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Le obiezioni sono opportunità

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Objections are Opportunities

What Are Objections
Occasionally in your sales career, you will encounter a situation in which you are able to close the sale directly after giving your sales presentation.

Such a situation, however, is the exception not the rule. Objections are simply a natural outcome of the sales process. Each potential prospect has his own set of unique needs, and, though you may identify most of them during the preapproach stage of the selling process when you do your research, you will not be able to anticipate all of them.

If all it took to excel in sales was to deliver a perfect script, anyone could do it. But that is not the case. The essence of sales is handling objections and truly understanding how you can help your prospect meet her needs. It is a demonstration of your skills as a salesperson to find the opportunity in these objections, listen to your prospect, and then respond.

So an objection is simply a question from a prospect that indicates that she wants more information. If she weren’t interested, she wouldn’t be asking questions. [1]

The first myth to dispel is the assumption that objections are bad. If a prospect is asking you questions, you can at least assume that he is interested in your product or service. In fact, in all likelihood, he already knows whether or not he needs or wants to make the purchase.

Thus, the reason he is objecting isn’t necessarily because your presentation failed to communicate the features, advantages, and benefits of your offering. Rather, he is objecting because he is seeking reassurance; he is on the fence of indecision, and he wants you to provide him with the incentive that justifies an immediate purchase. [2]

Objections, also called sales objections, are generally defined as prospect questions or hesitancies about either the product or company.[3]

While objection may sound like rejection, you should never assume that when a prospect asks a question or expresses a concern that you have failed to generate interest in your product or service. Usually, though, objections mask-intentionally or unintentionally-a request for more information. They simply signal your prospect’s level of interest and alert you to what actions need to be taken to bring the sale to a close.

If your prospect expresses objections, consider them invitations to continue to sell. Furthermore, leverage these objections into an opportunity to continue to build your relationship with your prospect so that you can continue to create a positive influence on the buyer’s decision.

The fact is objections help you build your relationship and find the true reason for resistance. Think of objections as opportunities.

Objections as Opportunities
You may find it interesting to know that in sales, a prospect will say no an average of five times before he buys. [4]

That means that it’s more likely than not that you will experience a prospect who poses at least one objection: asking a question, requesting more information or time, or pushing back due to financial constraints. Without objections, you would have no way of knowing what a prospect is thinking, what concerns she has, or what barriers might be in the way of her saying, “Where do I sign?” The fact is objections are an important part of the selling process.

Thinking about overcoming objections might be the wrong frame of reference. The word “overcome” implies that you want to conquer, fight, or win (and, therefore, your prospect loses). [5]

Instead, it’s best to think about objections as a perfect extension of the selling process. Think back to the steps of the selling process that you have covered so far: prospecting and qualifying, preapproach, approach, and presentation.


Your focus should be on understanding your prospect’s needs and building a relationship based on trust. This is all about learning more, finding common ground, and providing the solution that is best for your prospect.

Objections and conversation help you better understand exactly what your prospect wants and needs. You don’t want to avoid objections; you actually want to encourage objections and ask for them. According to the Selling Power Sales Management Newsletter, “Objections are not personal attacks; they’re gifts.” [6]

Preparing for Objections
If objections are such a positive part of the selling process, you might be wondering how to be prepared for them; how to think about them; how to consider them even before you get them.

Objections should not intimidate you or dissuade you from continuing the selling process. Rather, you should consider objections opportunities to learn more about your prospect’s needs.

By embracing your prospect’s objections and handling them effectively, you will inspire his trust, confidence, and loyalty. As a result, both you and the prospect will benefit.


Understand your prospect and believe in your partnership

If you did your homework at every step of the process so far and put together a presentation and proposal that really makes sense for your prospect’s business, you should be confident in the fact that you are a true business partner to your prospect.

Objections lead to sharing and learning and the ability for you to make adjustments in your proposal that will help your prospect manage her business. [7]


Remember WII-FM

WII-FM (What’s In It ForMe) is the radio station that everyone listens to. Never lose sight of your prospect’s buying motivations. If time is mission-critical to his success, know what you can deliver and by when.

If national reach is important to your prospect, be

Understand risk

Understand what your prospect considers a risk (e.g., time, money, changing suppliers). When risk outweighs reward in the mind of your prospect, chances are she will find a reason not to buy.

Understand her risk factors and address them head on. This will allow you to employ a “risk-removal” strategy, rather than a selling strategy. [8]

Anticipate objections

Make a list of every objection before you even make your presentation and build in a response. [9] Your success as a salesperson will largely be determined by your ability to anticipate and handle objections. [10] Write down all the possible objections and go back and incorporate them into your presentation.

You can anticipate and be prepared for most objections that will be raised. [11] Anticipating objections helps you be responsive, rather than reactive. [12]

Be proactive, raise objections first

Since you have done so much preparation and you understand and have a good relationship with your prospect, be proactive and be prepared to raise objections first. When you raise an objection, you actually turn it into a discussion point rather than an objection.

