You’re sitting in front of a hot prospect. Everything appears to have gone swimmingly well. You’re counting your chickens thinking the money’s in the bank.
Then all of a sudden the prospect frowns and says, “I’m not sure about this!”
You freeze thinking, “Oh no… now what!”
Ever happened to you?
It’s a pretty common scenario. But for the most part that dreaded moment can be completely avoided if you follow our sales process.
Over the last couple of weeks we’ve gone over the sales process we recommend.
You can read about the most important aspects of the process – your mindset and delving into the Prospect’s situation, desired outcomes and the impact of achieving them in Can you segue?
So let’s move onto the final components – closing and getting final commitment.
But first, let’s talk about objections.
Objections occur because your prospects are concerned about or haven’t understood something. Which can happen at any point in your conversation.
Don’t make the fatal mistake of blindly sailing through your pitch without noticing and stopping whenever you see concern or thoughtfulness flicker across your prospect’s face.
Realise, if they’re thinking about something you’ve said, they’re not listening to the next bits.
Your job is to immediately ask, “I notice you’re thinking about something. Is there something I haven’t explained properly?”
Handle the concern right then and there. Even if it means going off on a tangent. Because if you don’t, they won’t come with you the rest of the journey.
Having said all this, the best way to handle an objection is to pre-frame it.
Given your experience, you’d know most of the common questions or objections prospects have.
So bring them up in your conversation and answer them as part of the natural flow.
One of the best ways is through using examples about other clients, their concerns and their eventual success stories.
You’ve presented your solution. Handled concerns. Now it’s time to ask for a commitment to proceed to the money conversation.
Realise there are essentially two distinct parts to the close.
The first is getting agreement that they want to buy your product. The second is price.
Ask, “Do you feel comfortable that this product/program will help you get [benefits they’ve outlined]?”
If no, ask them why not? Is there something they’re not sure of? Didn’t understand? Were they simply not convinced you could deliver?
Maybe they feel the solution is too difficult for them to implement and the effort isn’t going to get them the outcome they want?
Cycle back to the emotional impact they’d experience if they got their outcome. Tie that into the solution you’re offering.
Sometimes you won’t get the deal. Get over it. Move on.
If “Yes”, delve deeper. “Can you tell me why you think this will work for you?”
Doing this helps them cement their own reasons for buying. It acts as a convincer strategy and helps eliminate buyer’s remorse.
Only now do you talk about price.
Once given the price one of three things will happen. They’ll say yes and you sign them up.
Or they tell you they can’t afford it.
Or they want to bargain.
Frankly, good marketing which pre-positions you as they expert who charges premium fees and delivers value will go a very long way to only having prospects predisposed to working with you. They will already have some indication of the investment range they’ll need to make. So they won’t get “sticker shock”.
If they genuinely can’t afford it, you should have had an indication in the qualification phase and not spent precious sales time with them. Of course this doesn’t always happen, so do your best.
As to the “bargainers”, do you really want them as clients? Trust me, they’ll give you lots of issues further down the track.
If you do want to get them as clients, by all means reduce the price. But reduce the value they’re getting too. So take something away from the deal.
This next bit of advice will save you a tremendous amount of grief, chasing up prospects who’ve suddenly gone AWOL.
Never ever leave a meeting without setting a date for the next step.
Be this the kick-off meeting, first payment date or in the case of an ongoing sales call, the next step (with a confirmed date).
That act of commitment on their part means they have made a tacit agreement to move forward. And as Robert Cialdini in his classic book, Influence: Science and Practice of Persuasion points out, people tend to be consistent with their commitments.
So please, if there’s only one thing you take away from this article, it’s “never leave a meeting without booking another meeting!”
As always, there is far more to successful selling that the short synopsis I’ve outlined here.
In the next few weeks we’ll be offering a series of web workshops aimed directly at improving your ability to sell higher value products and services.
Clients who’ve embodied this mindset and process have both significantly increased the number of deals they’ve won as well as the value per deal. One went from $23,000 to $75,000 for the same program!
So look out for it.