Objections and questions as buying signals — cues that the prospect is ready to buy, or at the very least, nearly ready.
Sometimes, when you look through a prospect's question, or even what appears to be an objection, you find that they are subconsciously signaling their readiness to buy.
For example, you may encounter the question, "How soon could you install?"
Or you could run up against the apparent objection, "It just won't do us any good. It's too close to our busy season to take a chance on something new."
Sales tip: it's quite possible, maybe even likely, that both the question and the objection are signaling a message to the effect, "I'm interested in buying, but can you get it up and running quickly, without any bugs or glitches? It's high season coming up, and I can't afford any down-time."
As a sales person, it's tempting to respond immediately to the concern as it is expressed: "Sure, we can help, even though your season is under way." But that can lock you into a dead end.
It's better to PROBE before trying to deal with the concern. If the Prospect's question is, "How soon can you begin?," PROBE by asking, "How soon do you need it?" For one thing, that forces the prospect to focus what probably had been just a final vague concern before signing the order.
Another sales tip: to the objection, "You've got a good product, but we can't think of buying now, because it's too close to our busy season to try something new," PROBE to define the specific concerns, using questions such as, "When does you busy season begin?" and "In what specific ways would you think this new approach could affect the work now? As you push the prospect to be specific, you'll likely encounter one of two effects:
■ you will come up with a tangible concern that you can deal with; or,
■ the Prospect will in effect admit that the question/objection was a disguised buying signal: they were all set to buy, provided you could dissolve this last vague doubt.
The content in this post has been adapted from my books, How to Sell Face to Face: Survival Guide, and Selling 101. They are available in various e-book and paper editions; see below:
Survival Guide: Order paperback edition via Amazon
Survival Guide: Order e-book as Amazon Kindle (Amazon offers free apps that enable you to read it on your PC, Apple I-pad, I-pod, Blackberry, and others)
Survival Guide: Order e-book via Kobo, usable on various kinds of e-readers
Selling 101 (third edition): Order e-book as Amazon Kindle (Amazon offers free apps that enable you to read it on your PC, Apple I-pad, I-pod, Blackberry, and others)