Hearing No is Part of Getting to Yes

Champion sales people understand that hearing no is part of getting to yes. Average sales people let every nuance of the word no strike them like arrows and deflate the rest of their sales presentations. Think about how the following comments by potential clients make you feel:

056BZC01“Well, Jim, that new equipment you showed me sure is nice, but unfortunately I’m just going to have to say, ‘no.’”

“We appreciate all the information you’ve shared with us, Mary, but we’re not going to do this right now.”

Those are typical words and phrases sales people hear all day long, every selling day. For average sales people those words signal defeat. The gut reaction experienced when hearing them is an immediate one—of failure and rejection—something sales people go through on a regular basis.

In fact, since rejections are so common, it’s a wonder that so few sales people anticipate hearing them and prepare to deflect the negative feelings they can create. Most sales people just accept those words and the feelings they generate as part of the game of selling.

How often you hear the words and phrases like those above will depend on your abilities and skills as a sales person. But what you do and say after hearing them will make a world of difference in your closing ratio and in your personal bottom line.

Getting to “Yes”

This post is about “yes.” But the starting point is “no.”

The truth of the matter in selling is that very few buyers will say “yes” the first time they’re asked to own a product or service. Yet, the irony is that most sales people are willing to give up and accept rejection after hearing that first “no.”

Think about how you would feel if you heard the words at the beginning of this post.

  • Would you feel the physical effect of disappointment? It’s that sinking, let down feeling. It can be a tired feeling as your formerly pumped-up selling emotions trickle down the drain.
  • Would you mentally stop closing and simply move into “Let’s keep in touch”mode where you decide what to leave behind, what to pack away, and about moving on to your next meeting?
  • Would you say, “That’s okay.” “I understand.” Or, “I’ll touch back just in case you change your mind?”

That’s how average sales people respond. So my question to you today is this: Do you want to be average – or do you want to encourage yourself to become better than that?

There’s a whole lotta selling to be done after you hear the word no. It’s just a matter of understanding the many meanings of the word no, selecting the one this particular client means, and working with it.

When you understand that “no” doesn’t always mean “no sale,” those words will roll off your back like a duck sheds water and you’ll keep paddling forward in the sales process.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

Closing Tough Sales – Put the Shoe on the Buyer’s Foot

42209 Put the ShoeWhen it comes to closing tough sales, it’s wise to mentally walk the proverbial ‘mile in the other person’s shoes’ so you can gain a clear understanding of their feelings about your company, your brand, or the specific product you market. In order to lower their defenses and open their minds to allowing you to serve their needs, it’s also critical that you put the shoe on the buyer’s foot.

This strategy is particularly helpful in situations where you are calling on a client who had a bad past experience with another representative of your company. You will have to work twice as hard to earn their business as you would with a buyer who has had little or no experience with your company.

This buyer will have built a pretty high wall of sales resistance, but just the fact that he or she has agreed to meet with you speaks volumes. Perhaps they love the product but just didn’t like the previous representative. You will have to sell yourself first.

This potentially tough conversation might begin like this: “The last guy from your company sold us the product then never called again. We had an issue with it right after installation and he wouldn’t return my calls. I have to tell you I was pretty fed up with the whole thing.” Ouch!

Even though you weren’t the “bad guy” in this situation, you are there to represent your company well. Start by apologizing for how the client was treated. “Let me begin by apologizing for how you were treated in the past.” It’s really that simple. Most people just want their discomfort or unhappiness acknowledged.

Then, to break down that wall of resistance, say: “Just for a moment, would you please pretend that you’re the owner of my company. You’ve just learned that one of your representatives has damaged your relationship with a valued client. How would you handle that situation?” This allows the buyer to envision the challenge being resolved. They might say, “I’d fire the jerk.” They might say, “I’d send that guy back through training or get him out of customer service all together.” It doesn’t really matter what they say. Just listen. Let them get it all out.

Then, take charge of the remedy yourself by saying, “That’s might very well be what happened because I’ve been assigned the task of resolving any past issues you had with our company and to provide you with excellent service going forward. Help me understand your needs so we can determine how best to serve them.” With those words you’ve just hurdled that wall of sales resistance and landed softly on the same side as your buyer.

If you never address that “elephant in the room” — the other salesperson or the bad equipment or poor service — the buyer will stay ever vigilant for the moment you prove yourself to be just like that other guy and provide disappointment. Would you rather help your buyers to be watchful for how great your service is?

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc. For reprint permission, please contact Judy Slack (judys@tomhopkins.com).
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What to Say When You Hear “I want to think it over”

If you’ve been in sales for more than five minutes, you’ve heard this from a buyer: “I’ll think about it” or “I want to think it over.” It’s almost as natural to them as saying, “No, thanks. Just looking” when asked “May I help you?” Why do they say it so often? Because with average salespeople it works. It stops them dead in their tracks.

But, I know that you don’t want to be average. You have set your sights on being a champion salesperson. Your aim is to serve more clients than the average salesperson. So, you learn and prepare yourself to overcome the most common objections.

