The worst type of objection is the one the buyer refuses to disclose because a hidden objection cannot be dealt with. Many sales have been lost because salespeople didn’t find out the objections or didn’t helpfully respond to them. Salespeople should keep in mind that the goal with regard to objections is the same as with every other part of the sales call. Having a positive attitude about objections is a paramount in this regard. Proper attitude is shown by answering sincerely; refraining from arguing or contradicting, and welcoming—even inviting—objections. Objection should be expected and never taken personally. The greatest evidence of sincerity, however, comes from the salesperson’s action. Buyers want valid objections to be treated seriously; they want their ideas to be respected, not belittled. Real objections are logical to the prospect regardless of how irrational they may appear to the salesperson. Thus, salespeople must treat the prospect as a friend, not a foe. In fact, buyers will feel more comfortable about raising objections and will be much more honest the more they trust the sales person, the better the rapport, and the stronger the partnering relationship. The temptation to prove the prospect wrong is always strong. This kind of attitude invites debate, encouraging—perhaps even forcing-- the prospect to...