It shows your prospect that you are thinking about the sale from her perspective and helps you build the relationship. [13]

Why Prospects Object
While prospects may voice their objections in different ways, just about every objection comes down to one of four reasons:

no or not enough money
no perceived need
no sense of urgency
no trust [15] As a selling professional, you have control over each one of these objections. But it’s too late if you address it only when the prospect objects. For example, you can avoid the price objection with qualification during your first step of the selling process. [16]

If a prospect does not have a perceived need or high sense of urgency to buy your product or service, your challenge is to understand the drivers of his business. Every business has challenges, and your role from the time you qualify the prospect is to understand your prospect’s “pain points,” those issues that cause problems for him and his company and present barriers to growth.

If you truly understand your prospect’s business, it is much easier to present a solution that addresses the perceived need and reasons to buy it now. “There is no reason for buyers to buy today unless we build in that sense of urgency and give them a reason to buy today,” says Dana Forest, director of sales at Simons Homes. [17]

Business-to-business (B2B) selling is dependent on trust. If the trust is not there, or the relationship is not yet fully developed, it can be difficult for a prospect to make a change or finalize the purchase.

If this is the case, prospects will frequently delay or stall before making a decision, which can be an attempt to derail the sale.

When Prospects Object
While you may not be able to predict your prospect’s every objection, you can at least predict that he will object.

Knowing when to expect objections is the first step to handling them: you will eliminate the chance of appearing caught off guard or unprepared to discuss the product or service that you are selling.There are specific points during the sales process where these objections are more likely to occur: when you are first trying to make contact, when making a sales presentation, and when you are attempting to close the sale, or make a trial close.

A trial close includes any attempt to close the sale but usually focuses on asking the prospect’s opinion: “What do you think about the turnaround time?” A trial close may occur at any point during the selling process.

In other words, if the prospect indicates that she may be interested in making the purchase, it is an opportunity to make a trial close.

Objections are likely to occur at several points during the selling process, including the trial close.

It’s best to be prepared for objections at every step in the selling process, including the qualifying stage.

Know your prospect and be ready to incorporate objections into your sales presentation. [18]

Setting Up the Appointment
Imagine that you are in the middle of a cold call and you are attempting to set up an appointment to meet your prospect.

You have barely uttered your name when your prospect exasperatedly grunts, “Don’t waste your breath. I’m not buying anything you’re selling.” How do you respond?
This scenario is meant to illustrate the fact that you may meet resistance as soon as you try to establish contact with your qualified prospect. Hopefully, you will have reduced the rate of this problem occurring by properly qualifying your prospect beforehand and preparing for objections.

Anticipate resistance from the beginning.

Using the questioning technique is a good way to engage your prospect in conversation and learn more about what can help her run her business. [19]

During the Presentation
When you are giving a sales presentation, very often the prospect will ask you questions as you go.

It is unlikely that your prospect will wait until you have finished your presentation before asking you questions. The experienced salesperson will actually encourage questions throughout her presentation since she knows that responding to them supplies her with precious time that she can use to further demonstrate how her offering can solve her prospect’s problem. As a rule, you will want to acknowledge objections as they arise.

If you feel that the objection will be addressed at a later point during the presentation, you may postpone your response, but you will need to communicate this information to your prospect.

During the Trial Close
You can test your buyer’s readiness after your sales presentation by employing a trial close. If your prospect hasn’t expressed any opinions at this point of the selling process, then the trial close is your opportunity to seek them out.

If your prospect responds positively to it, then congratulations! This response indicates that you have skillfully executed each step of the selling process: creating rapport, gaining the prospect’s trust, listening, identifying his problem, and presenting products and services that will provide him with solutions and value. [20]

If an objection is raised, respond to it. Always remember that an unacknowledged concern lessens the opportunity for a sale. Responding means fully listening to your prospect’s concerns and objections, asking clarifying questions to determine whether or not you understand them, identifying the types of objections they are, and meeting them.

To be clear, “meeting” an objection does not mean saying what you think the prospect wants to hear; you should never make a promise about a product or service that you cannot deliver.

How you meet an objection will depend on the type of objection you are dealing with.

Simply put, meeting the objection means returning to the presentation stage, elaborating on your product’s capabilities, and emphasizing in what ways they benefit your prospect. You may have to use a trial close several times before moving to a close. Keep in mind that the sales process is not perfectly linear; rather, it is iterative. Depending on the prospect and the product, it is perfectly appropriate to repeat steps.

In this example, it’s important to note that the objection led to the prospect sharing information that was not previously known: the date of the launch.

This is valuable information that the salesperson can use to potentially overcome other objections and provide service that will help the prospect meet his goals.

Never allow yourself to become defensive or antagonistic when a prospect makes an objection. Since your goal is to build and sustain an enduring customer relationship, you will want to handle your prospect’s objections with as much delicacy as possible.

