Thursday, February 7, 2008

Prepare for Objections - and Close the Sale!

Although no one wants to go in to a sales meeting expecting objections, this mindset is actually the best way to close the sale. Preparing a thoughtful response to any and all objections will help you to confidently guide your prospect toward making the deal. Sales trainer and author Alan Rigg has set up a system for overcoming objections - start it with your sales team, and see how it helps everyone involved.

BRAINSTORM objections - Sit down with your sales manager and the other members of your sales team and do some brainstorming. Write down every objection that any of you can remember, then work together to develop an effective response for each objection.

DOCUMENT objections and responses - Put the results of your brainstorming session into a document and make it a "living document" (which means the document should receive frequent updates over time). When any of your company's salespeople hear an objection that is not listed in the document, add it to the document. Bring up these new objections in your sales meetings, discuss the best way(s) to respond to the objections, then add the responses to the document as well.

PRACTICE responding to objections - You and your fellow sales team members should hold each other ACCOUNTABLE for learning EVERY objection and how to respond to the objection effectively. Get in the habit of giving each other "pop quizzes" where you spontaneously suggest objections to each other and practice providing effective responses to the objections. Over time you will learn how to respond to each objection in a manner that is comfortable and natural for you. You will also learn where the gaps are in your sales opportunity qualification processes that cause prospects to raise objections in the first place!

PROACTIVELY address objections - If one or more objections come up frequently when you and your fellow salespeople work with prospects, figure out how to proactively address these objections during your sales calls. In other words, you should bring up the objections yourselves and respond to them rather than waiting for your prospects to raise them.

Sales performance expert Alan Rigg is the author of How to Beat the 80/20 Rule in Sales Team Performance: A Step-By-Step Guide to Building and Managing Top-Performing Sales Teams. His 80/20 Selling System helps business owners, executives, and managers end the frustration of 80/20 sales team performance, where 20% of salespeople produce 80% of sales. For more information, visit
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