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5 Keys for Avoiding Objections When Selling Small Business Owners

Last week I was in Toronto Canada doing a sales training seminar. Predictably, I spent a good portion of time rebuttaling objections and training the sales professionals on the art of turning “No” into “Yes.” But is this really the way the most sales are made? No. You will make a few sales by turning “No” […]

Last week I was in Toronto Canada doing a sales training seminar.  Predictably, I spent a good portion of time rebuttaling objections and training the sales professionals on the art of turning “No” into “Yes.”  But is this really the way the most sales are made?  No.  You will make a few sales by turning “No” into “Yes” but, you can make a lot more sales by learning how to avoid “No” all together.

Here are five keys to a smooth sales process that avoids objections rather than focusing on rebuttals.

#1 – Make a compelling and confident first impression.  The initial objections like, “I’m not interested” or “I can’t talk right now” or “We are happy with who we have” usually come as a result of a poor first impression and opening pitch.  Make sure you are dressed professionally, smile as you walk in the door, make sure your timing is right (Don’t go to a cafe at noon) and give a warm introduction.  I am in Central Pennsylvania so I say things like, “How ya’ll doing today?”  (Yes we say “ya’ll”)  This wouldn’t work so well in Manhattan but you need to find a cheerful way to enter the business and make a good first impression.

#2 – Include the most common objection in your opening.  If you have one local bank in your market that dominates the payment processing space, use them in your opening.  “I was stopping by today because I know that many small business owners still use XYZ bank for processing even though several other local companies like mine are offering better service and rates and I was curious if you are still using them for your processing?”  A line like this brings the primary objection out and dismisses it, all at the same time and all before the prospect has a chance to use it.

#3 – Become a local business owner / adviser.  If you are coming in as a sales rep, you are likely to get a lot of common objections.  If you present yourself as a local business owner yourself, this will help you avoid objections.  One objection other reps tell me they hear all the time is “What makes you different than all the other sales reps…” to be honest, I rarely hear this objection.  That’s because from the moment I walk in, I identify myself as another local business owner and I talk to them about larger business issues.  Right off the bat I say things like, “I just wanted to stop by and introduce myself today, do you know Bill over at XYZ Company?  He has been partnering with my business to bring his payment processing rates down and get the latest technology.”  Lines like this set me apart immediately and if someone does try to make a connection between my business and the other sales people I say, “I am a local business owner.  It sounds to me like your talking about some sales people with one of the big companies that come out this way.  I work with a variety of companies to provide the best solutions for my clients but I am a local business owner just like you.”

One other side note:  This pitch is even easier if you have a local office you work out of.  Many times you can get one for less than $1,000 per month.  My first office was $300 per month but it allowed me to tell people where my office was, which further distanced me from other competitors.

#4 – Stop wasting the small business owner’s time.  Let’s face it, if all you offer is the lowest rate, the business owner could probably get a better rate and sign up faster by searching online.  What problems is the small business owner currently facing that you can solve in a unique way?  Focus on this in your conversation and avoid the temptation to quickly retreat to “I’m the cheapest” they have heard this before and will likely not believe you.

#5 – Listen to your small business prospects.  Many objections are a desperate attempt by the prospect to get a word into the conversation and regain control.  Most business owners like having a measure of control.  If you listen to what they have to say carefully without cutting them off, you will be in a much better position to get them to listen to you. Remember you should always seek to understand, before you seek to be understood.

I hope these short tips help you in the field today!

James Shepherd

Read previous post:  Why Relationship Building Isn’t Enough in Sales

Why Relationship Building Isn’t Enough in Sales

Read next post:  How to Sell Small Business Owners – Retail Part #1

How to Sell Small Business Owners – Retail Part #1

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