I’ve been selling something my entire life. I’ve studied the science of selling and what makes selling work or not. I’ve made many mistakes while selling, yet, I’ve made an excellent living while doing it. While you can employ highly strategic and tactical sales techniques, I have learned that many times the simplest of things can quickly derail a sale.
There are two most common mistakes that salespeople often make. One mistake is simply not asking for the sale. Another is not having the ability to answer one common objection.
Both are easily solved.
Unsuccessful salespeople are plagued by a fear of asking for the business. They can make extraordinary presentations but are afraid to ask the prospect to buy. Most say that they fear “pushing their prospect” into a sale, so they hop and skip around the issue. What’s the worst that could happen if you do ask a client to buy? Are they going to yell and scream and throw things at you because you asked them to buy your product or service? No! Here’s a secret. They know you’re talking to them about purchasing something. I trained one young salesperson whose close was, “So, what do you think?” That statement is not a close, and it is an unclear question that lets a prospect off the hook. My student had not sold anything in months using this “safe” close. We changed his closing question to, “Can we start next week?” He made five sales the following week. Closing is not an event that you build to. Closing is incidental if you’ve done your job and asked for the business.
In my books, the Godzilla of an objection that eats up salespeople is “Your price is too high.” But, first, understand that it isn’t even an objection, most of the time. Savvy buyers know that if they challenge the salespersons’ price, most salespeople will lower the price. No negotiation. No rebuttal. They will just lower their price. And, do you blame the prospect? If they know they can get a better price just by asking, why wouldn’t they?
Author David Brock wrote “Price is important, but it is never ‘the issue,” unless we make it the issue or have trained the customer to make it the issue. “In other words, price is rarely the real issue in buying or not. There are always other issues that the prospect wants to discuss. Sometimes they will give you this “objection” just to see how much a salesperson believes in their product. The next time you hear this, acknowledge it, write it down to deal with later, and then move on to the prospects’ other issues. On occasion, I will ask my client, “Is price the only issue that stands in the way of us doing business today?” If it is, then deal with it. But, most of the time, it is not the only issue.
So stick to your guns and believe in your product or service value. And be sure to ask them to buy. In fact, they expect it, and they’ll probably say yes.