A common reason of failure for many sales professionals is because of their failure to overcome objection. Many new sales professionals get discouraged when a potential client says “no”. There is a saying in the sales industry: as sales professional you can hear 1,000 no’s, but all you need is one “Yes”. When dealing with a potential client as a professional you must understand it is much easier for them to say no than yes. The main reason for this objection is that the client has not found the value in giving you their hard earned money for your product. It isn’t enough just to know how great your product is – as a sales professional you must have empathy for your client’s needs. You must take the time and energy to understand your client’s need, and then make certain that the product which you are offering reflects those needs. As a sales professional your main focus is to create value and win-win situations for you and the client. Objection is a part of the sales process.
The most common objection is “I can’t afford it right now”. Many new sales professionals get discouraged and often give up at this point. Honestly, I do not think I’ve ever made a sale to a client who did not use that objection. If somebody wants something bad enough and understands the value they are receiving they will find a way to afford it.
No one likes to be sold! This is the key point you have to remember. The objections are just excuses because they don’t want to be sold. You could offer a small business owner a brand new printing machine that they need for their business for a monthly payment of a $100 and still face the same objections. Like I said earlier you just have to find ways around these objections.
Be prepared for the objections before you face them. Put yourself in the client’s position and think of every possible objection they can bring to the table. It is good to write them down, and then think of great ways to overcome those objections with a value proposition. Here are some possible examples:
Client: I love the printing machine, but I just can’t afford it right now.
Sales professional: I understand, it all comes down to affordability right? So if it was 100% affordable, you would definitely invest in it today?
Take note on what happened. First the sales professional overcame the objection by agreeing with the client. Then he got the client to commit to purchasing the product if he could make it 100% affordable. Now this is where the sales professional works their plan that would make the product affordable for the client.
Client: I already have too many business financial obligations.
Sales professional: I understand, but all small business owners have obligations right? Unfortunately as a business owner you are going to always have financial obligations until you (pause)… Close up shop or kick the bucket. If we let financial obligations stop us from getting what we need to help our business grow, we could never enjoy life.
This is a different approach. The sales professional made the client understand that they will have financial obligations as long as they remain in business, so that is no excuse for not investing in something they need to help their business grow. Now they can no longer use that as an excuse not to invest in your product. Your goal will be to get all the objections out of the way, until your client has no more excuses. Remember this bit of wisdom, “No does not mean no…it means not now”.
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How many dreams and goals have you evaded because you were afraid of failing? How many times have you looked back on your life, looked upon the mistakes that you have made, and beat yourself up over them? So many people allow dread of making mistakes to hold them back!
If you fail at something it touches you in a deep emotional way. While it feels detrimental at the time, it teaches you imperative lessons. You learn what does not work, and that which might truly bring you closer to success. Because it is so disturbing to fail, if you have the courage to get back up and try again you will try harder the next time. Hope is that which makes us live today as if tomorrow were yesterday.
Even if you try and fail, you will never be the same person you were before you started the project. “The father of success is work – the mother of achievement is ambition.” You have forced yourself to a new level, moved away from your comfort zone, and are much more sensible for having tried the task. If you constantly avoid pursuing goals and ambitions because you are scared of making mistakes you will never realize what you can accomplish. Trying and failing is better than never having tried at all.
Success is not measured by the position that one has achieved, but by the obstacles which you had to overcome. After experiencing failure you might feel hurt, broken, and/or disappointed. However something astonishing happens once the original sting wears thin; you truly become stronger in mind and spirit! With each effort you put forth, you grow stronger in character and better your odds of achieving success. Success consists of getting up just one more time after you have failed.
If you put your efforts into trying something and you fall short you build bravery to try again. It is the fear of the unknown that truly holds people back, however when you have taken the risk and lost, it won’t feel as chilling the next time you try. Courage doesn’t come from winning, however from the quest of goals-whether you win or not.
You don’t have to lie awake at night to succeed – just stay awake during the day and be willing to do what’s necessary.
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1. Take consistent little action steps:
The steps to bringing discipline to one’s business are similar to growing up in life; both require consistent small steps. One cannot achieve success in being disciplined over night. Many people try using overnight methods and fail miserably and out of frustration return back to their undisciplined life. It takes time to develop discipline and one needs to be determined. You could begin with the smallest thing possible like exercising for 15 minutes everyday or getting up 30 minutes prior to the time you do now. It could be reducing the number of cups of coffee you drink in a day, even if it is reducing the number by one every week. The basic rule is to take smaller steps and try reaching your goal.
