“Selling doesn’t begin until the customer objects.” Sound familiar?
For decades, sales have been about closing at all costs and these archaic catchphrases have become commonplace among sales leaders. While they are ingrained in the fabric of the sales landscape, they have become detrimental to the success of sales teams across the world.
As buyers become more educated and options continue to expand, outdated sales tactics are making it more difficult for salespeople to build relationships and close business with any consistency. The challenge for many leaders is that we were taught these principles early in our careers. For many of us, that was before sales entered the digital age. The truth is that they worked for years and it can be easy to fall into a mindset that if it isn’t broken don’t fix it.
Today, sales leaders have an opportunity to pivot and change the trajectory of their business. Building a loyal customer base isn’t as easy as it once was, and it will only get more difficult with time, especially if an evolution in approach and mindset does not happen.
Building Trust Instead Of Tension
Objections aren’t going anywhere, but the way that your team approaches objections by focusing on the needs of the customer, rather than their own, can help pave the way for better conversations, deeper relationships, and a customer base that won’t bail on you to save a buck or two.
Drop the Rope®
Ask most sales reps how they view an objection, and they will likely tell you that it is a hurdle. It is nothing more than something preventing them from getting to the finish line with a customer. The great thing about hurdles is that they can be taken off the track.
It might sound odd, but hurdles are typically the result of our own actions within the sales conversation. By simply choosing to place the needs of the customer first and not pushing back when an objection occurs, the hurdle is removed. We refer to this as dropping the rope.
Instead of a back-and-forth that creates tension, the customer’s needs are addressed and the deal can progress. The customer will only drop the rope when they are ready to walk away from the deal. The rep can drop the rope at any point in the conversation, they only need to choose to do so.
We believe that objections are opportunities. Do they slow the deal down? Sometimes. But they provide critical points within the sales process to build trust and help facilitate a relationship. The hurdle analogy is nothing more than a different spin on the age-old glass half-empty or half-full question.
If reps are taught to see objections as hurdles they will barrel through or jump over them. Viewing objections as opportunities opens a world of other possibilities. With an Other-Centered® mindset, each objection provides a chance to gain a better understanding of their customer’s needs, build trust, eliminate the hurdle altogether, and improve as a salesperson.
Ditch Hard Sales Tactics
If your sales team is struggling each month, chances are they are failing to build trust with their prospects. Sales has and always will revolve around trust. You might be able to sell a $5 widget without building trust, but anything that involves buy-in or a large investment in time or capital cannot happen without trust.
Hard sales tactics are the single greatest threat to a deal when objections occur. Change is hard enough. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes for a moment. Imagine the feeling of forcing a square peg into a round hole, and the outcome will directly impact your business and might solve the challenge or issue you are looking to address.
It is a buyer’s world, and they simply have more options at their disposal in the global marketplace. Hard sales tactics complicate the process for the buyer and degrade trust. That is a recipe for sales failure.
Dropping The Rope flips the script and shows the client that they are the focal point, not the rep’s quota or commission.
Build a Team of Trusted Advisors
Dropping the rope is the first step, but it cannot be the only step. Reps need to transform themselves from salespeople to trusted advisors. We will be the first to tell you that this doesn’t happen with the snap of the finger, but it is possible for every salesperson on your team.
Advisors approach sales from a very different angle than a run-of-the-mill account executive. They constantly seek information from each prospect and client.
Information is the catalyst, not the product they are selling.
This is a critical part of addressing objections because the fact is most salespeople fail to grasp the root of the objection.
Reps are coached to have scripted responses to common objections. Preparation is an important part of sales, but no one wants a sales robot to spit out a templated response when they have an actual concern. Sales reps become trusted advisors as they dive into objections and actively listen before responding. Trust takes time but little by little it can be built over every customer interaction.
Handle Objections in Sales: the ASLAN Way
You have the team that you need. Every salesperson on your team can become a trusted advisor. It won’t happen overnight but with the right tools and an Other-Centered mindset, they can become a catalyst for growth.
To learn about our services, training opportunities, and philosophy, reach out. The ASLAN team is ready to understand your business and help you achieve your goals.
ASLAN teaches sellers an easier, better way to gain access & influence unreceptive customers, by eliminating the hard sell.