So, let me give you the answer you’ve been waiting for. Whenever you hear a buyer say, “I want to think it over,” “We’ll sleep on it,” or “We’ll get back to you,” it’s very likely that they like what you’re offering and are feeling compelled to own it. These stalls are just their way of slowing down that buying momentum because they’re a little afraid to part with their hard-earned money. [Read more…]

Selling Real Estate When They Want to See More Homes

It’s bound to happen. You’ll have buyers who are so afraid of making a bad decision that they’ll want to see every home that comes close to meeting their criteria. If you don’t know how to handle this concern, you’ll waste hours of your time and theirs. As a real estate professional, you need to know how to control the sale. You do this by understanding their fears, having empathy for them, and being the expert advisor. Once they learn to rely on your advice, those fears about missing out on the perfect home will dissipate greatly. [Read more…]

Dealing with the Competition

We are in some very competitive times. People are hesitant to make buying decisions so businesses are making previously unheard of offers to get whatever slice of the market pie they can. If any of your clients tell you they’re considering doing business with the competition, you need to be prepared.

If you’re at the top of your game, you constantly act as if each and every client may consider making a change at any time. In other words: If you want to keep them as clients, treat them like gold. If you do, they’ll find it difficult to part with you and your high level of service even if the competition comes in with a better offer on a similar product.

If you’re prepared to hear an inkling of change, you’ll come across like the true expert you are rather than someone scrambling to keep their business. You’ll want to fight a clean fight with the competition, but never give up a client without a fight! [Read more…]

Overcoming the Word “No”

Everyone sells, one way or another. As parents, we sell our children on our belief systems and our values. In courtship, we sell ourselves to our prospective partners. At work, we sell ourselves every day to our employers and our co-workers.

However, there’s something keeping us from doing the best job of selling in every situation. It’s the fear of rejection. And, rejection most often comes in the shape of one of the smallest words in the English language–“no.” Isn’t it amazing how such a small word can have such a huge impact on us? [Read more…]

Objections as Hurdles

Objections are not meant to stop you in your tracks. While you may envision them as brick walls, learn to see yourself hurdling over them. When you really want what’s on the other side (like a closed transaction), you’ll do everything in your power to jump over, tunnel under or take down any walls brick by brick to get there.

Objections are nothing more than your potential client asking you to slow down, clarify a point or educate them better before asking them to make a decision. In many cases a brief summary recap of what you have covered thus far is enough.

In other cases the client will raise a new question or provide you with new information that requires more time and attention. Either way, the sale is still moving forward. It hasn’t been completely blocked. People just won’t waste their time objecting to something they aren’t feeling motivated to own.

Your job is to keep them emotionally involved in the benefits they’ll receive from your product or service. Once they own it emotionally, they (and you) will find plenty of reasons to rationalize the final ownership decision.

LEARN MORE>>

This information is copyrighted by Tom Hopkins International, Inc. for reprint permission, contact Judy Slack (judys@tomhopkins.com).

Closing Strategy, Put the Shoe on Their Foot

This close can be used when you meet someone who either does not like you or does not like salespeople in general.

Phraseology: “First, Mr. Johnson, let me apologize for the poor service you obviously received. Tell me, if you were President of ABC company and a sales representative treated a customer the way you’ve been treated and you found out, what would you do?”

Be patient and let them tell you what they’d do. Then, if appropriate, say:

“That’s just about what happened in this situation. By the way, it’s now my job to show you how professional our company is. And, do you know, when I meet someone like you that’s unhappy with a person in our company, it represents a challenge to me. I’d like to give you such special service. Could I just keep in touch with you over the next 20 years?”

To read all of my closes, get a copy of Sales Closing for Dummies. To listen to them delivered and learn how to write your own, listen to my audio titled, Academy of Master Closing — available in both CD and MP3.

This information is copyrighted by Tom Hopkins International, Inc. for reprint permission, contact Judy Slack (judys@tomhopkins.com).

 

 

Uncover Other Options Early

When you’re with a potential new client, it’s wise to know where they’re coming from. Do your best to uncover any other companies or products they’ve investigated before talking with you.

Hopefully, you’re on top of your game and know the features and benefits of your top competitor’s products and how they compare to your own. It’s wonderful when you can compare and contrast your product to that of another company, in effect, allowing your client to ‘shop around’ right there with you rather than going off to talk with a salesperson at another business.

True professionals are not afraid of other companies in the industry. They’re prepared to deal with them. Potential clients will find this approach novel and refreshing as long as you come across truly interested in their best interests…never slamming the competition.

If you’re the expert on the competitor’s products you save the client the mental energy of trying to compare products in their minds while you rattle off the features and options of yours. This tack puts you strongly in the position of being a consultant or expert advisor…someone they can talk openly with about their thoughts on the competition.

Once you know what other product or service they’re considering, you can customize your presentation, highlighting the key elements they’re interested in. When a salesperson responds properly and non-defensively about a competitor’s product, the client will be impressed with both your professionalism and confidence in your own product. This goes a long way toward building your sales volume and referral business.

Learn more on this topic.

This information is copyrighted by Tom Hopkins International, Inc. for reprint permission, contact Judy Slack (judys@tomhopkins.com).

Overcome the “I want to shop around” Objection

Have you ever heard this from a potential client: “Okay. Well, thanks for the information. I want to shop around and will get back to you if this is really what I want.” Unless you’ve only been in business a day or two, you have.

In most cases what are they really saying to you? They’re saying, “I want to know if I can get it cheaper somewhere else.” It’s usually a money issue when you hear those words. Occasionally, the client will not really be certain that the product meets their needs and be looking for other colors, options, or services along similar lines to what you have offered. [Read more…]