Q & A From Our March 2012 Webinar

Our latest home improvement webinar on overcoming sales objections has generated a ton of response and we will attempt to answer many of your questions in this forum:

Q: Will the techniques you suggest in “The Science of Successful In-Home Selling” be effective when used on the telephone?

A: Essentially, yes – keep in mind you don’t have “face to face” contact, however, the pauses which we recommend for objections are still effective.  In responding to an objection or complex issue you might simply say,  “Hmm…” or “Let me see”.  Pause and then ask a question in response (Who – What – Where – When – Why?).  Use affirmations such as, “Thank you for bringing that to our attention.” or “We appreciate your interest – patience – etc.”  You’ll know when you are being effective when the note paper in front of you has abundant information which will help you solve problems for the caller, leads you to setting an appointment, or satisfies a customer service issue.

Q: What I am trying to do is implement some of these processes into our canvassing department.  We do follow the “affirm, layer, and eliminate” process. How would you recommend that we facilitate silence while at the door?

A: Preface the silence with a simple expression such as: “I see” or “Uh hum”.  You might cup your chin in your hand after the four to six second pause and answer with a question “Why is that?” “Who will (or normally does) make those decisions?” or “Do I understand that…?”  These and similar questions show a care and interest in what is being said.  They tend to build rapport as well.

Q: Please give more canned answers to common objections.

A: There are no “canned answers” – – there are simplified methods.  But first remember what you may be considering common objections such as: “ We want to think about it” “We’ll get back to you” or “We always get three estimates” are not objections but are procrastination statements or even part of a buying tactic.

It is usually best to uncover these statements/tactics “early on” sometime during or right after a needs assessment.  That may not eliminate that you will hear a few of these at the end of your presentation.  You need to review the home improvement webinar again.  Remember, as you develop this technique effective response methods go something like this:

Your response: “I see” or “I understand” or “No problem”. (Pause for their response – then add) I need your help. Can you tell me… (add a who, what, where, when, or why question).  Remember it needs some practice.

Q: I understand the S.A.L.E.S. process but I just get confused on how you go from those non-sequitur statements into a presentation without coming off too overbearing or saying: “I know you’re not just here to look around.”

A: Respond to all non-sequitur statements with a smile and a response such as “ No problem ” or “I understand”. Remember, you are not agreeing that their premise is correct, you are telling them you understand what they are saying and that you respect their values. Many of these “non-sequiturs” come early in your presentation and require no more response than I have given you here.  Later in the presentation your response might change somewhat.

As an example, the prospect says: “We always get three estimates”.  Your response: “No problem” or “I understand”.  Then say: “Why will it be three estimates??”  The response will lead you to their insecurity, their buying tactics, what they may be covering up, etc.  Think about it.  Why three?? Why not five? Why not two?  While it may be that this is their practice, for the most part they are repeating what they have heard from some source.  Their response to your questions may unearth the real reason they aren’t buying and your sales approach may vary.

Q: I just got this email from a customer:  I’ve slept on it and decided not to proceed . . . you guys are great but I’ve decided. Anything I can do?

A: Your response should start this way:

Thank you for your courtesy in advising us and we truly appreciate the amount of time we were granted and the opportunity to have been considered.  May I ask a question, please?  First, have you in fact entered into a contract with someone else?

(If not, proceed as follows) – Did you make any major changes in the project (increase or decrease in the size of it) or zero in on any particular product?

(Then, whatever the answer, proceed as follows) – It sounds like you gave thoughtful consideration to who you want to complete your project.  Can you tell me what made you decide against our product or company?

(Listen carefully and whatever information is provided say as follows) – Mr. Jones, I know this is an important project and before you sign a contract with someone else let me review the contract in my office and let me stop by for 10 or 15 minutes to make sure I priced the project and specified correctly what you wanted done.  It won’t take long and if you have decided to go with another contractor it might be helpful if I add a thought or idea that may lend assistance in getting this completed by others.

The purpose of the latter is to get one more opportunity to be with these prospects and determine if there is one more way, one more idea, or some other option that allows you to get back to the “being considered mode”.

Keep an eye out for more questions and answers from the latest webinar…

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RbA Southard Corporation

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