Being a typical bloke, I’m terrible at multitasking, never ask for directions when lost in the car and would never, under any circumstances, ask for assistance in a store.
Have you ever been in a store browsing and a sales assistant comes up to you unannounced “can I help you Sir?” When this happens to me I instinctively say “no thanks, just looking” even if I actually do need some help. This instinctive knee-jerk reaction is commonplace when selling, particularly on the phone.
The golden rule with handling knee-jerk reservations, is to appreciate that most customers will have a negative initial reaction to a sales call. You’ve interrupted them, they probably weren’t expecting you and possibly don’t want to speak with you, so they’ll quickly come up with a reason to get you off the phone. It’s natural; you’d do the same wouldn’t you?
If you’re sure of the value you can provide, then plan a response to the common objections you’ll get. I stress this, plan your approach, don’t can it or sound as though you’re reading off a script. Yuk.
Typical knee-jerk reactions are “I wouldn’t be interested right now” and “I need to think about it” or “I already have that covered”
Remember they just want to get rid of you, these are knee-jerk reactions. Deal with the initial retort and you could be on a roll.
I wouldn’t be interested right now
You need to come back on this one, “I know you must get a lot of calls on this and this must be tiring…let me just say Bob, that this call will honestly make a difference to you”
Then come back with some more value that you can provide.
I need to think about it
This is a classic because it’s hiding something. We need to isolate what that is. Customers use this when they’re busy and want you to go away but they don’t want to tell you directly.
Be open with them “Bob, I see…however, when I say that to people, I normally mean one of three things. 1. I’m not going to do anything here, 2. I like the idea but I have no budget or 3. I like the idea but I see some problems. Bob, do you mind me asking which one are you?”
I already have that covered
“That’s great Bob and I’m glad you have this covered. But if you ever have a need to compare with another supplier, can I ask that you consider me? Bob, before I go…what might be happening for you to be considering someone different?”
Knee-jerk reactions will be the death of me. Perhaps, one day, I might stop doing the blokey thing and actually ask for help in a store, but then I might even ask for directions when I’m lost in the car or even learn to multitask. Gulp!