Any agent who is fairly good at sales and willing to work hard can reach ten to twelve sales monthly. To reach that level of sales isn’t only for “rock star” sales people. Recently, one of my 6-week jump start program agents enlisted my advice on how to advance to the next level of sales, making as many as twenty sales per month.
That particular agent is very talented in sales, so I began to dive into the sales process to help him. The following information on handling objections was the help he needed to move forward. First, make a list of all the objections you hear. Then compare how to handle each one.
Handling objections requires agents to do two things:
#1. Don’t accept an objection at face value. Never rebuttal in the same way an objection is given to you. Before the rebuttal, reposition the prospect’s emotional outlook.
Tip: I HATE negative rebuttals. Positivity is vital in sales. Making a sale comes from positive conversation. If you go negative, you might win the conversation. But you won’t get the sale. People want to buy because of excitement, not fear!
Don’t use negative responses, such as:
· “You’re doing it yourself?! That’s a horrible idea. It’s illegal.”
· “That’s not compliant.”
Example Objection – “I just switched processors; I’m not interested right now.”
One wrong response would be, “Let me tell you this, though. Our company is so amazing, you should take a look at us anyway.”
Realize the prospect isn’t actually saying what you heard. I think this prospect is actually saying that he/she is in the process of switching to try someone different. I don’t like that rejection; I’m not going to answer it.
My initial response would be, “Let me congratulate you on being a savvy business person who understands you’ve got to shop for the best rate. Was lower rate a big determining factor in why you switched?” [Usually you’d get a “yes.”]
Then continue, “Here’s what I recommend while you’re in the process. I know you realize many processors give you that 60-90 day window to try them. You can still get out of the contract without any penalty. Obviously, you want the best deal possible. Why don’t I do this…work up a rate quote for you to show what we can do? I’ll make you this deal. If my offer is lower than what you already got, then I’ll come back for a 5-min conversation. You can try us before making that long-term decision of which way you want to go. Or if my price is worse than what you have now, I’ll just shake hands, wish you good day, and won’t bother you about it. That sounds fair, doesn’t it?”
By that pitch, I just repositioned the whole situation.
Example Objection – “I’m already passing the fee on to customers, so we don’t need you.”
Here is a good agent response: “Congratulations on seeing this trend and getting ahead of the curve. You’re right; there are tens of thousands of businesses doing that. My company is, too, so we’re on the same page! The real concern is compliance. Let me ask a couple questions. Did you get a chance to read the Durbin Amendment, the consumer protection laws for our state, and the Supreme Court case with Expressions Hair Design yet? [Most answer “no.”] I understand; that’s a really boring read. Just about put me to sleep when I read it! Obviously, for me being a payments professional, I have to read that stuff. I want to make sure my clients are protected. What I’ll tell you is this. We’re on the same page here. But all it takes is one consumer complaint. Then suddenly Visa & MasterCard will check to see if you’re compliant. You don’t want to handle those complaints yourself; it’s better to leave that liability with us. We make sure your store signs, the program in the terminal, and the fees are compliant. We want to take care of that for you. It won’t cost you anything anyway; you’re already passing the cost on. If we can do that at no cost to you, I’m sure that’s something you want to consider, isn’t it?”
That response is repositioning. I’m changing the merchant’s objection by asking whether he/she has read the Durbin or other information. That places the seed of doubt in the merchant’s mind. The merchant will wonder if perhaps she DOESN’T know what she’s doing!
Example Objection – “I already have the best rate.”
A good response: “Congratulations! I’m sure you took a lot of time to shop around and try people to find the best rate. Let me ask you a question. What kind of pricing did they put you on – interchange plus, tier pricing, subscription rate?”
The reason I would ask that question is to move the merchant from the place of arrogance and confidence to humility and recognizing me as the expert. Make the merchant feel a bit stupid without being negative. The merchant usually has no idea about pricing structure. Just plant the seed of doubt before doing the rebuttal.
Occasionally a merchant will smugly answer, “I’m on interchange plus [or whatever pricing.]” My response could be, “Do you know what the effective rate of your downgrades is right now?”
I’ll go as deep as I need to go; I know more than the merchant does! I want merchants to realize they’re talking to a payments professional and that they are NOT one. To rebuttal is impossible if merchants are arrogant and proud. The rebuttal won’t change their feeling.
#2. Close on the rebuttal with something to which prospects will say “yes.”
This is a whole art form. I don’t have enough time in this episode to go into detail. However, agents usually do one of two things which are both terrible ideas!
> Go for the sale. The prospect will immediately say “no.”
At this point in the sales process, you’re just rebuttaling an objection. This is not the point of making a sale. Closing the sale comes from a positive response. The prospect must ask a question and show interest.
> Most reps don’t close at all! They just talk until the merchant says “no.” For instance, “I can tell you if you go with us, Mr. Jones, our program is amazing. You’ll love our customer service. And I think you’d really like working with us. I know I’d like working with you. I really hope you’ll give us that opportunity.”
Shut up! You’re driving the prospect insane! Stop talking.
Say this instead, “Based on everything I just said, does that sound like something a little more workable for you? That would make you feel a bit more comfortable, wouldn’t it? Do you think that’s something that might make sense if we could align all the stars here?” You’re not really closing in those statements. You just need to get the merchant past the objection.
The rebuttal doesn’t matter unless it’s paired with a concrete closing. You want to generate the feeling, “Now that I’ve explained all that, you agree with me.”
Practice the small lines – the ones not asking for a big commitment or asking the merchant to move forward. Rather, you’re just asking if that would make him feel a bit better.
Example Agent Response: “Could we set up a free trial for a month for you to try our service? That way I could come back in a month to talk to you and your business partner together. I know you want to talk to your partner about it. You’d have all the data you need to make the best long-term decision. Is that something that might make sense in the right circumstance for you?”
The merchant’s answer of “yes” to that question gives the positive momentum needed to move forward.
Making the rebuttal is the most fun part of sales, other than making the sale. But it is an art form. Hopefully, these tips will help you get more sales!
Have a terrific day.