UNDERNEATH EVERY SALES PROFESSIONAL’S BED IS A ‘NO-MONSTER’ THAT ALSO LIVES INSIDE THEIR HEAD.
Ready to give yourself a hefty pay raise? Then it’s time to turn your attention to that “no” monster that lurks beneath every sales professional’s bed.
This “no” monster, as it turns out, just happens to be in your head. So, it’s up to you to decide which perspective you will take on it. And as with everything else in life, there are two ways to look at it.
The story of my family’s first visit from the tooth fairy (yes, the tooth fairy) is a perfect example of those two different perspectives that exist: fear and love.
When my son Saunders lost his first tooth, he was super pumped about the impending arrival of the tooth fairy… and the money that she would leave him in exchange for that tooth. My daughter Mary Jane, however, had never heard of the tooth fairy and had some questions about this stranger who would be sneaking into our home.
Saunders enthusiastically explained to his younger sister how the logistics would work: the tooth fairy would come into the house while we were sleeping, leave money for Saunders under his pillow and then fly away with his tooth. Waking up to money left by this awesome fairy was going to be the greatest day of Saunders’ life, as far as he was concerned.
Mary Jane, on the other hand, had a very different outlook on the situation. The more she heard about this strange woman with wings who would be creeping around our house at night, the more terrified she became. In fact, Mary Jane became so frightened that we actually wound up letting her sleep at her grandmother’s house that night.
These two different perspectives – fear and love – also come into play in your life as a sales professional, particularly when it comes to that pesky “no” monster. Many sales professionals are afraid of hearing the word “no” from prospective buyers. But if you view the word “no” with fear, then you will retreat every time you hear it. So you need to reframe the word “no.” After all, if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
When you hear the word “no” from a potential buyer, you need to start viewing that “no” as “not yet.” A “no” just means that this customer is not yet ready to buy because he or she has not yet been convinced to do so.
I want you to start viewing the word “no” as your friend. Because when customers tell you “no,” they are actually giving you a chance to address their concerns and convince them to buy. Research shows that only 2% of sales are made on the first contact, which means you are more than likely to hear a “no” the first time you ask a customer about buying. The statistics also reveal that sales professionals who are asking a prospect to buy more than five times are the sales professionals who are selling 80% of what’s out there right now.
Follow this six-step process for handling objections and you’ll soon be embracing the “no” monster as a helpful means to increase your prosperity:
1) BE GRATEFUL FOR THE CUSTOMER’S OBJECTION
Oftentimes, the immediate reaction to a potential buyer’s objection is to either attack back or flee. But you should instead view a prospect’s concern as feedback that should actually be treated with gratitude. By expressing an objection out loud to you, a customer is allowing you the opportunity to react in a positive way. Doing so will in turn remove any fear and anxiety that this prospect had been feeling in connection with that concern.
2) UNDERSTAND THE CUSTOMER’S REAL OBJECTION
When a prospective buyer states a concern, what he or she expresses is oftentimes not actually the real objection. Thus, you need to dig a little deeper to discover the true concern behind the stated objection. To pinpoint exactly what is bothering a customer, you should ask questions like the following: Why is that a concern? What were you hoping to accomplish? Once you feel confident that you have uncovered the real objection, you need to confirm it with the buyer, so that you can then work on finding the right solution.
3) PROVIDE THE CUSTOMER WITH AN EXPLANATION
A prospect needs to know why you and your company do what you do the way you do it. Learning more about your organization, your process and your products will give the customer a sense of connection to your company’s vision. It will also enable the client to feel confident in purchasing the product you have to offer, rather than pursuing that mythical “perfect” home, car or other big-ticket item which, in reality, does not exist.
4) CHANGE THE CUSTOMER’S PERSPECTIVE
Empowering your client to choose the option that best matches what he or she needs (without fruitlessly chasing that non-existent “perfect” product) means you will most likely have to get your prospect to rethink that list of non-negotiable items at some point during the search. By having the client whittle down that list and identify what he or she is willing to sacrifice, you can focus on finding options that are most closely suited to what he or she really needs.
5) HELP THE CUSTOMER FOCUS ON THE TOTAL PACKAGE
To avoid making your client feel pressured into a purchase that will likely leave him or her unhappy in the long run, you should present your customer with various options and then talk through the advantages and disadvantages of each choice. That way, the client can make his or her selection with a clear understanding of why certain sacrifices need to be made. This process will allow the buyer to truly see the total package, thus making the compromise feel like a win.
6) CONFIRM THE RESOLUTION WITH THE CUSTOMER
Ambiguity is the biggest fear of the human race. As such, you need to remove any doubt and indecision from your client’s mind. Confirm the resolution that has been reached during the sales process and you will empower your client with certainty in his or her decision to buy.
Going forward, I want you to repeat this affirmation: “I love no! No loves me! I love objections! Objections love me!”
Stop fearing the “no” monster, start handling objections and you will give yourself a huge pay raise. There may be all kinds of “nos” along the way, but don’t let them stop you from pushing yourself to change your perspectives and become the best version of you.