Cover them up front
For example, if you’re having a tough time getting in front of the ultimate decision maker because your champion is wanting to present it without you, then plant the seed during your first meeting that you’re always part of the sales process:
“Bill, what I enjoy about my job is I see my role as a trusted advisor so with that in mind, here’s what you can expect from me: I’ll take some time to ask you questions to really understand your situation. From there I’ll put together a solution specific to your goals and we’ll set a date for me to demo the right widget for you. From there, I’ll put together a proposal based on your goals and the results of the demo and we’ll set a time to do a proposal review, to walk through it together. This is important because the proposal will be a working proposal. IE it will be a first draft to make sure that it’s spot on and in reviewing it together we might determine if there are any gaps that we need to fill to make sure it’s exactly what you’re looking for. Does that make sense?”
“And when I review the proposal, I like to make sure I’m presenting it to everybody who’s part of the decision-making process. With that in mind, who else will be part of making that decision? (My boss, Joe Smith.) “Great, it’ll be important that Joe’s involved in the process because as you know, widgets can be pretty technical with all of their unique features and it’s next to impossible for somebody to explain it well having limited exposure to it compared to somebody like myself who’s been doing this for over 24 years. Does that make sense?”
By planting the seeds early, you’re covering those objections you tend to get later on like, “No need to review the proposal together. Why don’t you just send it to me and I’ll call you.” Because you addressed this earlier, you will often head off this objection from ever coming up and if does you can remind him of what the two of you agreed to earlier. By explaining at the beginning that you always present the product to all of the decision makers, you’re covering the objection in advance, “No need for you to present it to Joe. I can do that myself.”
In addition to planting the seed early on how you always present to the decision maker, and additional strategy to answer the objection upfront is to send an introduction email to the ultimate decision maker right after your first meeting with your champion. The outline for the email might look like this:
Subjection Line: “Per Meeting with Bill Jones”
“Hi Joe. I just wanted to introduce myself to you real quick in case you haven’t heard of me yet. I’m with Widgets USA and had the pleasure of sitting down with Bill Jones today to discuss some of our newer widgets. After being in the industry for 24+ years, I wanted to let you know how impressed I was with your operation and Bill Jones in particular. After working with hundreds of people in his position it was a breath of fresh air to sit down with Bill. He’s an expert in his field and represents your company exceptionally well and wanted you to know that. As Bill and I continue to move down the field together, I wanted to make sure that I introduced myself so that when Bill mentions my name it will not catch you off guard. I look forward to making your acquaintance!”
This introduction email serves multiple purposes. (1) Your champion appreciates the kudos you gave him to his boss. (2) The decision maker appreciates you saying nice things about his company and is impressed with you keeping him in the loop. (3) It heads off the objection, “You don’t need to present this to Joe – I can handle it.”
Selling is a lot like playing pool in the sense that you want to set yourself up for success. Amateur pool players only take it one shot at a time. Professionals, however, plan the entire game in advance, setting themselves up for future shots. In the same sense, professional salespeople consider the objections they might get down the stretch and cover them in advance.
Please feel free to share your best objection handling techniques below. Be a part of our mission: Liberating Sales Potential Worldwide!
· Review and role-play the above method for answering objections.
· Write a list of common objections and come up with a strategy for covering them in advance.
Your Partner in Success,
Professional Certified Coach