This post is also available in: Singapore
Before we begin to see the tips of becoming a trusted advisor in sales, let’s wear our prospect’s shoes – ask yourself; what you feel when you were the prospect. E.g. last time you walked into a retail store, last time you dealt with a cold call yourself- last time you talked to a car sales rep about a car you wanted to buy- did the word pressure come?
It’s the common denominator to a lot of sales objections too. The pressure to agree on next steps, the pressure to part with money on something we aren’t sure ticks the box. The pressure to take a call from an unexpected caller or to engage with someone still quite early in our buying journey even after we had an initial call? Guess what people associate with a salesperson – PRESSURE. What do we do when we feel pressure? We put our guard up.
A typical salesperson
- Have fake enthusiasm
- Use words like “I”, “we” “our company”
- Talks mainly about features and benefits
- Talks a lot and don’t listen well
- Makes you feel pressured
- Sometimes too passive or too pushy
- Give you the feeling they “need your business”
A trusted advisor
- Listen more then they talk
- Ask questions and affirm their understanding of your problem
- Has confidence and gives you confidence in them
– Confidence in their solution
– Confidence in their company
- Helps you with the problems you face
- You feel more comfortable with them but your decision making will be on trusting that the product solves your need and want
From a typical salesperson to a trusted advisor:
The trick is to not sound like a salesperson. Be a trusted advisor instead and turn your prospect/customer into a client who trusts you, recommends you and will come back to you for more. Even a trusted advisor will face rejection, but it is how you handle these sales rejections will differ you from a typical salesperson. Some of the sales rejection you might hear are:
“I don’t have time”
“I need to think about it”
“It’s too expensive”
“I need to ask our boss if she is on board with this”
“I’m interested in this but not now come back to me in 6 months”
These sales rejections will fall into 2 types of objections – namely Sales Objections and Prospecting Objections. When we say prospecting objections, we mean sales qualification gaps. Most sales prospecting questions are dealt with before the “handover” of a lead to sales from marketing or inside sales. This is normally because most companies rely on BANT as a qualification guideline. While BANT is better than not having a qualification, it doesn’t always prevent prospecting objections.
Remember sales prospecting and qualification is a discipline and its challenging to assume that all leads passing the BANT method are truly qualified. Need is the most significant element of Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline. The others are important, but sales are most likely to happen when a need is solved. See how you can handle each of those sales rejections wisely.