When I got my start in application sales I was working locally, with restaurants and bars surrounding the University in my town.
What I sold to the business owner was the ability to be hosted on my mobile app marketing themselves through discounts to my users.
This drove in new customers as well as engaging previous ones.
My job was to grow the user base on my app, as well as bring on new content (deals/discounts) with these businesses.
Restaurant managers and business owners are some of the hardest people in the world to engage. Which is why this sales pitch that I am about to share is so important when considering objection management.
Objection management essentially means, listening to a customers concerns, responding to them and ultimately overcoming them by helping that person feel more positively about a previous issue, ultimately leading to a sale.
This was the objection that I got constantly: “I don’t want to discount my food”
It was a good objection and a very honest one at that, but with the right re-framing I could help them see past the investment of discounted food and instead see the net positive benefits of driving in traffic effectively every single month.
“I understand you don’t want to discount your food, why would you!? You have worked hard for this restaurant. You got into this business to make food and make money, but to answer the question why would you? It’s what your customers want…
…We all know that we shouldn’t be eating out so much, it’s expensive, it’s over indulgent but we still want to even though we are certain our money would be better spent at the grocery store. That being said we love the service, the food and the feeling of having someone cater too our needs…
…These discounts you will offer through my app give your loyal customers a reason to come back over and over every single month, plus enticing new ones into your business. What you have to ask yourself is, would you prefer to keep your food at full price all the time and see your customers once or maybe not at all each month or would you prefer to give a handful of discounts to your customers to help encourage them back into your establishment three maybe even four times per month?…
…Correct me if I am wrong but seeing your customers multiple times a month is a positive thing for you isn’t it?“
This was my way of handling objection management and I wanted to be as prepared as possible for anything that might come my way.
What I did was come up with 5-6 objection management blueprints.
I didn’t stick to them perfectly but it helped me convey exactly what I wanted and more importantly make sure I wasn’t tongue tied when the client tossed a predictable but otherwise difficult objection my way.
The process of handling an objection is one of the top skills a salesperson can have. Your customer, no matter your industry is going to give you objections and you have to become a Tai Chi master of fighting back against them!
Here are the top 5 steps for closing a sale fast:
1. WALK BEFORE YOU RUN
Don’t jump too quickly into the close.
Be mindful and make sure you have heard some solid buying signals.
What is a buying signal?
A buying signal would sound like “That sounds really great” or “How do I get started?”
If you start off the conversation with “What is your purchasing timeline?” That could be a major turn off to anyone you are talking to if they are not ready for that question.
This requires a gut feeling, if it doesn’t feel right asking for the close, your customer probably feels the same way.
2. STEALTH TRANSITIONS
Ever been to a bad DJ set (concert) with awkward transitions between songs and lots of pauses in between each track? If you have you will know how unpleasant it is.
Just like a DJ, don’t make it obvious that you are transitioning the conversation towards the close.
With the example I gave in the above text, after the client agreed with me I would have immediately asked, “If all of this sounds good to you and considering what you just told me, it sounds like you see the value in driving in new traffic with my mobile application, do you want to get started?”
In this scenario the client agreed with the original pitch so all I did was mention that, then I proceeded to layer on the value with two very definite statements that show them, that I am going to help them make more money.
Finally, I say more casually “Do you want to get started” instead of something that is less casual like “Do you want to sign the paperwork?”
Customers do not like signing paperwork, it makes the arrangement sound like a long term commitment.
Long Term commitments require a lot of consideration and we don’t want to encourage that.
Unnoticeable transitions that avoid the possibility of putting your customer on high alert are ideal for closing a deal fast.
3. ALWAYS CUSHION THEIR OBJECTIONS
We live in a world where we are constantly being sold too. From the billboards on the side of the road, the social media accounts that we use, the emails that we read and the google searches that we do, there is always someone or something trying to get us to buy their thing.
In order to break through that noise we have to be genuine and we have to focus on value above all else.
Step into your clients shoes, if you gave someone a heartfelt objection you wouldn’t want someone to just ignore what you said and continue trying to pitch? Would you?
In my original rebuttal to the clients objection you can see me cushioning their statement with “I understand you don’t want to discount your food” from the very beginning of the rebuttal.
I spoke to their concerns and then helped them understand things from a different perspective, ultimately building value in what I can do to help their business.
No matter what objection you encounter, always cushion the response with a simple “I understand” and then relay what they said back to them and make sure they know you are listening before you try to sway their opinion.
The big take away from this is to always attempt to change the conversation in the most professional way that you can.
If you believe in your product/service and you know that it will dramatically improve your customers life, then you are simply helping them along the path to understanding this by countering their objections with a look into a different perspective.
You will never get there if you do not cushion your rebuttal to their objections.
4. BE HONEST WHEN CUSHIONING
This is an add on to the last step.
It’s important to be heartfelt (get inside your customers shoes) especially if the objection is very sincere, most people just want to feel heard, by all means don’t ignore their objection.
How would you want someone to respond to you? Don’t be a jerk, people, especially those interacting with salespeople don’t like working with jerks.
Always remember, you can in fact be a high performing sales professional and also have a heart.
5. DECIDE WHICH ROUTE TO TAKE
This is where you will make the decision to push for the sale or set a follow up.
If after the above steps you feel like you have addressed their concerns and they have agreed that this product/service is what is right for them but when you ask for their business they still say no, get real honest with them.
“You agreed with me that this service was what your business needs, I see no reason to wait, if in fact, you feel this good about XYZ, is there something I am missing?”
Make it a close ended question, they are going to have to answer “Yes or no.” Figure out if it’s a “Yes” or a “No.” If it’s a “No”, then very quickly bring up some of the earlier conversation and continue building value.
They are more than likely on the edge of saying “Yes” especially if you continue to layer on the positive possibilities for them and their lively-hood.
They are eventually going to realize a great deal is biting them in the ass and it’s time to do something about it.
Say “I only want what’s best for your business, my company is here to help you succeed, can you give us a chance and get this started today?” If they say no again then immediately put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and start investigating even more. You are roaming the streets of their objection on a pursuit, searching for clues.
Next ask a very straight forward question “What is it is that is holding you back?” This is an open ended question designed to help you discover the truth.
Nine times out ten there is something they are not telling you.
Either there is a different decision maker that they did not mention or they are still shopping around and want to check out more of the competition. Whatever the hidden reason is, use that information, start from the top, rinse and repeat.
Do all the above with this new objection, cushion it, understand it and respond to it.
If none of this works, don’t burn the bridge. Set a strong follow-up date and stick to it.
Some buyers just need some time to think on it and giving them a little space is a great way to build trust/respect for the next interaction.
Either way, you did your job and you pushed in the most respectful way possible.
Those are the top five sales techniques for closing quickly that you can implement into your selling strategy.
You could already be doing these or you might not have a plan at all. Make a plan based on what I have shared with you and constantly think about your process.
There is always room for improvement and by all means, keep improving!