Crush Sales Objections Based on Trust
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As sales people we are supposed to love it when a prospect asks questions. We are told that it signals engagement and is an opportunity to explore their concerns.
But if questions are so great, why are they sometimes hard to handle? And why do some sales people feel defensive when the questions that we are told to love inevitably come up? You may have noticed the defensiveness comes when questions sound like sales objections with a question mark tagged on the end.
I Don’t Trust You
There are two sales objections held by every prospective buyer, whether they are aware of it or not. These objections can sound harmless when you hear them, but they mask an important prospect message:
I don’t trust you, which can express itself as, “So tell me about yourself?” or “How did you come to work at ______?”
I don’t trust your company which can expresses itself as, “I’ve heard of your firm, could you tell me a bit more?”
Satisfying these twin trusts are not the key to getting business, they are the key to STARTING to get business. In other words, until you resolve these two trusts nothing you say will register. Only after prospects trust both you and your organization will your discussions begin to make any headway.
Begin at the Start
At the beginning of your presentation don’t assume that your company or expertise speaks for itself – it doesn’t. Prospective clients won’t listen to a word you say until they feel like they can trust both you and your company. So it’s a good idea to cover the twin trusts right near the beginning of your first meeting.
To prepare, write down 3 to 5 points that highlight your strengths. Now repeat this process for your company.
When telling the prospect about yourself connect your experience with their objectives. And don’t be afraid to spell things out for them. This way at the very least they should be excited about working with you.
For example, “I have worked in field A for 10 years” is interesting, but it has little direct relevance to the prospect.
Instead try, “I have worked in field A for 10 years and during this time I’ve learned how to help clients use ____ to grow sales revenue by a minimum of 35% per year.” The client can now connect your expertise with their objectives.
Repeat this process for a few more points about yourself and your company. The client will feel reassured by your expertise, and be keen to work with your company.
Most Sales Objections Come Back to Trust
Try this exercise:
Ask a brand new sales person to study your product offering in detail. If they are new to the company then they should be able to see your offering through the eyes of a prospective buyer.
Have them write down EVERY possible sales objection they can think of. When they come back with their list of sales objections, tell them it isn’t long enough and ask them to double or triple the length of the list. This is a great exercise to help new sales people see things from the perspective of a prospective buyer.
When the sales person has their final list go through each item and write down every objection that can be filed under the headings:
1. Objection related to the sales person = I don’t trust you.
2. Objection related to the company = I don’t trust your company.
3. Objection related to a related 3rd party = I don’t trust a related 3rd party.
4. Specific product or service terms or specs.
When you make this list it’s amazing how many sales objections can be filed under the first 3 categories. In some industries, more than 80% of potential sales objections can be solved by simply removing trust related issues.
If everyone on your team is all believed to have high levels of competence, integrity, and long term stability then the only thing stopping a deal from progressing are the terms and conditions of the deal. And THOSE are the kind of questions that assume a deal is possible and you should be excited to explore with your prospect.