Bob Dylan said it once: It’s essential to be familiar with your song before you begin singing it. Although he wasn’t referring to selling, he could have. You need to be prepared for the most challenging questions prospects and customers will ask. You might save a commission if you get to know your prospects and customers well. If you don’t, you will lose the chance of gaining a client.
This article is not for the faint-hearted. Selling is hard work sometimes. There will be times when you are stuck between a rock or a wall. Only the most experienced professionals will be able to push forward in these situations without feeling queasy. This is not meant to discourage salespeople who are just starting out. These tips can be applied by many very skilled people. It will take some time for most people to get the courage to do this. Some things prospects and clients bring up can seem like dead ends. You’ll feel stuck until you get used to them.
With this in mind, let me give you some powerful advice that will help you with all these questions and most of the other sales situations that you might encounter in your career. Change the conversation. Simply take a step back when a customer says something that makes you feel sick. You’ll kill momentum, just like a boxer who ties up his opponent or a football coach who calls for a timeout mid-quarter. Although it might sound vague, you will get a better understanding of my point in just a second.
Second, practice makes perfect. The second thing that makes difficult questions so hard to answer, besides the fact that they close the door on your sale and seem to be closing the deal, is the fact that they can appear out of nowhere. They won’t surprise you if you prepare well enough. Let’s now get to the most challenging questions salespeople are likely to be asked. These tools are complex, so you will need to practice them several times before they become useful.
1. We’ve used the same vendor for years, why should we work with you?
It can be easy to accept defeat and move on to your next target when you hear this. The key to dealing effectively with this is not to accept that you aren’t getting the business. It’s to recognize that you may not be getting any or all of the business at the moment.
It doesn’t matter how satisfied your customer is with the company or salesperson who serves them; there is a good chance that things will change in the future. There is no way to be sure that anything will stay the same in this world. The other salesperson will eventually retire, die, leave the company, or do something the customer doesn’t like. Your prospect might do the same. Your firm could produce a better widget than your supplier, which might cause the buyer to abandon their supplier and join you. Although I cannot tell you which one is coming in the future, there is a strong possibility that at least one is.
So, if you hear that your customer is happy buying from another vendor, it is best to get in touch with them and wait. The perfect introduction to your company is the product that you have in your arsenal. It should be low-priced and high-quality. Keep trying to sell, but don’t give up. Follow up with exceptional service. Although it might take months, or even years for a client to look into a new supplier, eventually they will. You’ll be there waiting for that moment.
2. What can we do about the price?
Each customer believes your price is too high. Despite this fact, it doesn’t make the problem any easier to solve. As far as difficult questions go, those around price are the easiest to answer. It is essential to follow your heart and not the customer’s lead. Asking more questions is a great way to accomplish this. If a customer complains that your product is too expensive, ask them why. Customers often ask for discounts out of habit. Customers often mention price to cover deeper concerns about the products you sell. It is possible to turn the question around and get to the core of the matter.
If they do have a problem with the price, there are still two options. First, you can fight price with value. Simply stated, if your customer thinks that your price is too high, it is a sign that they aren’t convinced that your product is worthwhile enough. This means that you must make your customer want the solution more than just saving money. You can only do this by highlighting the many benefits of your product. While it is better to do this before you discuss the price, you can always return to it if they disagree.
The second tactic is to demonstrate how they will benefit financially by purchasing from you. I won’t go into too much detail here as I have written so many articles on the subject of metric selling. Refer to my articles for more information. Remember that showing your customer the future profits of their company is the best way to keep your margins in check.
3. We are not sure why we should buy from you again.
Ouch. It can be challenging to overcome the fact that the customer has been unhappy with your product or services in the past. The “journalist approach” is the best way to handle such situations. You should learn everything about the situation, including who, what, where, why, and so forth. These are the things you should know before you go on the call. However, if this is not the case, then do your research to find out more. After you have sorted out the details or let the client vent, it is time to use the four magic words that I consider the most important in a salesperson’s vocabulary: That’s in the Past. Stress that whatever problems the customer may have experienced in the past, they won’t be repeated. Let them know that they will be held accountable and that you’ll do whatever it takes to win their business. You must keep your promises. It’s challenging to succeed in sales because many of your peers will do anything to get a commission. You should offer high-quality service. You will feel better about yourself, and you will be able to get referrals and new clients.
There are many questions that prospective customers may ask, but these three are the ones that most salespeople struggle with. If you are able to remember to change the conversation and practice them until you are confident in your ability to sell, you will find you can win new clients in situations that others cannot.