Written by Hamish Knox; President of Sandler in Calgary, Canada
First, sharing with them the Sandler Rule, “the only person who is qualified to handle an objection is your prospect.” No one knows what an objection like “your price is too high” means except the person who said it.
Second, practice with your team how to uncover the truth behind your prospect’s objection by asking a clarifying question like, “I appreciate you sharing that with me, Prospect. What does that mean?” Where “that” is the objection your prospect just shared.
Third, make pre-call planning a non-negotiable part of your sales process. In particular having your salesperson write down the questions they expect to be asked by their prospect. When your prospect stumps your salesperson their credibility goes down. That doesn’t mean an occasional, “I don’t know, but I’ll ask and get back to you” isn’t a good option and I definitely don’t mean lie to a prospect, but if your salesperson looks unprepared when they’re attempting to their prospect’s business their prospect begins to wonder what kind of service they will get if they chose your company.
Fourth, make debriefing every interaction with a prospect a non-negotiable part of your sales process. If nothing else have your salespeople note the specific objections their prospect raised during their interaction. When you review their notes you’ll probably discover that your team encounters the same 4-9 objections with every prospect. Each prospect may say the objection differently, but the root objection will be the same. Because you practice regularly with your team they will be skilled at uncovering the root objection and either closing the file on their prospect or advancing the sale.
Fifth, make your onboarding more effective by adding to your team’s sales playbook separate entries for each of your most common objections, what the likely root objection is and the questions to use to uncover the root objection. Your new salespeople will be effective faster because they’ll have already “experienced” those objections practicing with you instead of experiencing them in the field.
Sixth, encourage your salespeople to be attached to the process of qualifying their prospects instead of the outcome of getting a sale. Your salespeople get caught up in a prospect’s objections when they put pressure on themselves to close the sale instead of getting to the truth, which causes them to say and do things not in their best interest like offering discounts without being asked.
The only valuables your salespeople possess are their information and time. Help them save both by preparing them to handle objections better.
Until next time… go lead.