Sales Make it Happen
OBJECTIONS WE ALL SEE
By: Linda P. Kester
In 1988 I would drive my Saab to a vendor's location and ask them "Do you have any apps for me?" Inevitably they said "No, we don't have any leasing deals for you right now, but you can stop back in a couple of weeks." A couple of weeks would go by, I'd stop by again and they would tell me "No leasing deals now, but feel free to stop by again."
Was I prospecting? I thought I was. What I was really doing was wasting everyone's time! Wasting my own time by prospecting with no clear objective, not uncovering the vendors needs with good questions and not moving the sales process forward.
I was wasting the prospect's time because I didn't give them any value in doing business with me. They saw nothing to gain, and they didn't want to come right out and tell me NO.
In the leasing industry there are many types of objections. I shared my experience above because I didn't uncover any specific objections. I just kept getting a stall, and a stall is an objection that can happen at any point in the sales cycle. The stall I experienced happened very early in the process. You may experience this as a "brush off". The typical brush off objections that come early in the sales call are:
- We're happy with who we are using
- Just send me some literature
- We don't use leasing
If a vendor tells me in the first 25 seconds of the call that they are happy with their present leasing company, I know that my opening statement was not very effective, and then I'll say "some of my best customers said the same thing the first time I called them. Who are you using?" I brush off their brush off and ask a question.
If the prospect says "Just send me some literature on that." Reply with "There are questions people have that simply aren't addressed in the literature. That's why I'd like to ask you a few questions."
Other objections/resistance come further in the sales process:
- Your rates are too high
- All our customers pay cash
- We've been disappointed in the past with turn-around time or speed of payment
The worst thing we can do when faced with an objection is tell the other person that they are wrong. Unfortunately, that's what most objection rebuttals do. The best route is to show empathy and ask questions and help someone to:
- Doubt their own beliefs
- Change their mind on their own
For example, I was in the market for a Jaguar automobile. I questioned the salesman about the reliability of the car. Everyone knows that Jaguars have a reputation for frequent breakdowns. The salesman did not show any empathy when I voiced my objection. He gave a heavy sigh and announced that Jaguar was bought by Ford and now they have an excellent service record. He didn't show any empathy, in fact he demonstrated annoyance. He then tried to have me change my mind with some lame service record report. If he followed my model he would say something like. "I understand, Jags used to have that kind of reputation. Have you heard this about any models made after 2004? Do you know we have an all inclusive maintenance program?" These comments would have made me feel better. And that is a big point.don't underestimate how big of a role emotions can play in decisions. They can certainly cause someone to throw logic out the window.
Sometimes the prospect doesn't even know his true objection. He may not be confident offering leasing or he doesn't understand how leasing works and so he's embarrassed to admit it. He feels uneducated and his ego demands that he say that he won't offer it. The prospect thinks if they get a leasing company involved they may lose control of their transaction. They say to you."We let the customer get their own financing", or "We don't offer leasing." So, all of your logic backed facts won't change their mind. You have to go back and ask more questions. You have to focus on the vendor or the lessee and what is important to them. What we want or think doesn't matter. The customer in this case is similar to a credit analyst. A credit analyst is not (in most cases) just going to change his mind and approve your deal. He will, however, make a new decision based on additional information. A prospect is not going to change his mind and suddenly start using your leasing company. He may make a new decision based on additional information. That is why it's so important to have an arsenal of value based programs to offer the prospect.
If a vendor says "All my customers pay cash", a good response is "I understand. In your situation customers have a lot of different ways of acquiring your equipment. Why do you think that they pay cash? Are you getting your cash they day you deliver your equipment? Are you waiting 30 days or more for your money? Do you have to handle payment and collection issues? What happens if the customer asks about financing options? Suppose I handled all the leasing details then would you feel comfortable using it?"
Early in my sales career I rarely got to the objection part of the sales cycle. What I've learned is that a sales pro will bring out all the objections as early possible so each objection can be dealt with effectively. If the objection is: " Your rates are too high" Your response could be "Competitive rates are an important ingredient in our services. Can you tell me what you are comparing my rates against? Besides rate, is there any other reason why you wouldn't use my leasing company? Tell me about your current rates, how many payments are required in advance and what type of residual options you quote.
If you can identify the true objection, then you can take steps to resolve it or move on to the next prospect instead of wasting time trying to close a sale that will never be closed.
Linda Kester motivates, educates and empowers leasing sales reps to obtain top performance and increase volume. She provides enthusiastic and practical ideas for success. For more tips visit www.lindakester.com