The key to overcoming initial sales objections is avoiding them in the first place. A good introduction, together with a relaxed, confident attitude will cause 80% of the initial objections to go away.
Here is my introduction:
“Hi, my name is James Shepherd. How are you doing today?” I wait until I am close enough to the prospect to shake hands before saying this. Until that time, I just have a broad smile on my face. What is your introduction? Make sure you are using your full name. Make sure you ask how the prospect is doing, and make sure you get a response before moving on to your opening pitch. Here is my opening pitch:
“I am a local business owner. We offer touch screen point of sale systems, web design, online marketing, credit card processing, and many other services to help small business owners compete with larger competitors. Today I am just out doing a little market research. I was curious who you are using for your credit card processing right now?”
Notice I mentioned two other services that I offer. You would be surprised how often I get shut down on the credit card processing only to have the merchant say, “You mentioned online marketing; what is that all about?” or “We have been thinking about a point of sale system. Which ones do you offer?” This allows me to continue moving forward. So what if you use a great introduction and opening pitch, but you still get shut down with an initial objection? Here are some tips on how to overcome these pesky little objections that can derail you before you even get a chance to start building trust with this new client.
“I’m not interested” – Always get clarification on an opening objection. The prospect usually isn’t thinking very much before responding. If you make the prospect think after responding, your odds of moving forward go up. My response to this objection: “You mean you are not interested in switching credit card processors?” Propect will respond, “That’s right.” My next response: “Okay, so you feel that even if I brought you a lower price, your current processor would just match my rate?” Prospect: “Yes, I am sure they would.” I say, “Fair enough. But I personally think they are not going to match my price. So this sounds like a win-win for you. If I bring back a proposal showing a better value, you are either going to get a better deal with your current company as a result or you are going to get a better deal with me. Either way, for me to bring a free cost comparison back to show what I can offer makes sense, right?” I realize that your goal here isn’t to bring back a cost comparison to be sent to the current company; we can deal with that later. Right at the beginning you just need to get your foot in the door; this rebuttal will do that. You can use this exact same response to handle many other objections such as:
“I am happy with who I have.” “I use my local bank.” “Not interested in switching right now.” I have used this series of questions to get my foot in the door hundreds of times and sold dozens of new clients. I would say out of 60 or 70 sales using this line 10 or 15 actually did take my quote to the current company and get a lower rate. The prospects were very grateful for the time I invested. Some of them have called me back for help with selecting a POS System or creating a Website. I was able to back into the merchant services at that time.
“My Friend or Family Member Does it.” – Respectfully push forward. Last week I was talking with one of my largest clients and now good friend. We were talking about my initial pitch to him three years ago. He has seven locations. I found out from one of his employees where he was going to be, so I drove over to that location about 45 minutes away. I did my opening to which he replied, “My friend from college does this, so I really couldn’t switch.” I responded, “I understand, but I would still like to give you a cost comparison. Do you have a statement I could take a look at handy? It might save you some money.” I did not know until last week that his objection about his “college friend” was completely made up! He said many small business owners use this line because they know that sales people can’t overcome that objection. He said he was so surprised that I moved forward that he ended up signing with me. He signed on the spot for all seven locations because he felt like I must really be passionate about my business and must really want his business.
I hope these short tips will help you in the field this week!
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