5 Tips for Overcoming Objections in Sales
You sell every day.
While I am no cold call salesman, there are times when all of us have to sell something. It may be simply selling yourself or your abilities to gain a job. It might be tickets for a civic raffle. Or it may be selling your house or car or used bike. Persuasion or "getting your way" is selling. While I don't recommend throwing yourself on the ground and screaming until you get what you want, that's option you can always try.
Step One -- Analyze the Situation
The first thing you have to do is figure out exactly what you are selling. While this sounds simple, what exactly are you selling when you're asking for a raise? If you're selling Girl Scout Cookies, it's not just about the cookies, is it? Think about as many aspects of the issue as you can--good things and bad.
Step Two -- Benefits vs. Features
Features are things like: our new all-season tire has more sipes than the competition. No one knows or cares what a sipe is. They also have no clue what it does. You'll never sell a set of tires based on the number of sipes. However, if you present it as, "The new tread design has increased grip during wet or snowy conditions," you've just said the same thing. Oh, and sipes? They're the little grooves cut into the tread blocks. Some features may not even give a benefit. At least, not something that your potential customer will see or understand.
Stuff about selling.
Step Three -- Tell the Truth
While you may think that there's a sucker born every minute, you may be the sucker. Lying to sell something may pay off in the short term, but it is not sustainable. Sooner or later your customer discovers that you lied. As soon as they make that discovery, they are no longer your customer; they've become your victim. While some may be embarrassed and never talk about what happened, others will.
Step Four -- Put Yourself in Their Shoes
If you don't believe in your product, it's hard to sell. You have to sell it to yourself first. I worked in commission sales and did fairly well, but it was because I sold the customers what they needed. If you oversell or undersell, you do your customer a disservice. Evaluate their needs and offer them the best option. If you were them, what would you do? It works in politics as well as peanuts: see what their goal is and help them reach it.
Step Five -- Compromise as Needed
Not every situation needs a compromise. Some situations do break down into binary yes/no situations. However, when there is a middle ground go to it. What you are trying to do is make a resolution where everyone is happy. You want a 5% raise, but your boss wants to give you 1%. Are you going to walk out if you don't get your 5%? Or will you settle for 2.5% or 3%? You may not get exactly what you want, but you've gotten closer.
When I have to make some sort of sales effort, I find it best to outline my "talking points" ahead of time. These are my benefits. I try and put myself into the shoes of my customers and come up with common objections. I take those objections and try and build reasonable solutions to them. You are never going to sell everybody. If you can merely convince them that you're making an honest effort, it may help them change their position over time.