Archive for January, 2012

Overcoming Objections

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

by Ginny Speaks Ginny2012

I recently had the opportunity to conduct a corporate webinar on “Overcoming Objections” for a client and I thought what a great topic for everyone. When we can move past objections, we close more business. That is what we all want as sellers and managers, right? To close more business. So how can we take steps to move us in this direction … preparation!

Handling objections is really about listening. It is about becoming a good story teller and conversationalist; the ability to engage our prospect in conversation not in a debate. Some key tips to do this:

First, become client focused. Once an objection is raised, listen to the prospect and let them know you hear them by following up each objection with an “I heard you statement” such as:   I understand; I know exactly how you feel; I have worked with many clients that felt the same way; I can appreciate that; I completely understand where you are and how you feel.

Then, probe further to defuse the objection by asking a question to engage the prospect in further dialogue. To assure a smooth transition before you ask the first question, use this phrase, let me ask you a question. Then proceed with your question.

The goal for every sales call should be to conduct an exploratory conversation by asking questions to exhaust all possibilities of working together. To gather information about what is important to the client and finding an area/need that we can help the client solve. During this conversation, continue to educate about what it is that you offer, how your services are unique, share your competitive advantages and lead them down the path on how you bring solutions.

One way to build credibility during this process is to share success stories that are relevant. Then, follow up with a question such as: What are you trying to accomplish? What else is important to you? What keeps you up at night?

Can you see a pattern forming? Handling objections is really about engaging the prospect in conversation, by making an “I heard you statement” and following it up with a question until you see an opportunity or determine that this is not a good prospect.

3 Tips to Drive Your New Business in 2012

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

by Amber Brown

The new year is one of my favorite times of year for many reasons.   It’s a time to reflect on success and challenges from the previous year, and also to recharge and reinvent for the year ahead. It’s healthy to look back on what worked and what didn’t, then forge ahead with a plan for the New Year.

While I’m not a big believer in cliché new years resolutions, I do believe there is some value in setting 2-3 realistic goals to move your business forward.   Why only 2-3? Because little changes over time produce big results. Setting a goal is one thing, but putting a plan into action will require some diligence on your part. Here are a few thoughts to set you on your way:

  1. Make Time for Yourself – NO ONE ELSE WILL! See if this sounds familiar? You’ve set aside time on Friday to make some new business calls, then your manager walks over and asks “Do you have a minute to take care of XYZ?” Or your coworker is chattering about the game last night? When you are in sales, trying to set aside time for finding new business can be challenging. Our worlds are full of distractions….true time suckers! But whose time is it anyway? YOURS! These distractions are taking money out of your pocket. My challenge to you would be to participate in an experiment of time — find a conference room, or other quiet space, for 30 minutes per week and make calls, to new prospects, for 4 weeks.   See what happens. If you don’t, weeks will slip by, then months, then hello 2013.
  2. Become a 10 Minute Intelligence Ninja – More and more, the people we deal with expect you to have done your homework about their company and industry before you ever pick up the phone.  You don’t have to become an expert, but you do need to know some essentials.   What are the essentials you need to feel comfortable calling? Make a list of those and use that as your template for information. Be precise and fast, but get the job done so you are prepared when you call the prospect.
  3. Finding a Coach or Mentor – Years ago I embarked on a quest to crack into the Consumer Packaged Goods business. I was new to media, oblivious to the bad habit many reps develop of calling on only decision-makers that deal with advertising. I ended up talking to friends that had landed jobs in CPG for guidance on how the industry worked, the lingo, the landscape of the CPG companies, and the dynamics of decision-makers and the grocery accounts. This led me to calling on Regional Sales decision-makers and developing long term relationships to help them sell more products and help me find new business that no one else called on. This lesson stuck with me my entire career.   Spend time with people that can advance knowledge and network in the industries you want to develop.   One or two in a year could land you the next $100K account.

Happy 2012!