So, yesterday I boldly stated that in â€œreactive sales situationsâ€ if we are on top of our game, we should not anticipate objections, because after rigorous qualification, we simply give the customer what they need or want, and achieve an appropriate profit for ourselves â€“ win-win. (If you missed yesterdayâ€™s post, you may want to scroll down and catch up, because it is wholly relevant to what I am about to say next)
Thinking about that last paragraph, there is one sub-statement which really stands out â€“ â€œgive the customer what they need or wantâ€ But what if we are selling a product/solution/service that the suspect/prospect doesn’t think they need or want?
This is where we experience objections; this is the â€œpro-active sales situationâ€; here is where our real sales skills come in to play. 80% of the sales population can frame a solution for a willing customer, but creating a desire/demand is where the â€œbig boys and girlsâ€ come into their own. It is what I refer to as â€œgrown upâ€™s timeâ€
Sometime ago, one of â€œme learned colleaguesâ€ (who only operates in the Fortune 500 sector) suggested in a written response on FOCUS.com that most salespeople never get anywhere near the C-Lounge. This of course is total nonsense: The reality is that 99% of all businesses in North America employ less than 100 people, which means they fit into the SMB to medium sized category. This also means that C-level personnel are very much involved with making decisions about significant spend, and we absolutely have to meet with them, unless we are going to rely on â€œrecommendersâ€ to sell our solution upwards â€“ never a satisfactory option!
OK, what are the five words that tend to grab the attention of C-level personnel?
They are, in no particular order: Save, Gain, Reduce, Increase and Improve
Now, when you think about your solution/service/product offering â€¦can you prove that it can achieve any of those five objectives?
If you can, then in a â€œpro-active sales situationâ€ you are far less likely to encounter an objection: Most companies, in most sectors, will find budget, if it means that the return on investment is worth it â€“ if they are convinced that the savings/gains/reductions/increases/improvements are going to be worth the outlay.
The reason why the top ten per cent of sales professionals rarely spend time fending off objections, is simply because they rarely encounter them!
In summary, I would say this: unless you are attempting to sell something to someone that they neither need nor want, you should not encounter objections. But I would add this caveat; in the â€œpro-active sales situationâ€ we must expect to encounter many companies/people, who do not know what they donâ€™t know, and we have a responsibility to educate them. This is where the very best sales professionals outshine the also-rans significantly.
Finally, yesterday I promised to share how years ago I adapted Neil Rackhamâ€™s brilliant S.P.I.N. sales â€œtheoryâ€ to meet my own needs. OK, it really is very simple, and I feel certain that many other sales thought leaders have done very much the same: I simply added an â€œSâ€ to the end, which gave me S.P.I.N.S, and I created: Situation, Problem, Implication, Need and â€œSolutionâ€
Why is that so powerful? My prospects actually tell me that they need my solution, I donâ€™t need to tell them. We arrive at the same place together, and the process begins immediately, as we co-create a significant program of improvement.
Want to know how that works in practice? Join me on Monday, and Iâ€™ll share some real-life successes.
News: No significant news today: I continue to be immensely proud of the quality of resources that we are making available to you over at topsalesworld.com and topsalesmanagement.com â€“ provided by the crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me of global sales experts â€“ all absolutely free.
Have a great w/e, wherever you are, and please be sure to make it back on Monday – JF