Monthly Archives: June 2018

Turning the “No Interest” Customer into “The Process Continues Sale”

Turning the “No Interest” Customer into “The Process Continues Sale”

Like pulling a rabbit from a top hat, converting “no-interest” customers into clients may seem like a magic trick that creates something out of nothing. I recommend gently coaxing the rabbit (or client), rather than using a hard tug on the ears!

If you approach a new customer and she responds, “Sorry, not interested,” try this method:

First, reject the concept of overcoming the customer’s objections. The customer has a right to express concern and your job is to first learn the reasons why they are not interested.

Ask instead, “Would you tell me about why you aren’t interested?” A true sales magician has to understand the reasons for the concern.  They might respond:

  • “I don’t need that!” (No perceived value).
  • “My current supplier already takes care of that.” (Already has a similar product).
  • “You want $1,000 for that?” (Price is too high).
  • “I just recently purchased Product A from you, but I really have no interest in Product B!” (Cross-selling the customer too fast after a successful sale, or pitching an unrelated product).

No matter what reason the client gives, be prepared to hear the underlying concern and acknowledge that it is reasonable! e.g. “I can see why it would seem odd to purchase ABC, when you already have something that takes care of your problem.”

Next, ask permission to question the customer: “Before I leave, may I ask you a few questions?”  Most customers allow you to ask a question or two after they have turned you down. Saying ‘Before I leave’ communicates that you will not take up too much time.

Here is where you will have to think on your feet as you dig deeper into possible other needs or issues the customer might have.  Your objective here is to elevate the person’s interest in an area perhaps that you believe the customer may be experiencing an issue.  The objective is NOT to make a sale, but to challenge the customer with an idea that may be of value to her. Depending on the question you ask, this may actually turn into an interest that you can respond to.

Finally, end your conversation by asking: “Mr. Customer, while there may not be an opportunity today, may I call you back in 60 to 90 days?” The point of this interaction is opening a door for the process to continue, not making a sale. This gentle prod may lead to sales magic later down the road.

Happy Selling!

Digging Deep – The Power of the Right Questions

Digging Deep – The Power of the Right Questions

 

Many salespeople invest significant time and energy refining how well they can persuade their customers in order to make a sale.  In fact, it isn’t force or charisma that convinces customers to buy – it is helping the customer be internally convinced him/herself by asking the ‘right’ questions.

What do we mean by the “right” questions? First, avoid questions that are too shallow or too broad. Asking, “What types of services do you provide?” is not only ineffective, but also insulting, because the salesperson should already know this. Also, avoid questions that have a simple “yes” or “no” answer – “If the price were within your budget, would you consider our product?” These are not ‘thought-provoking’ or ‘meaningful,’ which is where you should focus:

To create a meaningful conversation with your client, try these three guidelines:

  1. Use a 1-10 scale followed by, “Tell me more:” “On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “not at all,” and 10 being, “very much,” how important is the value of innovation to your company?  Tell me more about that.”
  2. Ask 3 “Why” questions to probe deeper into the customer’s issue: “Why do you think your company is having this issue?” “Why do you feel that this change is problematic?” “Why is frugality such a strong value for your company?” Digging deeper can clarify the root cause of an issue or problem, which ultimately you will be able to sell to.
  3. After building trust, try a consequence question: “If your company continues to purchase replacement parts at an increasing rate, what will be the consequence or impact to your business?”

A final tip: remember that it is OK to respectfully pause your customer and say, “You just said something interesting. May I ask you a question about that?” Do this, and you will come across as a trusted advisor, who is genuinely invested in the customer’s world and the implications of what the customer wants to do. Remember – the more the sales person talks, the more the customer objects, but the more the customer talks, the more the customer will likely buy!

 

Think About It!