Wouldn’t it be nice, when the minute you engage with your prospects they would nod at every word you say, value every ‘sales pitch’ you throw at them, and gladly sign on the dotted line without fuss or friction of any kind?
You may come across such a deal once in a while with your most promising prospects or highly Qualified Leads, but usually many will not buy from you, without giving you a run for your money…
Estimates say that 80% of sales require five follow-ups after the initial contact. And given the fact that businesses lose between 10% and 30% of its customers every year, one cannot deny how ‘acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones’ should be a consistent effort of any Sales & Marketing team, to sustain the success of their business.
As you know, some prospects bring their attitudes to the table, some act like bullies and some could simply be highly sceptic and non-committal. A smart salesperson knows how to rightfully assess the situation and the temperament at hand, and to stir the sales conversation towards a more productive outcome, i.e. closing the sale!
If you and your team are looking to tackle similar situations at your sales meetings, here are 5 such 'Sales Hacks' you can implement to win over some of your toughest prospects:
1. Anticipate Objections and Turn Downs – Practice Turn Arounds
Let’s not forget that, with each prospect you will encounter objections at some point in time. Some may be easy to convince while others can be persistent ‘hard nuts’ who are difficult to crack.
To help you get over this, with confidence and composure of a pro, you need to anticipate all possible objections and turn downs that may come your way during prospecting or your sales meeting. Once you can trace the possible hiccups that may arise in the conversation; you can practice various responses through which you can turn around the conversation and re-align the prospect into the ‘buying mode’.
The way to go about this is, first you should make a list of all the questions, objections, concerns which you generally receive from prospects, then go ahead to make responses for each of these challenges. The next step would be to practice these turn-arounds until they sound natural and you feel confident about it.
Also keep in mind that no matter how well you prepare, there will always be some surprising comments and questions that may throw you off-guard – however, with much practice, you’ll be able to refine and adapt your responses depending on the reaction from your prospects.
2. Raise Your Prospect’s Self Worth
Sometimes it’s essential that you make your pitch in alignment with the customer or prospect’s self-perceived value. When you overshoot or underplay your message, there’s a high chance of your offer being declined and you losing the deal.
When you hear lines like; “The car looks nice, but I can’t see myself driving it”, then you know you’re in for a challenge, and to tackle it, it’s essential you understand the psychology behind how customers evaluate their self-worth.
The three bases that make for a customer’s self-worth are;
- Self Image - How they see themselves in the society.
- Ideal Self - Type of person customer the wants to be
- Self Esteem - The extent to which the prospects love themselves).
When the sales team observe and assess beforehand how the prospects perceive themselves, then they can market their product to help accentuate the ‘ideal self’ the prospect is trying to achieve.
With the example above of a car that may be perceived as ‘highly priced’, if you can pitch it as car for ‘young people’, that could sync well into the psyche of your prospect, who wants to be considered ‘young’ among his/her peers – hence find the offer appealing.
3. Being Unfazed, Unemotional and Firm
This is a stance you’d like to take in a sales meeting when dealing with prospects that are a bit of a bully.
Some prospects come with a heavy dose of ‘attitude’ and intimidating behaviour, but it’s important to project that you’re not scared or nervous. You should also refrain from hurrying up your presentation or altering your approach in response to the prospect’s attitude – because if they sense your nervousness, you’re more likely to get pushed around.
The trick is to stay your course, show that you’re unfazed and stick to your script. Even though you feel frustrated the prospect is giving you a hard time, try to remind yourself that none of this is personal – it’s only a ‘game’ they’re playing to strike a better deal.
If you can be unemotional and firm, keep your calm and stand your ground to take your normal approach to closing the sales, it shows that you are focused and will not succumb to any such psychological tactics from the prospects – which will most likely convince them and you will gain their respect as someone who’s serious and confident; and mean business!
4. Don’t Shoot Yourself In The Foot – Refrain From ‘Choice Paralysis’
In today’s business world, it’s crucial for sales teams to understand that prospects and customers don’t have much time to make their decisions – you have to be able to make a sale in a limited space of time.
However, sales teams and reps have a tendency to offer a host of choices for prospects/customers to choose from – albeit with good intentions where they find at least one which suits their need.
This could actually turn out to be a disaster. It could potentially confuse your prospects, they could suffer from a ‘choice paralysis’ and see your choices as an obstacle in their decision making – turning them into an ‘indecisive’ and ‘tough prospect’ in your eyes, who in-between this dilemma and hard-pressed with time, ultimately abandons your offer.
To avoid this condition, stick to the rules that ‘less is more’. A thorough assessment on the prospect’s need and pain points can help you provide them with less, but specific choices that will ease their decision process and help you close the deal in an allotted time frame.
5. Stop Being Too ‘Salesy’ – Let Your Prospect Go
At the core of it, no one wants to be ‘sold to’ – Sales are only made when the prospect or the customer chooses to buy from you.
If the prospects feel like you’re pushing them too fast to close the sale, or using rookie sales tricks to reel them in, it will jeopardise the whole process and your relationship with the prospect/client.
The right thing to do is to ‘help’ your prospect find a better solution to their needs and problems. If your product/service is well suited for them and you have pitched well, the close will come naturally. But if your product/service is not a good fit, there’s no point in coercing your prospect about it – Instead, the most sensible and ethical thing to do is to let your prospect go…
In fact, you can even suggest alternatives or make referrals who can meet their demands. This will strengthen your relationship with your prospects, you gain their trust and open doors for even greater opportunities for business with the prospects in the future!
To Sum It Up…
When dealing with tough prospects or clients, it’s essential you remain firm and hold your ground. When you can look them directly in their eyes and confidently deliver your message that you and your team are focused in finding solution to their needs – you will inevitably gain trust and make a profitable deal!
If you'd like further assistance or would like to discuss anything covered today, we'd love to hear from you.
Call Andy Fox (me) on (03) 5249 5570 or email email@example.com
Our Website is www.element7digital.com.au