Close rates are at the front of every salesperson’s mind whenever pitching to a prospect. These are what track your progress and define your success. If you want to improve that rate, and increase your commission income, you have to learn how to turn an objection into an enthusiastic yes.
Every salesperson knows that initial objections are going to make up the vast majority of their sales day. If you were to shrug each one off and just move onto your next prospect, you’ll be lucky to make a sale a day. And that’s with talking to over 80 potential clients daily. The only way around this is to anticipate the objection and know how you will respond before it is voiced.
1. Be a Good Listener – Even When You’ve Heard all the Excuses Before
After a few weeks of making the same pitch you have a pretty good idea of what the common objections are going to be and should have a plan ready to get around each one. Be careful not to interrupt your prospect when they start telling you why they don’t want what you are selling. This puts them on the immediate defensive, and will stop your sale in its tracks. Learn how to be an active listener with nodding and the appropriate quick responses, while your mind is busy getting your response to the objection ready.
2. Show Your Respect for their Opinion
Once they are finished with their objection, follow up with a few well rehearsed questions. “What did you mean exactly when you said… ” or “Have you considered trying to… “. Be careful not to belittle their opinion, and don’t give them more ammunition by asking why questions. Keep it conversational and you will gather the information you need to increase your close rates.
3. Testing the Waters for a Close
Reinforce that you understand all of their objection points and respect them with a statement that starts with “So your concern is… ” or “If I understand correctly, you are… “. Now you are ready to offer the solution to the objection. This you should have had planned from the very start of the conversation, but you cannot expect it to be well received until you have successfully shown sincere interest in what their concerns are. Otherwise you come off as a pushy salesperson with a canned answer for everything.
Your water testing question should focus on how you can eliminate their concerns. “I have a way that we can work around your concerns by… “, just make sure that you are not making any promises that you can’t keep. Don’t give them a chance to interrupt at this point either. You gave the prospect their turn and now it is yours. Be sure that your solution covers each of the objection points that they made, with a tone and delivery that is still conversational.
4. Closing the Sale
Once you have finished the objection pitch, your next question should sound like “Do you have any questions before I start getting the paperwork together?” This conveys a confidence that you know that the objection has been addressed and solved, and there is no longer a valid reason for them not to buy your product. If you still meet resistance you may need to start from the beginning, as they come up with a new objection.
These techniques may take time, but the more time you invest in each prospect, the better your chances of increasing your close rates. The prospective customer has just invested time in you as well, and is going to start thinking about what they will get in return. Do keep in mind that there are still going to be objections that you can’t overcome, but don’t let those get you down. Instead, use it as a learning experience to improve your approach with the next prospective client on your list.
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