People buy from people who are like them so we need to become as much like our customer as we can to build rapport. We have talked about ways to build rapport before in the telesales tips newsletters like copying a customer’s speed, talking the same auditory, visual or kinaesthetic language, asking open-ended questions and demonstrating listening skills. Now let’s look at another way to build rapport.
I was training a team in a large contact centre recently when one person said, “I really like this new script you have given us. It is much more concise and to the point and we have had a 33% increase in sales overall in our first week of using it. We have been taught to chat to the customer a lot more and ask them all about their pets before we start selling the idea of buying raffle tickets to raise money for the RSPCA.”. The light switch went on for me. Their trainer clearly did not have an awareness of the DISC profiling of the basic four different styles of people or customers. He was quite right to teach the chat style to his team to build rapport but only if the customer spoken to was an Influencer (I) on the DISC profiling system or a Steadiness (S) type of person on the Disc Profiling System. The S and the I are social people people who like to chat to you. However, if you are talking to the Dominance style of person (D) or the Conforming style of person (C) these people want you to get to the point, tell them why you rang and what the bottom line is, then get off the phone.
Do you ever find yourself struggling when someone throws up an objection and you find yourself saying “Oh, Okay then goodbye”, instead of trying to overcome their objection? The best sales people are masters of objection handling. Here’s how.
PART 8 QUICK VIDEO TIPS – HOW TO HANDLE OBJECTIONS
If you prefer to read an article, please click on the SHOW MORE button IN YOUTUBE to get the transcript and print it off.
Here is the link:-
We were sitting at the Port in Buenos Aires last week having a coffee and a street seller came up to me to show me his wallets for sale. I interrupted my conversation with my husband to say “No thank you”. He then proceeded to bring out some bracelets and again I said “No thank you”. He then took my arm and put one of these bracelets on my wrist. I said to my husband, “Oh, wow, that is nice” and had to ask how much it was. It was so cheap I ended up buying 2! You see, when selling, if you don’t take rejection personally and try again with a different approach, you can often win a sale.
Two of my coaching clients told me last week that getting past the gatekeeper is their biggest problem at the moment. I will therefore share with you in this month’s Tips Newsletter why this might be and what to do about it. There is a big chapter on this in my book “Don’t Get Hung Up!” but I will give you a few more strategies here to add to your repertoire.
4 Reasons Why You Might Fail To Get Past The Gatekeeper
You sound timid, hesitant, apologetic or unsure of yourself
You start selling your products and services to the gatekeeper
You are asking for the name of the decision maker (This shows it is a sales call)
You have not planned your responses to possible gatekeeper questions
Strategies to Try
You know the sort – the ones that always say they are going to buy from you in the near future – the ones that ask you to ring again in three months time – the ones who were super keen when you first talked to them and now they have decided not to go ahead at all when you ring back and the ones you have spent hours doing a proposal for and they do not want to proceed.
Here are a few strategies that I have found successful:
1. First of all ask yourself a few questions like; “How will I change my approach to create more interest for the prospect to go ahead now?”, “What information can I give the prospect that would cause them to say that they were better off taking my call than they were before taking it?”, “What does my prospect want to get and what do they want to avoid?”
2. When the prospect does not want to do anything yet, ask them a few questions like “What is the real reason you are not going ahead now?”, “Are you saying that because you do not think you are going to get a return on your investment?”, What decision making criteria did you use to make this important decision?”
3. Become a problem solver. Come up with some thoughts such as; “Let’s work out how much it is costing you to do nothing about your situation” or “How much time are you spending on _____ and “How much is that costing you right now?” Then ask, “How long do you want to go on wasting that (time or money)?”
I am constantly on the look-out for little things that can get you a better response from your customer when selling and was reminded of a couple of things at my in-house trainings recently.
1. Change “Why” questions to “How” questions whenever you can
Sometimes “why” makes prospects feel defensive and it can sound interrogating or demanding when you don’t have the right tone in your voice. You can also increase the amount of information you get from your customer if you begin your questions with “how”. “How” sounds less challenging too.
Salesperson: “Why did you buy from Pilkingtons?”
Could be changed to:
Salesperson: “How did you make a decision to purchase from Pilkingtons?”
Salesperson: “Why aren’t you interested?”
Could be changed to:
Salesperson: “How specifically could we make this of more interest to you?”
2. Avoid using the word “BUT” to counter an objection
I wonder how many times you have said “I want to think it over” to a salesperson? Probably the same number of times that I have. So what are you, the customer, really thinking when you say that? It’s probably one of these thoughts:-
1.”I need to find out more about this, you were not able to give me the information I was looking for so I am not going to buy from you.”
If you cannot talk knowledgeably about your product and answer his questions, you are bound to lose the sale. When you get the objection, ask the customer “What specifically do you need to know to help you make a decision on this?” If you don’t know the answer, offer to have your superior, who knows more, to call him back to keep him interested.
2.”I do need to discuss all this with my partner before making a decision”
This could be perfectly legitimate so honour it and make sure you make a time to ring back to get a decision. “I quite understand _____(name) it is a very important decision. Howabout I give you a couple of days to do this and give you a call back on ______ (in 2 days time). Is it better to reach you in the morning on this number or the afternoon?”
Let’s face it , we don’t want to be spending our time sending information out to people who are not really interested and 90% of people who say “Just send your information ” early in the sales conversation on the phone are in fact not really interested. Our job is to find the 10% who are. Remember if you are a good salesperson, you will be following up the person you sent information to so you want to make damn sure they are vaguely interested before you send them anything. Otherwise you are going to get heaps of rejection on the follow-up call and you will try to avoid that kind of call in the future. Here are some ways to respond to this objection to help you separate the real buyers from those prospects who will just end up wasting your time.:-
1. I’ll be happy to send you some information but first, I feel I must ask you a couple of questions to make sure this is suitable for you and I am not wasting your time. (Ask a couple of open-ended pain questions to make them feel they have a problem )
2. Certainly, I can send you some information. If it does fit what you are looking for, when do you think you would be ready to move forward on this?
Don’t you hate it when you have something good to offer and no sooner have you opened your mouth and the prospect says, “I’m not interested”? Well of course they are not interested – they have not listened long enough to know the real value of what you are offering. In many cases it is a knee jerk reaction for them to say that as soon as they hear a telemarketing call regardless what is about.
Here is a great way to handle this objection in a friendly, calm tone.
“John, that’s a reasonable response at this early stage. As a matter of fact some of my best clients began their relationship with us using those exact same words. It wasn’t until I demonstrated to them the cost savings (replace with your major benefit) and the measured business outcomes (replace with your second major benefit) that they even became slightly interested. Would you be open to hearing a little bit more about this now or could I call you at a better time?