Can I Have an Appointment for Wednesday at 1?
The FOUR MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW about handling objections when you're prospecting over the phone are:
- Advocate the advantage, not the argument
- Interest and curiosity
Let's start with 1. An advantage, not an argument. Salespeople can face many struggles when they are on the phone trying to get an appointment. Often times, the reason they struggle is because they’re looking for an argument, and at first, they may not even be aware that they're doing this.
Trying to find a flaw or hole in the other person's logic is looking to start an argument and win. This win-at-all-costs mindset is very helpful for self-motivation and perseverance purposes, but when you’re trying to make an appointment, be careful not to let this aggressive front overwhelm your prospect.
Never say things like:
"Well, how much do you really like your copier vendor? Do you think your vendor’s really giving you the value that you’re paying for? Let me put a shadow of doubt in there."
You really dont want this call to be about an argument.
If you had said to yourself, before you even picked up the phone, "Okay, what is it that our product really does well?" then you would know exactly what you DO want this call to be about. Whatever it is that your product, service, or solution, excels in doing, that's precisely what you want this conversation to be focused on.
And here’s a secret that I want to share with you: You’ve got to believe in that value to make a good conversation happen.
You've got to believe, deep down in your gut, that your products and services really do help your best customers get value out of working with you. If you don't believe in your advantage, why make the call?
Once upon a time in a kingdom you call the office, your best customers weren't customers at all. They were leads, just like the leads that you're calling now. And isn't that why you're calling these new people in the first place? To determine whether or not there's an opportunity to deliver the same kind of VALUE and REASON that your best customers enjoy working with you?
On this call, you want to find out ways to talk about how you can make your customers' current assets even more valuable, how you can help them find new revenue streams, and how you get your customers across the finish line first.
Let’s forget about all those argumentative questions that are supposed to prove that the person made a mistake by working with someone else. Instead, ask the questions that point the conversation toward the positive VALUE you know you are delivering to your happiest customers, right now. That's where your advantage is.
Here's what that might sound like:
Jason Jones: "Steve, don't get me wrong, you sound like a very nice guy, but I really don't have any interest in this."
"Hey, that’s okay, because I know a lot of people, like ABC Company, who were telling me exactly the same thing ... but that was before they saw how we could help them get more value from their current resources and reduce their downtime by 37%."
Notice that I am not trying to win an argument but rather focusing on my advantage.
"Anyway, all I was calling for was to schedule a meeting so we could sit down together and see whether we could deliver those same kinds of results for you. I'm looking at the calendar, and I'm free Wednesday at one. Is that a good time?"
Next, establish 2. interest and curiosity.
Curiosity piqued the cat’s awareness level and gave it a long prosperous life. Whenever you start to ask questions that sound like you really care about what the other person is saying, you will be much more likely to make a good connection.
In fact, if this is someone that you have never spoken to before, your most important job is to communicate that you are truly interested in that person. That's what communication really is at this stage: proving your interest.
What will your specific curiosity-demonstrating questions be? First of all, what does this customer in particular do to solve the problems that you typically help customers solve? So you're going to ask about that. When they say to you, "Could you just email me something or mail me something?" Use your legitimate curiosity about what they are doing to drive the response.
Consider saying, "Well, actually, just to save us both some time, I’d much rather figure out whether we should be talking at all than send you something that isn't right for you. I'm curious, what you are doing now to hold on to the most productive members of your sales staff?"
"Right now we are implementing the Yada Yada Yada program to do that."
"Aha. That's very interesting, because that says to me that we really SHOULD set a time to meet. A lot of our very best customers, like ABC Company, are working with us AND with Yada Yada Yada to improve their sales production numbers over time from their key people. In fact, ABC found that the two programs actually complement each other. Now, I'm looking at the calendar, and I'm free this Wednesday at one. Is that a good time for you?"
Always be curious about what they are doing and when they are doing it because the best opportunity to make an appointment arises with a company who is about to change. If you’re changing something, you’re more likely to be considering changing vendors.
In dealing with objections to making an appointment, look to ask questions that show your concern and curiosity, "When are you going to be doing something in such and such an area? Are you going to be doing anything soon?"
About the Author:
Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world. DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win. DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.
About Molly DePasquale
Molly DePasquale is the Manager of Operations and Sales Training Strategist for DMTraining. She manages the day-to-day business and training operations while helping research and develop new training programs as well as refreshing signature programs to reflect the newest sales trends, technology, and best practices. Molly utilizes her wide-range of skills to create sales and marketing assets focused on delivering value to DMT’s clients. Molly has a passion for learning and leveraging new knowledge and experiences. Outside of DMTraining, Molly is a hard core Pittsburgh sports fan, enjoys staying active by running and golfing, and unwinds by reading and playing the piano.