Getting Past Customers' Objections

April 10, 2009
What to do when customers say they need to shop around first

About the author: Carl Davidson is director of Sales and Management Solutions, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in sales and management video training, recruiting and live seminars exclusively for the water equipment industry. A free demonstration video and list of products and topics is available at 800.941.0068. Send comments on this article to him at [email protected];

Many salespeople are discouraged by a frequent customer response: the dreaded, “we need to shop around first.”

Let’s take a look at some ways that will help you get the sale.

There are several approaches that work well—not all of these methods work on everyone but you will have a better chance at a sale if you use them than if you do not. To be successful, you need to be sure that you believe in your product, your company and yourself, otherwise it is just too easy to give up. If you have done a great demo and created a desire among your potential customers, there are a few additional methods to help seal the deal.

Website Solutions

Look online at your competitors’ websites and see if any list their prices online. There are hundreds of sites online with prices posted for every brand of water treatment equipment. Print copies of these prices and bring them with to your sales appointment. When the customer says they want to shop around first, say, “No problem, I agree you should. May I ask what company you are thinking of shopping with? As a service, I have done your shopping for you. I have printed the website of that company and a few others. Let’s look at what they offer.”

You can go through the pages and point out how your prices compare to those of your competitors. You can then say, “Now that you have shopped around, I think you will agree that we have a great product at a good price.”

Market Research Solutions

Everyone knows that good companies perform market research, and you should research your market as well by getting copies of recent contracts and prices from your competitors in writing. You might be wondering how to go about doing this. Many companies will send you a quote if you just call and ask for one. Many will send it in the mail or simply e-mail it to you. If you decide to use this method, bring these with on your sales appointment and use them in addition to the website information. By not knowing your competitors’ current prices and terms, you are asking to fail.

Shopping Guarantee

Another suggestion is to produce a certificate or coupon that says “Shopping Guarantee.” The wording should state that if the customer finds a local factory-authorized dealer who sells similar equipment for less, you will refund them the difference. This guarantees the customer the lowest price and should encourage them to buy from you.

I used this method for many years and was asked by very few people to match a price. When I did have to meet a competitor’s price, the cost was far less than what I made from the hundreds of people who closed the sale that we otherwise would have lost.

Why Should They Buy Now?

For any objection-taming technique to work, there should be a reason that encourages the customer to make a decision now. In order to get the sales you need, you should have a “first night package” and a reason why you have it.

Have a good reason worked out as to why you can offer a special package for the first night only. Sure, it costs money in time and travel for you to return, but not a large amount. Explain that if you have to come out again, your company will miss a sale or two you would be making on the night you return. That loss can amount to thousands of dollars, in addition to the cost of fuel it will take to return. Point out that, if you have to return another night, the customer will lose another few hours of their time just to go over the paperwork. It is best for everyone to go ahead with everything while you are there.

What is the Package?

Your first night package can include items like soap packages, which I highly recommend. When presented properly, soap packages are a powerful closing tool. Other items to offer include salt, a free installation, a whole-house leak detector or many other things that add up to make an attractive package that is only available that first night. You need to have a package documented and well prepared in advance in order to create a good reason why the customer should go ahead with the purchase. Making one up on the spot will not work and not having samples is weak.

Be prepared: Practice your pitch and be excited about the package you are offering.

They Are Prepared…Are You?

Many dealers do not prepare for customer objections, but realize that customers have a lot of practice at saying no. In order to compete, you need to be as prepared as your customer.

You will get these objections from potential customers. Invest in your future by investing time and effort into finding and practicing techniques that work for you in order to get the sale.

Download: Here

About the Author

Carl Davidson

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