I’m sitting with a sales person who is currently handling my objections. We’re in a role play and I’m the prospect. The sales exec is delivering rebuttals in response to my concerns and he thinks he’s doing well. And in a way he is. But he shouldn’t be having to do this in the first place.

When we finish the session, I congratulate him on his determination and tenacity in addressing the issues and he’s pleased. And then I point out the reason that he’s good at handling objections; it’s because he isn’t good at questioning. In fact he found out very little about the prospect before he launched into his sales pitch. He thinks he was selling. I think he was telling.

In my experience he’s not alone. I have worked with many sales people who behave in the same way. They don’t conduct a thorough fact-find which means they fail to establish the prospect’s needs.

Introduction

 Fact-finding

Establish needs – the Problem

Deliver value proposition – the Solution

Investment – £, €, $

Handle objections

Close

The second thing all sales professionals must do – after successfully opening the call - is find out what’s keeping the prospect awake at night. What their real problem is and yes, I do mean problem. Problems raise concerns and emotions plus a real desire for a solution. So when the sales person presents their product, the prospect is listening. They want to be sold to because they want to buy the solution.

But when the problem isn’t identified, selling turns into telling. If there aren’t any needs there can’t be any benefits. So then the objections start coming and that’s where we began this discussion. The sales person becomes effective at handling objections to compensate for the fact that they didn’t establish the prospect’s needs or present their case.

And trying to present your product via the handling objections route means the atmosphere is wrong. It’s about attack and counter attack which is not the best environment to showcase your services.

I don’t know anyone who will buy a solution to fix a problem that they don’t believe they have. So today’s sales professional must use questions to establish the problem then deliver a powerful and persuasive value proposition. And the prospect will pay attention and listen intently because your solution to their problem is really important to them.

Paul Streeter Training Services, Woodhill, Bathampton Lane, Bathampton, Bath BA2 6SW
Tel: +44 (0)1225 443882 • Mobile: +44 (0)7785 340775 • Email: paul@pstrainingservices.co.uk

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