Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Digital Signage Sales 101: Objection Handling Part 1 of 2


- Deacon Wardlow



Sales is a roller-coaster. The inevitable ebb and flow of opportunities which fade as quickly as they appear, sales which close and those which don’t are going to happen regardless. The best we can do is make sure we have as many tools as possible and make the best use of them as the situation allows. 

We discussed overcoming the Sticker Shock Syndrome in a previous blog (click here to read the article). I’ve discussed Customer Centered Sales (here). Mike Prongue has discussed closing techniques (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). What do you do to overcome objections (or even figure what the objections are)? Here comes another fun acronym. LACE.



L.A.C.E
With Digital Signage (DS), one would think it’s often an “easy” sale. DS offers a way to communicate better with customers and the community. ROIs (Return On Investment) can be proven as well as ROO (Return On Objective). Why would anyone object to something which will help their business or community? Objections are opportunities. They are the potential client testing the waters to see what you can come up with and if your product/solution meets their needs. By taking the time to vet objections, we are given a great opportunity to not only learn more about the client, but about ourselves, our business and our product/service.


Listen

Listening helps to not only understand the objection, but the emotion and reasoning behind it. If you’re talking more than the person you’re with, you need to ask more probing questions to get to the main point.


-Find the objection

When someone is objecting, it’s important to listen to more than the words they’re saying. Read between the lines and find out ‘what else’ they’re objecting to. ‘How come’ the objection is there and what do they see as hurdles to overcoming the issue at hand?


-Find remaining objections

Just when you think you’ve overcome the objections, dig deeper. There may be more being left unsaid and it’s best to get it in the open. Ask, “are there any other objections?” Once all the objections are out in the open, you’re that much closer to the close.


Accept

It’s important to not only acknowledge the objection(s), but the person making the objection(s).

-Accept the person
Here it’s time for show and tell. Objecting can be a difficult for many. People have been trained throughout their lives to help and be kind/considerate. Surprising as it may be, the person on the other side of the table/phone doesn’t want you to feel rejected or create negative feelings. By accepting the person, you build both their trust and their sense of identity with you. You also set up a exchange dynamic where they feel a sense of obligation to repay your acceptance.


-Accept the objection

Accepting the objection means understanding how it is reasonable, at least from their current viewpoint for them to object to what you may believe is an excellent offer.
It also means accepting the work that addressing the objection will require of you. Objections can be frustrating and if you object to the objection, you will have a mutual stalemate.


Commit

With the increased trust you’ve created by listening to the person and being open to discussing any objections they have, you’ve created an opportunity to test the waters on closing.


-Get their commitment

Get a commitment from them; if you can satisfactorily address their objections, they will give your product/service a chance. This is also a good method of identifying further objections. If they say no, then loop back and elicit whatever is holding the potential client back. Eventually, they will run out of objections.


-Make your commitment

In order to receive, you have to give. There’s a balance to the conversation which must be maintained. This doesn’t mean crazy “favors” or special pricing, simply your word to work with the client/company until they are completely satisfied you’ve delivered the best solution for their problem(s).


Explicit action

Now it is time to address the objections, to take explicit action on the commitments made.
There are two types of objection: real ones and accidental ones. Accidental objections are where the objection is due to a misunderstanding. Misunderstandings are usually easy to address, with an apology and an explanation. Real objections take work, but if they can be resolved, you've got the sale!

This is the theory behind the practice. In the next blog, I’ll cite specific techniques and examples to help overcoming objections. At the end of the day, we are solutions specialists. Problem solvers. Sales isn’t as much about pushing a product or service as much as it is about making a solid connection with another person and finding an answer to a question they may not even know they had until they met you. Find the problem, offer the solution and the sales will follow.

*I invite you to comment here and/or email me directly with requests at deacon@vantageled.com. Vantage LED has white paper resources and more educational material on the website (
http://www.vantageled.com), please check it out when you have a moment. Note all posts/thoughts/writings are strictly the viewpoint of me and me alone and do not reflect nor speak for Vantage LED’s beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically stated.

1 comment:

Deacon said...

I think back on the many teachers I've had in my life. A lot of them aren't very memorable. They assigned homework, taught me my ABCs and how to count, they did their job (overall). The ones who stand out, they did more than their job.

Those standout teachers were the ones who went ABCD (Above and Beyond the Call of Duty). They're the teachers who came early and stayed late to help me and others really understand what we were studying. These were (and are) the teachers who took the time to get to know me as a person first, and a student second.

Sales is similar. The salespeople who standout are the ones who take the time to really understand their customers. Like my favorite teachers, these salespeople understand the most important part of a sale is the person on the other side of the table/phone. Many salespeople avoid objections. "Let sleeping dogs lie." This doesn't really help the sale. Understanding and accepting the person and their objections helps to understand the particular problem that person/company needs solved.

Ask and overcome the objections, accept the person and go beyond the basics and chances are good the saleperson who goes ABCD is the one people will remember when the time comes to make a buy decision...

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