Sales professionals need merchants to tell them “No.” The fact that a rep doesn’t hear merchants saying “No,” is holding that rep back from making more money. A common issue in sales is the wrong perspective of relationship building. One example is the talented sales professional with whom I’m working in our 6-week jump-start program. […]
Sales professionals need merchants to tell them “No.”
The fact that a rep doesn’t hear merchants saying “No,” is holding that rep back from making more money. A common issue in sales is the wrong perspective of relationship building. One example is the talented sales professional with whom I’m working in our 6-week jump-start program. In his previous job, this rep was doing repeat sales to businesses. Thus, he is very talented in making connections with merchants. They love him and enjoy talking to him. However, he is concerned about not closing many deals.
The reason in his case is building relationships with merchants but being afraid to risk the relationship to close the sale.
A good sales person is going to make good connections. And if more merchants are saying “no,” there are also going to be more merchants saying “yes.” If I talk to ten business owners and none of them tell me “no,” odds are I might have gotten one to tell me “yes.” The other nine are still floating. If I get seven of the remaining nine to tell me “no,” I’ll probably get the other two to tell me “yes.” Sales professionals need to push merchants to make decisions (without seeming pushy.)
If merchants never make decisions, agents never make sales. Realize the fact that merchants who like you while you are there don’t usually think about you once you are gone.
As a sales professional, the idea that there is value in the middle can seem true. But all those merchants in the middle (who haven’t said “yes” or “no”) are just missed opportunities.
There is no value in the middle! The twenty, thirty, or forty merchants you’ve talked to in the last year who still like you and believe you have a good connection, offer no value until you force them to make a decision. When you force decisions, you might close five, six, or seven of those twenty, thirty, or forty merchants. But that also means you must get eighteen, twenty-five, or thirty-two of those people to say “No.”
So, please allow me to make some applications of this scenario. Suppose you’ve made a great connection with a merchant.
However, when you try to close the deal you get the classic “blow-off” objection. Ironically, that kind of objection is easier for the prospect when you have established a good relationship. The prospect realizes you will feel guilty about trying to close hard and risk the relationship.
When giving that “blow-off” objection, the merchant says, “Oh, boy, thanks so much, James. It’s been great talking with you. We are going to think about this; we really are. Then I’m going to shoot you an email here next week and let you know.” The prospect says it like, “you are my buddy. I know you’re not going to push me into anything, so I’ll email you and will think about this.”
As a sales professional, you may be gratified that the prospect is really going to think about the deal. It’s a mind game.
The sad truth is that merchants aren’t going to think about the deal. They aren’t going to think about you or your offer. The fact that they like you while you’re there doesn’t mean they will think about you once you’re gone. So, you must push the envelope. Make this a little bit personal.
Here is an example of my personal method of response to this kind of scenario:
“Right back at you, Bob. It’s been so great getting to meet you and talk to you about your business. Here’s one thing I’d like to say, though, before I go – I have my business just like you have yours. And I DO love making connections like this. But at the end of the day, we are in business. You are in business to make money, aren’t you? Of course! And you want to make your customers happy; you want that value exchange. That’s why you do what you do. That’s also why I do what I do. I want to get customers. I want to help them save money and add value to them. That’s why I do what I do. So, I really take this personally – this is my business. When somebody gives me a shot, that’s a huge deal to me. I want to make sure that my clients are extremely happy and satisfied. Based on our conversation today, I think I can do that for you. You and I both know that until you actually give my service a chance, you really don’t know if you made the right decision. Although we’ve obviously connected really well, you’ve got to see it in action in order to know whether this truly makes sense for you. All I’m asking for today is a chance. I want to earn your trust. Will you at least give me that chance today?”
That’s a closing statement.
Or you may choose to be a bit more aggressive by using a tie-down such as “aren’t you,” “doesn’t it,” “don’t they,” “won’t they,” or “wouldn’t it” at the end. For example, you might say,
· “Based on our conversation, I know you’re going to give me a shot, aren’t you?”
· “Bob, with everything I’ve talked about – the savings and the new system I’m bringing in – this all makes sense to you, doesn’t it?”
You’ve got to add that tie-down on the end if you really want to be a little more aggressive with your close.
The merchant may push right back and cause you to get nervous about losing the relationship. Remember, there is no relationship! If you sign the prospect as your client, THEN you have a relationship.
But unless you’ve closed the deal and signed the paperwork, there is no relationship! You’ve only connected well with a stranger until that point.
Perhaps the merchant says, “Well, James, we definitely want to give you a shot. We just need some time to think it over.” My response would be, “Hey, I totally understand and respect that. I definitely want to give you that time. Let’s plan for me to come back next week. How about Thursday or Friday?
Which of those days would work better for you? Thursday? Great! I’ll plan to come by Thursday at two. Now just before I go, though, Bob, to help me be prepared for our meeting next week, what would you say is the main thing you are thinking about? What’s the main obstacle in your path right now for us doing business together?” The response will give you the true concern. It might be the cost or the ordeal of switching.
My next response would be, “You know what? I think I can save us both some time. If you are anything like me, when you have an opportunity to make a decision and know all the relevant information, you want to make the decision! Here is what I would recommend. Because we have a month-to-month agreement and because you can cancel at any time, why don’t I just set you up on a 30-day trial?
Try our service for 30 days. Then let’s reconvene. By then you’ll have more information and know exactly whether you like working with me. After experiencing my level of service, I expect you’re going to say, ‘James, this was a great 30 days. Let’s move forward.’ Otherwise, you may say, ‘James, I didn’t like it; there was a problem. Get this terminal out of here.’ And I’ll take it out.”
Hopefully you’ll review this a few times and learn how to sell.
Get more people to tell you “no” in order to get more people to tell you “yes.” I challenge you to make a goal today of returning to a bunch of call-backs. Push them to make a decision. If you are hearing “no,” that means you also are going to be hearing “yes.”