Category Archives: Selling skills for new business start-ups

5 steps in responding to sales objections and questions

The five-step model approach in responding to objections and questions: Explore, Listen Well, Restate (if appropriate), Respond, then Move on.

1.    Explore. Ask questions to get the person talking about what they really mean by the objection, and why it's important to them.  (Why do you feel that way? will do if nothing better comes to mind.)

2.    Listen well to their response.  You may have heard this objection a dozen times already this week, but this person may put a different twist on it.  Don't be too quick in cutting off the Prospect's response in order to interject your response.  The more you know about the Prospect's needs and mindset the better you can target your response.  Sometimes, the Prospect will actually respond to her own concern, and say something like, Never mind, I think I've answered myself. That's really not so important, after all.

3.    Restate, if appropriate.  In many cases, it can be helpful to both yourself and the Prospect to paraphrase your  understanding of the core of the Prospect's response.  For one thing, it forces you to listen closely, so you can restate it clearly. Second, it forces the Prospect to listen to you in turn, to ensure that your restatement is accurate.  Further, in some cases, by restating, you may be able to defuse, or take the edge off, the customer's concern.

4.    Respond to what they have actually said
.  There may be a deeper meaning behind the objection, so focus on that. Example

    “You say that your firm has already tried using consultants, and isn't interested.  But I'm picking up a deeper message  that your dissatisfaction was with the work of one particular consulting  firm that didn't work out for you.  I'd like to explain how  . . .”

5.    Move on from there; don't get bogged down in your response.  Respond to the objection, then go on with your sales call.

    If you say too much in response to an objection, you may blow it up into something larger and more significant than the Prospect originally had in mind.  If you bog down on it, repeating and elaborating your reaction, the Prospect will think this really must be a major concern, and take that as a reason not to buy.

    Conversely, if you treat the objection as a small issue not very important, you are send  the subliminal message is that it is just that— minor, not a significant concern, not an issue that could possibly stop the sale. 


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)

Order as e-book via Smashwords, available in various formats including PDF, E-pub, and others.

Customer care — follow-up letters

Customer care and follow-up. Your first sale to a customer may be profitable, but it's the follow-up sales that really help.

It's an instance of the 80-20 Rule: 80 percent of your profits and revenue will come from just 20 percent of your customers. Implication: your present customers probably offer the greatest potential for profitable repeat business.

Continue reading Customer care — follow-up letters

Buying signals gatekeeper: cues to be alert for

Buying signals from the gatekeeper or screen: What kinds of cues should you be alert for? (For the record, gatekeeper and screen are usually interchangeable terms, and may apply to anyone from the guard at the gate, to the secretary, to the Decision Maker's personal assistant.)

Continue reading Buying signals gatekeeper: cues to be alert for

“Jobs—are freelance and part-time gigs the future?” Newsweek asks

"Contingent workers—including part-timers, free-lancers, and contractors— consistently make up about 30 percent of the [American] workforce between 1996 and 2005. . . [and] . . . that number may be higher next time they measure."

— That's from a Newsweek article by Linda Stern. 

Continue reading “Jobs—are freelance and part-time gigs the future?” Newsweek asks

Free sales training book: How to Sell Face-to-Face: Survival Guide— this week only


Celebrate national Read an E-Book Week!

We're teaming with Smashwords to bring our How to Sell Face-to-Face: Survival Guide for you to read or download online FREE!  Yes, Free Sales Book!  Free Sales Training book! Free stuff!

What's the catch? It's on Smashwords, and it's this week only— March 7-13, 2010.

Here's the link to get a free e-copy of How to Sell Face-to-Face: Survival Guide

But NOTE: VERY IMPORTANT: to get this special offer you must use the code RFREE at checkout. The offer expires March 13,2010.

Want a paper version?  You can get that at Amazon, but — alas — t'ain't free.  See the side panel.

Overcoming objections: why prospects may be inclined not to buy, Part # 3

"COLD CALL SALES AND PROSPECTING CHECKLIST: 14 PRACTICAL STRATEGIES WHEN COLD-COLD CALLING"  which had been here in four parts is  now  a short E-book,  available via Amazon. 

You can read it on a Kindle, or in various other E-reader formats, including your PC.  Amazon offfers free apps to enable you to do that.

Order e-edition of Overcoming objections: why prospects DO NOT buy



Your new business venture: getting started

The Wall Street Journal runs a regular section, "Career Journal" — nowadays often focused on career transition, and getting started in your new life.

"You Just Have to Do It," by regular Alexandra Levit, points out that "people in the midst of a career reinvention 

Continue reading Your new business venture: getting started

Career transition: After layoff, starting a new business from scratch

Career transition rebounders such as those profiled in a  Business Week article (and the related on-line slideshow) are examples demonstrating that you can leave the corporate nest and go on to successfully "sell your better mousetrap" or yourself. (Not explicitly mentioned is the very real issue of how to sell your newly-rebounded self, or your new venture. No matter: we cover that how-to-sell in this blog.)

The 29 people — career transition rebounders — profiled in the video/slide-show include,

Continue reading Career transition: After layoff, starting a new business from scratch

USA Today: “Entrepreneurs turn to 401(k)s”

USA Today has been running a series, edited by Rhonda Abrams, on starting your own business. This article, by Christine Dugas, looks at some case studies of entrepreneurs tapping their retirement accounts to fund start-ups. The article also looks at some of the tax and economic ramifications of doing that.

Here's the link to the USA Today article on how entrepreneurs can tap their 401(k)s to fund new start-ups.

When it IS good sales strategy to begin with the purchasing department

Last post, we explored why it's usually not a good idea to begin with the purchasing department.

But there are situations when purchasing is the place to begin.  Here are some considerations.

Continue reading When it IS good sales strategy to begin with the purchasing department