I have spent hours of my life answering sales partner questions about overcoming objections. Off the top of my head, I could probably list twenty common objections heard when selling merchant services and two or three ways to rebuttal each objection. However, today I am going to single out the one objection that costs sales people more money than any other and give three steps to overcome this sales killer.
What is the worst objection when selling merchant services? Without a doubt the “secret objections” you never hear are the worst. Sales people are so consumed with making sure prospects like them that they often leave a mountain of “secret objections” in the mind of prospects. These objections kill the sale every time. How do you know if prospects have lots of “secret objections”? If you can identify with any of the statements below, you are probably losing sales due to secret objections:
- “Although I feel like most of the business owners to whom I talk really like me, I just can’t seem to close the sale.”
- “Often when I get to the point of closing, I don’t feel like the prospect is ready. Therefore, I frequently just walk away, giving the prospect time to think over my cost comparison.”
- “I never feel like I am in control of the sales process. I don’t feel like there is much I can do about whether or not the merchant is going to buy; that is up to the merchant.”
- “My market is really tough; I don’t think anyone could sell merchant services here. Everyone just gives me short objections like, ‘I am n
ot interested.’ or ‘I am happy with my current service.’ Then I have no choice but to walk out and move on to the next store.”
If you feel out-of-control or powerless to change the mind of your prospects, it is because there are specific objections about which you are unaware. These objections prohibit you from making any progress. So let me help you understand the problem. Then I guarantee you will increase your sales numbers in a big way if you implement the three solutions given below!
The problem here IS NOT –
- what you are saying.
- what the prospect is saying.
- your market.
- all the “mean” small business owners you keep running into.
The problem IS simply a lack of information. You don’t know the merchants’ true concerns, and the merchants don’t know what you would do to address their concerns. If you know what is truly bothering the business owners and if the business owners truly know what you would be willing to do for them to address those concerns, you would close almost every prospect.
Following are three steps to overcoming “secret objections”:
- Ask for the information. Then…. ask for it again and again and again. For those of you who identified with the statements above about business owners liking you, this first step will be the most difficult. Somehow you have convinced yourself that these business owners really like you and that your relationship could be damaged if you actually do business with them. You need to WAKE UP from this fairy tale!
Are business owners who haven’t bought from you having you over to their house for a BBQ? Are they referring business to you? NO!!! You know why? Because they are not your friends; the value of your relationship with them is a big fat zero! Until you create a working relationship where goods and services are being exchanged, you do not have a valuable business relationship.
Imagine you are in a business where the owner with whom you “feel like” you “connected” says, “Thanks for stopping in, Bob. I am sure you will do great in this market, but we are happy with our current service. So we are not interested.” Don’t walk away and let him or her off the hook that easily. Instead, ask for the information:
“Sue, first of all thank you for taking time to speak with me today. It really is a pleasure to meet you. That being said, you know I would never be successful in business if I didn’t dig a little deeper. Why are you satisfied with your current provider? Many times I find business owners tolerate their credit card processor but are not truly satisfied with them. Have they done anything to really impress you, or are you just saying you don’t want to deal with the hassle of switching again?”
A statement like this is bound to get you some good information! Is there a chance the business owner will think you are pushy and “like” you a little less? Of course there is! Welcome to sales! You have to ask for the information over and over again. Think of it like digging for treasure. You have to keep digging to get the information you need, so you can respond and provide business owners with the information they need. Once you both have all the information, your odds of closing the deal go through the roof!
- Rebuttal every objection. There is no objection that I will not try to rebuttal at least once. One of my best accounts came after a business owner told me his college friend did the processing for him. If I was concerned about this guy “liking” me, I would have said the same thing every other rep had said to this guy for years every time he used that objection – “That’s great! I would never want to interfere with a personal friendship. Have a great day.”
Instead, here was my reply, “That’s great. I don’t know the nature of your friendship and certainly don’t want to get into that. But if I was able to save you several hundred dollars per month, would you be interested?” It turns out he didn’t have a college friend who was involved in credit card processing. He just made that up to scare away sales people. Once I had the right information, and he knew what I could offer, he signed on the spot. Eventually he switched seven locations over to me.
Now is time for many of you to wake up and realize you are in sales! That means your job is providing necessary information to your prospects in order for them to make an informed purchasing decision. Obviously, the last thing in the world a small business owner wants to do with his or her day is sit listening to you pontificate about electronic payment processing. This is an inherent struggle. You have to work hard to collect the information you need. Then you must enhance your presentation skills to get business owners the information they need in response.
- Close the sale. Nothing will bring secret objections to the surface faster than closing the sale. This cycle of asking for information and then providing information MUST always end with a closing statement. Many of you have no idea what the real objection is because you never close hard enough to find out. A typical conversation with a prospect who becomes a customer will include three or four closing statements that don’t lead to a “yes” or “no.” Instead, they lead to a half-hearted “no” like, “I would be interested, but I am in a contract.” or “That does sound interesting, but my bank does my processing; I don’t want to upset them.” Now you have the information you need. Give a rebuttal, present your information, and close again.
After spending countless hours on the phone with sales people who can’t seem to make a sale, I personally believe this simple three-step process which is at the core of sales is being missed by the below average sales reps. They have a fundamentally flawed view about what sales is. Their thinking views sales as a social transaction like adding a new follower on twitter or simply providing the relevant information while allowing the prospect to decide whether to move forward. Sales is a business transaction based on value. Yes, the prospect needs to like you and trust you. But if you can’t get prospects to like and trust you, then you are in the wrong business. Most sales people struggling to succeed are actually very well-liked by prospects. The issue is in failing to dig for the information they need or not knowing what to say when they get the objection. Worse yet is when they accomplish both of these first two steps but fail to close the sale! As a result, thousands of sales are lost each and every day by sales people around the world. Don’t become a statistic of bad performance; decide to be a success by following this simple three-step process.
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