By Michael Angelo Caruso
Strong sales are the lifeblood of every thriving organization. Effective salespeople maintain contact with their sales network. Successful salespeople view rejection as temporary. They constantly work to uncover and deal with objections.
Here are 5 Cool Ideas for stronger sales.
1. Network "five deep."
The idea is to network throughout the buyer's organization, making sure everyone knows how to reach you and why they should want to reach you. Communicate with the primary contact's immediate supervisor, an accounts payable representative, the purchasing agent and the primary contact's assistant.
2. Consistent contact is essential.
If your product or service is competitively priced, customers and prospects are likely to keep you on their vendor list. You will be removed from the list, however, if your contact with them is irregular or uncaring. According to the book, Guerrilla Marketing, by Jay Conrad Levinson and Seth Godin, 69% of dissatisfied customers leave due to inconsistent or nonexistent contact.
3. It's never "no," it's "no for now."
If a prospect refuses to purchase, do not consider this a rejection. In fact, a non -purchase is an opportunity to uncover an objection. If you can't close someone, odds are they can refer you to another prospect. Leverage the six degrees of separation by asking, "Who do you know that would be interested in my product/service?"
4. Objections should be challenged.
Most sellers struggle when hearing comments such as, "I need more time to think about this" and "I'm not interested." Is the prospect unqualified or just veiling an objection? Ask bold questions to probe further. Ask in a soft "librarian tone" so you don't seem pushy. Say things like, "It's interesting that you should say that. Please tell me why you need more time" and "I'm surprised that you're not interested." Act as if not doing business with you is the most unpredictable response you've ever heard.
5. Objections are opportunities.
First, test the objection to see if it is legitimate. Then, deal with the objection. Beware of "The Flinch," a common price objection that is usually a bluff. Remember that just because prospects object to the price, doesn't mean they are unwilling to pay that price. In a worst-case scenario, price objections can be handled by trading value. "Our product is worth every penny, but if you'd like to pay less we can shorten your warranty." Strong sellers, of course, wouldn't advise prospects to shorten the warranty because it would discount the excellent value offered. In my sales training seminars, I teach sellers to have an answer to every conceivable objection. By thinking five moves ahead, sellers can use objections to move the prospect closer toward an affirmative decision.
Michael Angelo Caruso is the author of the "5 Cool Ideas" books and the FastLearnerAudio series. To receive his complimentary "5 Cool Ideas" newsletter, simply send an e-mail to [email protected].