Archive for October, 2010

Are you struggling with how to overcome prospective clients objections? Are you stuck in the mindset that if a customer is objects he’s not going to buy? If your caught in this negative mindset it’s time to turn objections in objectives.

Custom objections are clues to earn the customer’s business. Objections come in many flavors. They might include price, color, style, bundled options. They are a myriad number of possible objections. An objection to one customer is often a feature to another customer. Objections can be spoken or unspoken. Your job is to ask prying questions that turn an objection in an objective.

Let’s explore some examples:

Customer: “I really like your product but it doesn’t to fit into this years budget.”

Issue: There are one of two most common possible issues expressed by the customer.

  1. The customer may truly have a budget constraint. If so, it’s your job to find creative ways for the customer to purchase.
  2. Two – you haven’t created enough value in the mind of the customer.

Salesman: “I certainly understand budgetary constraints. Based on what you’ve shared with me thus far our product accomplishes…… and my product saves you time and money in these areas…. Are there any other area we haven’t discussed that are important to your solution?

Based on the benefits you’ve outlined it sounds like you would move forward if we can fit your budgetary goals. Is there anything else that I need to address?

Great, Let’s explore some financing options together. “

There actually is a third issue related to this example – the customer could actually be shopping for next year’s budget. If this is the case build a plan to stay engaged with the customer.

Salesman: “Well, from what you’ve told me it looks like you would like to move forward next year when budget dollars have been allocated. In order to help you plan for next year let me return on January 10th to revisit our solution and develop a game plan for implementing next year. Does that work for your schedule?

A simple key to turning an objection is to an objective is to simply rephrase the question turning it into the objective.

Customer: “Your delivery times are a too long”

Sales person: “It sounds like you have a target date you would like our solution implemented. If you’ll tell me your target implementation date we can work the calendar backward to see how we can make that happen.”

Remember, objections are a customer’s plea for answers. A seasoned sales professional recognizes that by turning an objection into a mutual objective he has the ability to address concerns, find solutions and ultimately win the business.

Advertisements

This week I take another look at the power of  sales motivators from observations made from coaching my son Ashton’s soccer team.  As you know Ashton’s team is undefeated for the season. I’m pleased to announce they added another notch to the win column, winning Saturday’s game 4 – 0.

This was the first game they ever shut-out another opponent.

Nampa Select Storm - Winning as a TEAM!

Prior to Saturday’s game I reflected throughout the week on the added intensity Ashton played in the previous game motivated by a simple soda. I wondered if the promise of a similar reward would motivate the entire team to ratchet their performance up a notch.  At our Thursday practice I gathered the boys and commended them on their incredible season. After building them up I then pointed out the fact that there remained one challenge they hadn’t accomplished this season and asked if they would accept a new challenge, the challenge of not only winning but shutting out an opponent. I further proffered “if you can not only win and shut out your opponent I’ll bring ice cream to our Tuesday practice.”

The boys cheered in excitement and instantly started requesting root beer floats, sundaes, and ice cream bars. Many of the boys said “make sure you bring the ice cream because we’re going to shut the other team down!”

I reminded them that this challenge required something different. It absolutely required the to work as a precision team; no show boating, no attacking the goal by yourself, defenders would have to work as a unit, forwards would have to pass. I reiterated “to accomplish this goal you have to work as  a precision team”.

Prior to the game all of the players reminded me of the proffered ice cream. I assured them yes that the prize for a shut was still on the table. I reminded them to earn they prize it required a team effort;  Mid-fielders would have to support defenders, defenders would have to protect the goalie, the goalie would have to be aggressive, forwards would have to pass between each other or even pass back to a mid-fielder so they could take a shot.

In the end, they played MAGNIFICENT. They executed the best team play of the season.

At one point they almost lost their shut out victory when a defender got out of position and his opponent made an attack on the goal. But fortunately one of the mid-fielders recognizing the danger the team was in cut off the opponent effectively backing up his team mate and deflecting a shot on goal. It was beautiful!

Lessons learned that can be applied to Sales Teams.

  1. There must be an effective Orchestrator, a Coach to motivate and organize the team
  2. Unify the team with a common vision.
  3. Motivate the team and the individual.
  4. Build a support structure. Recognize sales professionals my get overloaded from time-to-time, having professional counterparts that can help them fill-in the gaps is a huge relief and it helps both the individual and team succeed.
  5. Define team roles – both primary roles and secondary roles. Make sure each player knows his key responsibilities. Identify secondary roles so that team members know who they can turn to for support when they get stretched thin.
  6. A team environment feeds itself – members of a team rally around their counterparts
  7. Establish reward programs that reward individuals and the team

As in team sports, there is always another game to win, another deal to closer, another milestone to accomplish in sales. I wonder what the promise of homemade pizza will do for our team’s chances of winning the Regional Tournament this weekend.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Author: Jody Sedrick
Entrepreneur, CEO, Sales, Mobility and Web 2.0 Strategies
Twitter: @jodysedrick, @zenwareinc
LinkedIn: Jody Sedrick
Blog: http://adoptingdad.wordpress.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The past 5 weeks I’ve been engulfed in soccer with my 10 year old son Ashton. Ashton’s team is currently undefeated.  Yes, it’s a lot of fun for the kids, coaches and parents.

At the beginning of our most recent game I pulled my son Ashton aside and told him that if he scored a goal I’d give him a soda. He’s eyes lit up and he responded “OK!”.

Within 3 minutes of getting on the field he scored his first goal of three. Motivated by the promise of a soda Ashton played with greater intensity than any other game – breaking through defenders. attacking the goal and taking more shots than any previous game. He had 6 shots on goal earning him and his team 3 goals.

Interesting stats, prior to this game Ashton averaged 3 shots on goal and averaged one goal per game – giving him a 33% closer ratio. Motivated by a simple soda, Ashton doubled his efforts taking 6 shots on goal and netted 3 goals. His increased efforts earned close ratio of 50%.

This got me thinking. As a CEO and Sales Manager what am I doing to motivate my sales people. Am I giving them simple but effective motivators that drive them to success. Am I rewarding success so that others are motivated to dig deeper. Further, am I measuring and sharing success?

My son Ashton was motivated by ONE SODA. What motivates you to make one more sales call? I encourage you to set up your own personal reward system – a reward system that will drive you to increased sales activity.

This week I challenge you to

  1. Evaluate your work ethic. You may be surprised to see you’ve become casual and lazy.
  2. Make two more calls a day
  3. Take a potential client to lunch
  4. Send thank you notes to existing customers
  5. Ask for a referral
  6. Write a competitive analysis blog
  7. Send an email blast
  8. Call a customer who is on the edge and revisit your value proposition
  9. Host a webinar
  10. Participate in a LinkedIn Group

These are just a few ideas. The key is increasing your output. Remember the more shots on goal the greater your chances to score.

In the end sales is a numbers game. The more contacts you make, the more relationships you build, the more you are in front of the customer the greater your chances to score. Ashton did it in the game of soccer. Question is can you do it in sales?

Where has the month? It’s been almost a month since my last article and I’m shaking my head wondering where the time has gone.

As I look back, and while regretful it has been to long putting my thoughts on paper, I recognize the last 3-4 weeks have been filled with sales opportunities and lessons. I will take a look at some of the observations over the next couple of articles.

I look forward to your feed back