Avoid responding to objections with statements beginning with “but”: “But our company is better” or “But we offer more value for your money.” [21]

It’s better to respond in a positive way, such as “We are the only company that offers a guarantee on our product. If you’re not satisfied, we’ll refund your money.”

KEY TAKEAWAYS


Objections are a normal part of the selling process and are not a personal reflection on you but rather an opportunity to learn more about how the customer is evaluating the potential purchase.

Objections actually help build relationships because they give you the opportunity to clarify communication and revisit your relationship with the prospect.

The best way to handle objections is to be thorough in every part of the selling process from qualifying through the preapproach, approach, and presentation.

It’s a good idea to anticipate objections by reviewing your presentation, writing down every possible objection, and building it into your presentation.

It’s especially important to understand risk from your prospect’s perspective so you can create a risk-removal strategy.

Prospects object for four reasons: money, no perceived need, no sense of urgency, and no trust.

Prospects may pose objections at any time, but especially while setting up the appointment, during the presentation, and during the trial close.

Exercises
Identify the three most common points at which objections occur in a sales presentation. Provide an example of each one in your everyday life.




Assume you are selling real estate and you are calling a prospect to set up an appointment. How would you handle an objection that she doesn’t have the time to meet with you?

Bibliography
[1] John Boe, “Overcome Objections and Close the Sale,” Agency Sales, September 27, 2003, http://www.johnboe.com/articles/close_the_sale.html (accessed May 16, 2010).

[2] R. T. Edwards, “Power Selling,” American Salesman 38, no. 3 (March 1993): 13.

[3] William C. Moncrief and Greg W. Marshall, “The Evolution of the Seven Steps of Selling,” Industrial Marketing Management 34, no. 1 (January 2005): 13-22.

[4] John Boe, “Overcome Objections and Close the Sale,” Agency Sales, September 2003,http://www.johnboe.com/articles/close_the_sale.html (accessed May 16, 2010).

[5] Patty Morgan-Seager, “Handle Objections and Have Fun!” Multifamilypro,http://www.smmonline.com/Articles_handleobj.htm (accessed October 24, 2009).

[6] “Hug Your Objections,” Selling Power Sales Management Newsletter, August 15, 2007,http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=732 (accessed March 16, 2010).
[7] Janaé Rubin, “Overcoming Objections” Folio, November 2005, 80-81.

[8] Jeffrey Gitomer, Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness (Austin, TX: Bard Press, 2005), 153, 157.
15. [9] Paul Karasik and James Benson, 22 Keys to Sales Success (New York: Bloomberg Press, 2004), 119.

[10] Felice Philip Verrecchia, “How to Identify and Overcome Objections,” Edward Lowe Peerspectives, August 11, 2004,http://www.bankseta.org.za/downloads/faisII/benefits/objections.pdf (accessed October 24, 2009).

[11] Felice Philip Verrecchia, “How to Identify and Overcome Objections,” Edward Lowe Peerspectives, August 11, 2004,http://www.bankseta.org.za/downloads/faisII/benefits/objections.pdf (accessed October 24, 2009).

[12] Keith Rosen, “Respond to your Prospect’s Objections,” AllBusiness,http://www.AllBusiness.com/sales/selling-techniques-active-listening/4019422-1.html(accessed May 16, 2010). [13] Janaé Rubin, “Overcoming Objections” Folio, November 2005, 80-81.

[14] Mike Hofman and April Joyner, “A Salesforce Built around Cold Calling,” Inc., September 1, 2009, http://www.inc.com/magazine/20090901/a-sales-force-built-around-cold-calling.html (accessed November 22, 2009).

[15] John Boe, “Overcome Objections and Close the Sale,” Agency Sales, September 2003,http://www.johnboe.com/articles/close_the_sale.html (accessed May 16, 2010).

[16] Joan Leotta, “Overcoming Doubts: The Road to a Sale Is Blocked by the Prospect’s Doubts,” Selling Power 20, no. 2, http://www.sellingpower.com/content/article.php?a=5351 (accessed March 16, 2010).

[17] William F. Kendy, “An Uncertain Situation: How to Kick-Start the Hesitant Buyer,”Selling Power 27, no. 9, http://www.sellingpower.com/content/article.php?a=7658(accessed March 16, 2010).
[18] Jeffrey Gitomer, “Objection Prevention & Objection Cure,” video, May 18, 2009,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgfmcuE_06w (accessed October 24, 2009).

[19] “Telemarketing Tips about Overcoming Objections,” September 25, 2009,http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_88.htm (accessed October 25, 2009).

[20] “Telemarketing Tips about Overcoming Objections,” September 25, 2009,http://www.articlesbase.com/sales-articles/telemarketing-tips-about-overcoming-objections-457823.html (accessed October 25, 2009).

[21] Keith Rosen, “Respond to your Prospect’s Objections,” AllBusiness,http://www.AllBusiness.com/sales/selling-techniques-active-listening/4019422-1.html(accessed May 16, 2010).