Even when a salesperson has done a great job of consultative selling, a prospect can still throw out a couple of objections.
So what does consultative selling mean? Consultative Selling involves:
- qualifying a prospect as a decision maker with a problem they can solve
- identifying the process by which the prospect will buy
- uncovering compelling reasons for a prospect to buy
- helping a prospect identify a reasonable budget
- creating urgency to take action
- asking enough questions for the prospect to feel the gap between the current situation with problems & a future without the problems you solve
A prospect can still throw out a couple of objections.
These objections can stymie many salespeople, so I would like to offer a counter to the 2 common concerns. I use the word “concerns” because I believe even when a salesperson has done a good job, the prospect still needs a little help to help themselves.
The two concerns are what I hear about most often are:
- I need to think it over
- It costs too much.
The assumption is the salesperson did a good job with the consultative selling process. If you tried to sell feature and benefits, you already screwed up and this will not work. If you are still selling features and benefits, we should talk about some coaching.
The I need to think it over example sounds like this:
Salesperson: Mr. Prospect, could you help me understand what is you holding you back from making a decision? Have I answered all of your questions satisfactorily?
Prospect: Well, yea…I believe we covered all of my questions.
If there is a specific question, now is your time to address this.
Salesperson: Ok good, I thought we might have missed something. Then what is preventing us from moving forward?
Prospect: Well, nothing really…I am just looking for time to digest all the information and make sure I am making a good decision.
Salesperson: Making a good decision is important. Given we identified that each month this problem is costing the company $100,000 a month, and you noted that our solution will reverse that cost within 30 days – do you think we can afford to waiting any longer to solve the problem?
Prospect: No. I think we need to move on this?
Salesperson: So, have we satisfied your concerns?
If the prospect brings up a new concern, you have to stop and go check it out. It might not be real, but you have to deal with it before you can close. It is critical that the salesperson does not roll over with the I need to think it over.
Attention Sales DNA Weakness:
Salespeople who need to think it over themselves when they make a purchase are likely to accept this put off, and it is one of the biggest Sales DNA weaknesses a salesperson can have. Our clients are aware of this weakness in the salespeople, and are working to address it through coaching and self-awareness.
Either the prospect is really telling you NO, or they just need a little more help to see the value in the solution.
The other concern is It costs too much, and it sounds like this.
Also, let’s assume the salesperson did a poor job of uncovering the prospect’s budget.
Salesperson: When you say it costs too much, how more is this than you had in mind?
Prospect: It is about $5,000 too expensive.
Salesperson: Okay, $5,000 over budget or $5,000 more than a competitor?
Prospect: It is $5,000 over budget. We budgeted $20,000 and your quote is $25,000.
Here is the key point, they have already spent $20,000 in their mind. The issue for the salesperson is the $5,000 delta, not $25,000. This is important. Remain calm and deal with the $5,000.
Salesperson: Is there anything else holding us back at this point other than the $5,000 over budget.
Prospect: No, if you can reduce your price by $5,000 it is a done deal.
Salesperson: Well, to provide you with the solution you need to solve the “big problem”, we cannot reduce our price. What do you think we should do?
Prospect: I am not sure, the problem needs to be solved.
Salesperson: When does your budget year end, is it December?
Salesperson: What if we split the amount over the two budget years. 75% now in September and 25% in January?
Prospect: Yes..yes that would work.
The price to pay for doing a poor job of identifying the budget and matching up your solution to the budget, is a delayed invoice for full payment.
If the salesperson did a poor job of identifying competition, you can get the objection you are more expensive than your competitor.
Prospect: I am comparing your proposal to another proposal, and you are $5,000 more expensive.
Salesperson: Mr. Prospect, could you indulge me for just one moment? Let’s pretend that both quotes are the same. Let’s say we both quoted you a $1.00. If we were both a $1.00 which would you be inclined to choose?
The words are important. If we both a dollar, NOT if we were both the SAME!
Prospect: If both of your quotes were a dollar, then I’d choose you I guess.
Salesperson: And why would you choose us?
Prospect: I think you understand our problem better and have anticipated the variables making you more reliable.
Salesperson: More reliable? What is the cost of the other supplier being unreliable? What would happen if something went wrong with a delivery?
Prospect: It could set us back 30-45 days.
Salesperson: What do you think that would cost?
Prospect: Hmm…well the roll out would be a delayed….a lot of eyes on our department….$5,000 to $10,000 plus the optics.
Salesperson: Nothing bad would happen if those delays occurred right?
Prospect: No a lot of bad things could happen…
Salesperson: Do you think in this case being reliable is worth $5,000?
Prospect: Well, I suppose it would be. I had not thought of it like that.
Sometimes you have to help the prospect help themselves. It is about reminding them about their problem and what it really means. The salespeople who can create urgency in the moment are the salespeople who move the needed and make quota.
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Walter has been working successfully in Sales, Sales Development and Sales Management for over 31 years. He is passionate about developing sales professionals for CEOs &Business Owners. If you are frustrated and fed up with sales people who are not accountable, a sales team that is inconsistent and fail to meet objectives, and you want to fix it once and for all, we should have a business conversation. We partner with Objective Management Group for the best tools to evaluate your salesforce; We partner with SalesSTAR for the best sales training tools for sales management & salespeople; We partner with SalesQB to provide Fractional Sales Management services. firstname.lastname@example.org