We’ll discuss how great sales people turn a “No” into a “Yes” by overcoming objections and closing reluctant prospects.
There are many ways for people to become great sales people, capable of outselling their peers by an order of magnitude or two. Perhaps you become one of the great sales people with strong fundamentals in all areas, who do everything well and reap the benefits. On the other hand, perhaps you specialize–being the best at generating strong leads, or developing powerful sales copy, or generating word of mouth can be enough to make you great. In this article, we’ll be discussing a key skill to develop whether you want to become well rounded or a specialist, a skill all great sales people have under their belts: How to turn a “No” into a “Yes”. We’ll discuss the ABCs of overcoming objections and closing reluctant prospects, and take you one-step closer to greatness.
Great sales people don’t guess when they’re talking to a prospect. They learn in advance, they take notes whenever possible, and they always strive to figure out more. Overcoming objections often means overcoming the less-than-obvious bases for those objections.
Just because a prospect seems, on the surface, to be hesitating for one reason, does not mean that’s the problem you need to resolve to make your sale. Know the prospect, and you’ll know your real goals.
You can’t enter the ranks of the great sales people unless you have an intimate familiarity with the product you’re selling, one that would make the creator embarrassed by their ignorance. That means learning more than just the product details from your website–it means understanding every problem customers complain about, every workaround they’ve developed, every off-label and offbeat usage they’ve come up with.
The better you understand the product and the way customers interact with it, the better you will be able to overcome objections. When customers ask about known, well-publicized problems their products have, great sales people always have a researched response ready for that question.
People buy from people they like. Great sales people make sure they’re well liked, through charisma and a few old sales tricks. The most basic trick for developing a quick bond with a customer: listen. People love to talk about themselves, not hear about others. They will like someone who asks questions, pays attention to their answers, and wants to know more. This helps you on multiple levels, since you’ll also be meeting the “Know the Prospect” guideline.
The second trick would be enticing investment–investment of cash, investment of time, investment of resources, it doesn’t really matter. Get a prospect to ‘spend’ something on you, and they’ll double down in the future to justify that investment. This also helps with another area that separates great sales people from the rest–it helps with the final stage of the buying cycle, the Remorse phase. The better a prospect likes you, the less they’ll regret their purchase looking back at it. That’s how you get repeat customers.
Great sales people stay calm no matter what. Under no circumstances should you ever lose your cool with a prospect. That means no anger, no anxiety, no stuttering. None of the things that come about from losing your cool help you make a sale. Losing your temper with a prospect puts you in a position of weakness in the negotiations–even if you make the sale, it will probably be a worse deal for your company than it should be. This happens the most often with openly hostile customers, the ones that seem determined to get a rise out of you–but keep your cool, use your knowledge of prospect and product, and win them over. Even prospects whose “Nos” sound malicious can be changed to “Yeses” by great sales people.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.