Don’t Assume You Know Everything
So you work through what appears to be a qualified sales opportunity. You are confident that you can meet the buyer’s criteria in terms of product and support. Furthermore, you are even certain your price is within the decision maker’s pre-defined budget. At this point, you’re not even considering the possibility of sales objections.
You arrange for a final meeting to get paperwork signed and review the implementation plans. As you begin to arrange the pertinent documents for review, the decision-maker leans over and says, “Not so fast. We have a little bit of a problem. You’re going to have to adjust your pricing for this deal to get done. Your price needs to come down another 5%.”
WHAT? How can this be? I distinctly remember the prospect giving me a budget of “X”. My proposal is “X” minus around 5%. This can’t be right.
The buyer explains that a competitor has made the decision more difficult by providing price incentives. This makes their deal difficult to resist. Moreover, the prospect wants you to engage and demonstrate your willingness to be a good partner by getting your price to where your competition has landed.
Now what? Your mind starts racing as to what you have in the deal. Do you call the manager? Or do you ask for special pricing allowances? Furthermore, do you give up some of your commission? Not so fast.
Don’t do anything until you have the answer to two simple questions.
- Do we have the products that you want to buy?
- Are we the support organization you want to buy it from?
During sales objections, for a legitimate negotiation to take place, both parties must first determine that each has something the other wants. If we have nothing the buyer wants, there is no basis for negotiation at all. This is a very common problem.
Sellers have a common problem. Buyers always have something the seller wants. They desire a signed agreement and the resulting commission check. So who has power? The buyer does. Moreover, buyers often exercise it to get better pricing.
So the first purpose of asking these questions is to establish whether or not you have any power in this negotiation, whether or not we have anything the buyer wants.
Ask the buyer whether or not we have the products and support they want to buy. If the answer is yes, we now have power. We become like the buyer, and we have the basis for a mutually beneficial negotiation. That couldn’t be more critical.
Sales Objections 101: There is a second and critically important reason to ask these questions.
We must determine before taking ANY action, whether or not price the real and only objection? As a simple question. “Do we have the products and services you want to buy?” Is the answer no or maybe? Furthermore, is the price your only problem? Absolutely not. Asking these questions gives you the opportunity to uncover additional objections. These items should be addressed BEFORE price negotiations begin. We’ve seen many situations where a salesperson adjusts their price only to later find the buyer had additional objections that needed to be addressed.
There is even the potential the buyer has no intention of buying from us. Furthermore, the buyer may use our proposal to get competitors to lower their prices. If we ask these questions and the answer is “No” or “Maybe” and we can’t determine what they need to see to be certain we DO have what they want to buy, why would we lower your price? They won’t pay any price if we don’t have what they want.
During sales objections, make certain you ask these questions:
- Firstly, do we have the products that you want to buy?
- Secondly, are we have the support organization you want to buy it from?
Perhaps you will either establish power in the negotiation. Contrarily, perhaps you’ll uncover additional objections to be addressed before negotiations begin.
- In the current economy, what are the most common objections you are facing in your industry?