This is the second in a six- or seven-part series (maybe more if I come up with a bunch of great ideas) on overcoming sales objections. But before I start in on today’s post, I want to be sure you know what objections are.
Basically, every sale has two major components. The first part lets prospects know what you have to offer, and on what terms. The second part addresses the reasons your prospects don’t want to take you up on it.
If you’re selling face to face, you can deal with these as they come up. But when you’re marketing online or with direct mail, you have to blast through objections another way.
This series will walk you through the overarching objections that just about every client has, as well as giving you some techniques for dealing with objections that might be specific to your product or service.
What’s Keeping Your Customers from Buying?
It’s very helpful, before you try to answer this question, if you have an extremely solid idea of who your ideal customer is. Don’t bother trying to sell to not-ideal customers, they’ll waste your time and keep you from optimizing your business for the folks who really matter.
With an ideal customer in mind, brainstorm as many things as you can think of that might keep that person from pulling the trigger. This is a great time to wallow in a little creative paranoia. Is your stuff too expensive? Is it hard to understand? Will it take a lot of time to install? Is it going to break in two weeks?
Think about every hesitation your prospect might conceivably have about buying your stuff, no matter how weird or far-fetched. Don’t assume that your brilliant marketing has already laid this hesitation to rest. Just list everything.
How to Create an FAQ
The FAQ is a misnamed creature. It really should be FRO–frequently raised objections.
Every objection you can think of should be on your FAQ, answered in a calm and logical way that puts those fears to rest. The underlying fear to nearly all objections is what if I feel like an idiot for buying from you? So keep that in mind when you put your answers together.
Don’t overpromise. Don’t hype. If there’s not-perfect stuff, either solve it or admit to it. (Admitting to minor not-perfect stuff is an excellent way to build a real relationship.) Just answer the questions in a way that shows you give a damn.
A Fantastic Example
I tend to assume that everyone who reads Remarkable Communication also reads Ittybiz, so you may have seen this already. But if you haven’t checked out Havi’s terrific FAQ for the Non Icky Self Promotion class (I’m taking the class and it seriously rocks, I don’t know if you can still sign up, but you should if you can), go do that.
Havi, in her adorable hippie marketer brilliance, goes through six significant objections in a respectful, thoughtful way. She doesn’t promise that her stuff fixes every problem. She doesn’t say that anyone’s objections are wrong or stupid. She just gives you an alternate way to look at them.
She’s not going to sell to everyone who reads the post. She doesn’t need or want to. The post is targeted directly at the people she can most help, and who are going to go back to Havi and Naomi and buy everything they ever put out. They’re creating their 1,000 True Fans with this kind of respectful, benefit-based marketing. It’s a great model, and one you can adapt today for your own gig.
The Zen master Suzuki Roshi might have said, “Selling, not selling. No difference.” (He never did say that, but in the spirit of the thing, that doesn’t matter.)
I know a fair number of kazillion-dollar salespeople. They all have one thing in common–they don’t seem like salespeople at all. They don’t use weird closing techniques. They don’t have handshakes that could crush rocks into gravel. They’re just nice (often soft-spoken), friendly people who have a knack for creating trusting relationships.
They can close half-million dollar deals (and do, several times a week) and leave their customers thinking, “She’s such a nice person, she didn’t sell me at all.”
If you know someone who fits that description, even if they’re not a professional salesperson, sit down & have a conversation with them around your stuff–what you have to offer, and what kinds of objections come up. Ask them how they’d talk about your FROs. Scribble down or record what they say, capturing as much of that low-key, friendly flavor as you can.
Learn the art of directly but gently addressing prospect objections, and you’ll start converting more sales. Not only that, you’ll build repeat and referral business from those customers, which puts you on track to exponential growth. It works, and you won’t need a shower afterwards.
The next post in this series will help you blast through another giant general objection: “Who cares.”
The Objection Blaster Series (So Far)
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