2. Do not procrastinate:
It is a good idea to place things on a “get it done” list and then decide on taking action on achieving these items immediately. Try to set a deadline and promise yourself to stick to the plan of action until you achieve your goal. Avoid procrastination; it makes the path to developing a “get it done” attitude take longer. Once you are successful with little goals, it strengthens inner resolve; helps set more goals and helps in achieving them.
3. Every day changes:
It is a good idea to start with a smaller goal to move toward discipline. It can be as small as waking up at 5am to do your personal growth study or waking up 30 minutes earlier than usual to perform some exercise. Every day must be taken into account; if a day is skipped the discipline level falls and it will weaken your determination to achieve the goals you have set.
4. Visualize your final achievement:
Take time and visualize how it would feel to achieve yours goals and remember it will only be possible if you take smaller daily action steps. If you know what it would take to achieve a particular goal make an outline and take action to immediately set out to achieve. The visualization process helps you to focus and maintain your goal even if you get distracted.
5. Get someone to mentor you:
If you could get someone to record your progress, it would definitely help. It could be a professional or a friend. Having a mentor has many positives; firstly, for example, you would be less likely to procrastinate when you have someone vested to hold you accountable.
Ouch . . . sounds pretty drastic I know, but . . .
If you have been in business for any length of time, you have no doubt been faced with the question, “Should I dump this marketing program or should I wait a little longer for it to start producing results?”
Even if you are new in business, you may have tried a new way to market your business and with lukewarm results found yourself wondering how long you should stick with it before giving up and trying something else. It is the age-old question of “When is the right time to put a marketing program out to pasture?”
This reminds me of my advertising agency days. We would create a new ad campaign and run it for awhile, and because we (and the client) were exposed to that campaign day-in and day-out, we would all tire of it quickly.
Knowing when to Hold and when to Fold
Often, the client would want a new campaign and we would have to remind them their prospects had not seen the campaign nearly as much as we all had, and that it was best to let the campaign keep running.
How do you know what to do?
Just how do you know when it is time to let an ad campaign or marketing program keep on running and when it is time to try something new?
The answer is simple. Look at your results!
It is time to make a change when the marketing is no longer producing results. And by results I mean, it is no longer moving you toward your objective.
Are you achieving your objective?
Every marketing activity should have a specific objective — that is what you hope to achieve. Your objective may be to generate a certain number of phone calls, or web site hits, or even sales. Tracking your results will tell you, if your marketing strategy is working.
You will want to track the results of your marketing activities from day one, so you will know how well they are producing and you can monitor their trends.
For example, you may get consistent results for weeks, months or even years. In this case, my motto is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Don’t be tempted to make a change just because you are tired of it. If it is working, leave it be.
Are your results on the decline?
However, if your tracking shows you are steadily getting fewer and fewer responses (e.g. phone calls, web site visits, sales) it is probably time to freshen up that marketing or start anew or, maybe your results never really materialized.
And, if your marketing strategy has never really generated the response you are looking for, even if it is relatively young, it is also time to take a good hard look at reworking it to make it more effective. Just be careful not to give up too soon.
You do need to give your marketing time to work — most people will not act after seeing your message just once, but rather need to be exposed to it repeatedly before taking action (industry standard is between three and seven times).
Having said that, if you’ve given your marketing ample time to produce results and nothing’s happening, odds are you missed the mark and either the message or the medium is off. Is your message missing the boat?
If your message is off, it means you are not effectively speaking to your prospects or hitting their “hot buttons.” Do you really understand their problem or challenges? And does your marketing speak clearly to that issue and position your product or service as the best solution?
Are you missing your audience?
If the medium is off, it means you have put your marketing message in a place where your prospects aren’t likely to see it. It’s important to understand your prospects and where and how you can best reach them so you can put your messages in those places. After all, if they don’t see your message, they can’t respond.
What type of response rates can you expect?
For direct marketing efforts a response rate between 3% and 5% is considered good. On the web a 2% conversion rate is the norm, so if you’re doing better than that consider yourself lucky.
You can expect a higher response rate from your current subscribers or clients because they already know and trust you. As far as new mailing list subscribers, expect between 5% and 15% of your web site visitors to join your mailing list.
The key is to make sure your marketing is reaching enough people so these response rates yield results you can be happy with. If you have given your marketing strategy time to work and nothing much is happening, or if your results are on the decline, it’s time to kill that program. Or, at least, to give it a makeover. Starting fresh can breathe new life into your business.
Consider starting over with a fresh new approach, a new message, and some new mediums. Make sure your new marketing program is grounded in solid marketing strategy.
Hasheem Francis & Deborah Francis are the Co-founders of Built To Prosper Companies This powerful couple has authored over 14 best selling books such as Built To Prosper, Built To Prosper Financially, The Joy of Healthy Living, Cashology, and Undeniable Confidence. They have also built numerous successful businesses.