By in large salespeople are only as good as their ability to handle objections. Now-a-days people we sell to, especially in B2B sales, are considerably less tolerant of sales tactics or strong-arm techniques. However, if someone says no and offers up reasons not to do business with you, it is part of your job to (skillfully) help the client through those concerns.
I use a common saying that I saw in a painting on an episode of The Walking Dead… “Calm seas don’t make good sailors”. I love this saying as it applies to selling and deal making… “Easy deals don’t make good salespeople”. The challenge is that we can only answer objections that are given to us. What about the objections they don’t ask. With AP Automation and software as a service, people have a very difficult time asking questions about something they know nothing about.
The teaching model of selling operates on a few base principles. One, and the primary one for this selling system is that you have to teach people how to buy your offering. Deep in that principle is the idea that if people don’t know what you’re offering and the impact your offering can have they have to be taught how to evaluate what you have. When you teach people how to evaluate what you have the other side of that is to anticipate the objections they will have.
Now, it’s important to note that you have to either (1) have a deep understanding of your offering (software) how people use it, why your offering is important and the competition or (2) a resource that knows everything in the first point that can coach you. With that in place you are now ready to start answering objections that people don’t ask. There is a certain emotion that people of a similar background, similar work and experience will have, and though experience and repetition you will begin to realize that people will have the same questions and the same point in the deal. To that point, if the people don’t ask those questions at that point then, more than likely, there is no interest and no opportunity.
I have a coaching thing or saying that I use a lot for different situations… “If you don’t deal with it… it will deal with you”. I had a mentor says (in a similar way) never blow though stop signs. All of it means that if you aren’t getting the feedback you need in a deal you have to (1) stop (2) call it out – in a skillful way (3) deal with it.
The thing that I like to use, when in the “deal with it” situation, I prod people to ask the questions I am looking for. It sounds something like this (I feel like I am getting ready to break into song) “tyicpically people at this point will ask this questions…” and I give them the question. After that I follow-up with a, “is that a concern of yours?” If not it give me pause that there may not be the level of interest I need to move them forward.
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About The Author:
Christopher Elmore has written 8 books, countless articles, lectures at UNC – Charlotte and travels around the country speaking on the topics of startup success, sales, presentation skills, change, entrepreneurship, accounts payable and payment automation. Having deep startup and entrepreneurial experience, Christopher was one of the six people who started AvidXchange in 2000 and continues to work in the business today. If you hire Christopher to speak or teach at your company or event… you won’t be sorry! Request a media kit or contact us for more information