heard many answers to that question over the years and some of them
not too complimentary. Some people not in sales and even some who
are, have an idea that the art of selling is a less than honourable
trade. They have the feeling that the best salespeople are close
to con-men who would do anything and say anything just to make the
sale. They meet a sales person and are on their guard watching for
the trick that will make them buy something they dont need
or cant afford.
is not sales. Unfortunately there are a few con-men who give the
trade a bad name but most of them dont last long, having to
move from product to product or industry to industry to keep one
step ahead of their reputation.
is not conning people, its helping people. The best definition
I have come across is as follows:
is helping the customer to buy"
him to make up his mind based upon the satisfaction of his needs.
Sales is always going for "Win - Win" or "No Deal".
That means that it is the salespersons responsibility to ensure
that both he and the customer wins on the deal.
the salesperson finds that he is about to conclude a deal where
he is winning but the customer is losing, the deal should be scrapped.
said this many times at seminars throughout the country and I always
get a few dissenters. "Surely", they say "Its
the responsibility of the customer to make sure he is getting a
good deal, not the salesperson?"
so" I reply "What happens to your customer if you win
but he loses?"
you make the sale." say one or two of the less bright seminar
I say "But when he gets home and discovers that he has lost
on the deal, where does he go when he wants to buy another one of
... And so does his 10 friends and their 5 friends and their 3 friends
etc.. You may make the sale but you should lose your job for the
amount of money and good will you have lost your company"
say the die-hards "But what if the customer wants to buy even
though you know he will lose on the deal?"
answer this one I usually relate an incident that happened to me
a couple of years ago.
to buy a washing machine because the one we had was no longer worth
repairing so I looked in the local paper and discovered that one
of the large stores in the area was having a sale on a washing machine
that was being advertised on television and seemed to fit the bill.
So off I went to the store, money in hand, to make the purchase.
As soon as I entered the area where the washing machines were displayed
a salesman approached me and I told him I wanted to buy this machine.
of filling out the order form and taking my money he asked me what
I wanted the machine for. I was tempted to tell him I needed it
to vacuum the lounge carpet, but instead I asked him what he meant.
"No", he said "How many times a week do you run your
I told him I have 5 Children and the machine is run at least 3 times
a day 6 days a week.
you dont want this machine." he said "What you want
is the **** Washing Machine. It will last much longer and takes
a bigger load cutting your washing time down."
I said "So sell me one."
afraid I cant do that, we haven't got any in stock but I can
order one for you. It will just take a couple of weeks."
I cant wait that long. Ill have to make do with this
machine." I told him. "When you have five children, two
weeks without a washing machine is a life sentence."
can understand that." he said "The machine you asked for
will do the job but its not the best machine for you. .....
I know the shop down the road have some in stock at the same price
why dont you buy one from them?"
the "Shop down the road" was a competitor so I was surprise
that the salesman was prepared to miss out on the sale all together
and I told him so but he seemed pleased that I was going away happy.
buy the washing machine from the competitor company and he was right,
it works very well so I was pleased with the purchase.
luck would have it a week later the kettle broke down and as it
seemed to be the last of that make and model in existence there
was no possibility of getting parts. Where do you think I want to
buy a new one?
right....... back to the salesman in the big store where I knew
I would get good advice even at the risk of losing the sale. And
then a year later, when I needed a new fridge? You guessed it!
sure that the customer is happy, even at the risk of losing the
sale is aiming for "Win-Win" and "Win - Win or No
Deal" is the only solution that is acceptable to the professional
salesperson, anything less is corporate suicide.
I have laboured the point a little but its important to state
this right at the beginning.
the course of this work we are going to look at many ways to handle
objections and close the sale. These skills will greatly improve
your strike rate and thereby give you greater success in your work.
If you use these skills to trick your customer into buying however,
your success will be short lived followed by lots of failures until
you eventually decide to get out of the industry altogether.
is always going for "Win - Win" but its also more
than that. If you have a good product that you know your customer
needs then you are letting him down if you dont make the sale.
like buying but they dont like to make decisions. Its
the salespersons responsibility to help the customer make the decision.
Handling objections and closing the sale is all about bring the
customer to the point of decision and beyond. Without the salesperson
the customer would find it very hard to compare the relative values
of the various products he has to choose from, identify his real
needs and come to a decision to buy.
this work I have chosen to look at handling objections first followed
by closing the sale even though this is not always the way it happens
in life. Often the salesperson will ask the closing question and
then be faced with objections that he hasnt yet handled. Sometimes
the salesperson will be desperate to handle imagined objections
while the customer is trying to close the sale. Although there are
strong links between the two for the purpose of this exercise we
will discuss them separately.
I would like to say a few words to the sales people who struggle
with handling objections and closing the sale with professional
yourself this question "What are buyers employed to do?"
a simple enough question and I get all sorts of answers when I raise
the issue at seminars, but in the simplest of terms the answer is
are employed to buy."
right! Thats their job. If they dont buy they will lose
there job. Next time you are face to face with a buyer say to yourself
"I know what you are employed to do, you are employed to buy."
only that, they are duty bound to buy the best products for their
needs with the best service at the best price. Now if you are selling
the best products for their needs with the best service at the best
are employed to buy from you!"
are employed to buy, Sellers are employed to sell. The only reason
to get together is to complete the process. Lets see if we
can help you do just that.