Proper, precise, purposeful response shortens sales cycle
How do you respond to your customer’s words and barriers?
The answer is: carefully, truthfully and with authority.
Whether it’s a bold statement in response to a challenge, a promise you make in order to gain buyer confidence or a guarantee that provides the prospect with peace of mind; whether it’s an irrefutable fact to prove your point or your ability to communicate passionately to the prospective buyer, the right words can create a buying atmosphere and complete a sale in a very few minutes.
The challenge to you, the salesperson, is to be prepared to respond to a challenge, not be perplexed by what the customer is demanding and offer some weak excuse — or worse, give up.
I know you’re hoping for some examples, but as I mentally go through my 10 biggest and most creative sales in New York City, I don’t believe any of them serve as good enough generic examples.
So, rather than be specific and have inapplicable examples, I can tell you if someone asks me a question that doubts my ability to deliver, questions my price or puts up some barrier to “yes,” I make an irrefutable, comforting guarantee, statement or video that answers their concern and moves me closer to mutual agreement.
Or better, I offer a video testimonial of someone else loving my offer and buying. This provides both proof and peace of mind.
Having the videos requires work, and many salespeople will try to get by without them. You’ll be able to recognize them at once — they’re the ones that never make sales and blame others for their failings.
If someone makes a statement that indicates interest, I immediately ask for a commitment or at least uncover if that is one of their motives for buying.
When someone throws a barrier at me, I take it as both a test and a challenge. Oftentimes, I have found that an objection or a barrier actually indicates customer interest, and so I begin my response with a question that helps me understand what their true feelings are.
I might say something like, “Wait a second! Are you saying that (X) is the only thing between you and an order?” And then I proceed from there. I have taken the barrier or objection and immediately qualified it as the only one.
It amazes me how many salespeople take an objection or a barrier as a defeat. Maybe it’s my attitude or self-confidence level, but I have always looked at an objection as a road bump on the path to a sale.
And if the buyer says he or she has to consult with others, I immediately ask, “If it was only you, what would your decision be?”
You have to think “bottom line.” What can you ask or what can you say that will get your perspective buyer to the point of commitment or at least to an indication of purchasing interest?
And all it takes to make that happen is proper preparation and brass balls. And both of those were developed in NYC.
In New York City, you don’t have a choice; you have to walk in razor sharp, prepared and ready. Dull razors get thrown away. Cheap razors hurt and cause cuts. Everyone knows that.
Here’s what to do:
1. List every possible barrier and objection.
2. Prepare responses for each one that have value or create WOW!
3. Look for customers who have purchased in spite of the barrier and get them to shoot a short video explaining why they bought and what happened after purchase. (Hint: That’s where the value is!)
3.5. Stay at it until you have at least 25 examples and 25 videos.
Sound like a lot of work? It is! For years, I have made the statement: “Most salespeople will not do the hard work it takes to make selling easy. Preparation is hard, but if it’s done right, selling is easy.”
How prepared are you?
How easy are your sales?
Editor’s note: Jeffrey Gitomer is on sabbatical. This column originally appeared in the Jan. 20, 2015, Business Journal.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 12 best-selling books. His real-world ideas and content are also available as online courses at GitomerVT.com. For information about training and seminars, visit gitomer.com or gitomercertifiedadvisors.com, or email Jeffrey personally at email@example.com.