No matter how great you are at getting sales meetings and making your prospect need your solution, you will inevitably encounter challenging buyer objections before closing most of your deals. After all, objections are a natural part of the sales process.
To make things worse, buyers are now asking more questions and raising far more objections before going ahead with their investments. This is because recent economic uncertainty has caused a greater number of corporate projects to slip, get cancelled or become consolidated into larger programmes as buyers more heavily scrutinise sales proposals in today’s marketplace.
With fewer sales opportunities around and more intense competition, it is essential that you become a master of objection handling if you are going to win deals and earn high commissions.
Create Buyer Urgency and Needs
An objection in the world of B2B selling is a stated (or perceived) reason on the behalf of a prospective buyer as to why he or she is not willing to commit either to buying your solution or to moving ahead to the next stage of the sale.
Most buyer objections can be avoided or, at least, neutralised by leading the sales process with consultative sales techniques. By opening discussions with buyers around the external pressures facing the buying organisation and relating them to their internal pressures, desires and needs, before aligning the benefits of your solution with these pressures, needs and desires, your buyer will have much less reason to object to your proposal. Most of the doubts they held about your proposal will be extinguished if you create a compelling event in the mind of the prospect before explaining how your product or service will benefit them in dealing with this event.
We call this consultative approach ‘Selling from the Left®’. If you are able to Sell from the Left® with a really compelling event, the buyer will not only want to avoid raising any objections that might delay the sale, they will want to proactively work with you to overcome any hurdles that you come across during the remainder of the sales process.
Sell from the Left®, be flexible and provide social proof
However, consultative sales techniques alone are not enough to maximise the amount of objections that you will avoid. To avoid as many objections as possible, you must be flexible and prepared to give away additional value, while you must also be poised to provide social proof to help with the momentum of the sale.
To summarise, the three secrets to avoiding objections are as follows:
1. Sell from the Left® using consultative sales techniques to create urgency and desire. This will motivate the buyer to avoid objections wherever possible and, if objections are raised, they will be more likely to be genuine objections that the buyer will wish to overcome.
2. Be flexible and prepared to give additional value to help the momentum of the sale. Identify small points of additional value that you are willing to proactively add in to the sales process to maintain the momentum and avoid any potential concerns.
3. Provide social proof of the solutions you have previously (and successfully) implemented for similar clients in the past. Social proof, in the form of great references, will reassure the buyer that others have benefited from your solution and will, therefore, reduce the buyer’s perception of the risk involved with investing in your solution.
If you can Sell from the Left® to create urgency and desire, you are flexible and prepared to give away additional value, and you provide social proof of your previous successes, you will be able to avoid most of the objections that buyers typically throw at sales and business development professionals in sales meetings. By following these steps you will not only make the buyer avoid raising objections, but you will also create real interest and a desire on the buyer’s behalf to progress with the sale.
Written by: Steve Eungblut, Managing Director of Sterling Chase