Perception Business Skills
Richard Mulvey  
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CONTENTS

Introduction

Objections

Handling Major Objections

Opposition
Indifference
Scepticism

Handling Other Objections

The Close
Buying Signals
Pre Closing
Asking for the Business
The Alternative Close
The Direct Question Close
The Minor Point Close
The Order Form Close
The Compliment Close
The Advantage List Close
The Suck it and See Close
The Balance Sheet Close
The Secondary Question Close
The Similar Situation Close
The Reverse Roles Close
The Danger Zone
The Proposal

 

INTRODUCTION

What is selling?

I have 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 don’t need or can’t afford.

This is not sales. Unfortunately there are a few con-men who give the trade a bad name but most of them don’t last long, having to move from product to product or industry to industry to keep one step ahead of their reputation.

Sales is not conning people, it’s helping people. The best definition I have come across is as follows:

"Sales is helping the customer to buy"

Helping 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.

If 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.

I have said this many times at seminars throughout the country and I always get a few dissenters. "Surely", they say "It’s the responsibility of the customer to make sure he is getting a good deal, not the salesperson?"

"Not so" I reply "What happens to your customer if you win but he loses?"

"Well, you make the sale." say one or two of the less bright seminar attendees.

"True" 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 your products?"

"To the competitors?"

"Right! ... 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"

"Okay" say the die-hards "But what if the customer wants to buy even though you know he will lose on the deal?"

To answer this one I usually relate an incident that happened to me a couple of years ago.

I needed 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.

Instead 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 machine?"

So I told him I have 5 Children and the machine is run at least 3 times a day 6 days a week.

"Oh, you don’t 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."

"Great." I said "So sell me one."

"I’m afraid I can’t do that, we haven't got any in stock but I can order one for you. It will just take a couple of weeks."

"But I can’t wait that long. I’ll 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."

"I can understand that." he said "The machine you asked for will do the job but it’s not the best machine for you. ..... I know the shop down the road have some in stock at the same price why don’t you buy one from them?"

Now 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.

I did buy the washing machine from the competitor company and he was right, it works very well so I was pleased with the purchase.

As 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?

That’s 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!

Making 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 know I have laboured the point a little but it’s important to state this right at the beginning.

Over 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.

Selling is always going for "Win - Win" but it’s also more than that. If you have a good product that you know your customer needs then you are letting him down if you don’t make the sale.

People like buying but they don’t like to make decisions. It’s 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.

In 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 hasn’t 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.

Finally I would like to say a few words to the sales people who struggle with handling objections and closing the sale with professional buyers.

Ask yourself this question "What are buyers employed to do?"

It’s 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 this:

"Buyers are employed to buy."

That’s right! That’s their job. If they don’t 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."

Not 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 price then:

"Buyers are employed to buy from you!"

Buyers are employed to buy, Sellers are employed to sell. The only reason to get together is to complete the process. Let’s see if we can help you do just that.