“It’s too expensive, it’s too complicated, it won’t work for my company, I’m happy with my current supplier, I don’t understand it” – you name it, we’ve heard it. Welcome objections. See them as an invitation to clarify your product or service, rather than as the end of a conversation. Answering objections is part of the selling process, it helps your sales prospect get to a yes. You can make this process easier by getting a few simple things right first time.
Meet a need – In order for a sales prospect to say yes, they have to see how your product or service could help their company day to day. By seeking to understand your client and their business needs, you can ensure they are getting precisely what they need from you. This understanding can lead to well informed new product development. If you understand what they need, and cannot match it to a product or service you currently have, then there is an opportunity for future growth for your own company.
Take the risk away – Buying a new product or engaging a new supplier always has an element of risk attached. Will the product meet the expectations given by the salesperson? Will the new supplier deliver on time and in the manner agreed? You can mitigate this risk by a number of means, for example:
Case Studies – These provide a great opportunity to showcase your current clients and describe how they have used your product or service to their advantage. It shows the sales prospect that others have taken the risk and it has paid off. Keep case studies up to date and only give the prospect case studies that are relevant to their own situation.
Adjust the price – The price of a product or service could represent a big risk to a company. By adjusting it, i.e. lowering it, to a level that the prospect feels more comfortable with you could get the sale. However, an element of caution is needed with this approach as it may devalue your product or service permanently.
Agree to a trial – Often sales prospects need to see your product or service in action before they can see how it could be useful to them. If it gets you to a yes, you may consider the practicalities of offering this to wavering prospects.
Produce and distribute top quality sales enablement material – Your sales material could be the first introduction a sales prospect gets to your company. A well-produced set of promotional materials will help to get the client to say yes. It will also give them the tools to be an internal advocate for you within their own company. Of course, sales people are trained to speak to and deal with the decision maker, but in a time where economic pressures are obvious within tech companies, they have to be able to justify every expenditure. Your sales material will be used to do this.
Concise and Congruent – During the process of producing sales material make sure you brief the whole company on what your key messages are. From the receptionist to the CEO, everyone should know the essence of what you do and be able to communicate it in one sentence. Why is this important? It reassures the client – everyone is saying the same thing about the organisation and its product or service.
The road from sales prospect to customer is not a linear road. Mitigate some of the twists and turns by smoothing the road where you can.