Posted on 11 October 2011.
Price objections are the most dreaded hurdle in a prospective sales deal. It appears like a big letdown for the sales representative who feels he was on the verge of closing a sale and the opportunity might just slip out of his hands. However, seasoned sales experts believe that price objections are disguised sales opportunities, and do not imply rejection and refusal to buy. Price objections indicate an inclination to buy the product, but perhaps the price quoted seems unjustified. They can therefore be handled in various ways so as to retain the prospect and close a sale.
Ways to handle price objections
- Convince further- A price objection is an indication that the prospective buyer is not entirely convinced about the product. Therefore, he needs to be convinced more about its qualities, superiority over other similar products, durability, customer service and so on.
- Negotiate and leave price till the end- The battle to be won is negotiating the details of the deal and keeping price undisclosed till the end. This helps since there is no room for price objections, that is, preventing rather than curing.
- Be well informed about competitor prices and products- A commonly used reason for price objections is lower prices of competing products. It is for the salesman to be aware of competing products, their prices, and arguments to prove that he is selling a superior product. He must add the better customer service, warranties, delivery and other services to his product, to make it a more appealing package.
- Prepare a case to justify prices- When price objections are anticipated and dreaded, it is imperative that counter arguments are prepared beforehand. A well articulated argument has a better impact than one presented on the spur of the moment.
- Be convinced as a salesman to convince others- The best arguments can be provided only when the salesman himself is convinced about the price. It is only then that he can provide a convincing argument to counter price objections.
- Focus on value more than price- While countering price objections, the focus has to be on the value and utility of the product to justify the asking price. Another way to establish value is by checking what benefits are sought by the customer and how they these can be converted into value.
- The last resort-switch to another product within the customer’s price expectations- When no other argument works, one option may be to reduce the price. This has its own issues, since it counters all arguments presented before, and dilutes the value and brand image of the product in question. The last resort then, in a desperate bid to sell, is to offer a slightly lower grade product which fits in with the customer’s budget. Chances are, that he will agree to the better product at the old price and forget his price objection.
Price objections are a part and parcel of a sales deal, and it is for the salesman to counter them effectively, while respecting the customer’s viewpoint and amicably closing the sale.
Posted in Sales Strategy
Posted on 27 September 2011.
Call to action has become a popular phrase in marketing circles and for websites. A call to action is actually a set of words or a button that urges readers or viewers to take instant affirmative action. Typical examples of call to action include website buttons saying, “buy now”, “click here for full story” or ‘dial our 0800 number for…”. A call to action is for promoting and enabling a user to buy a product being offered. It is equivalent to prodding a visitor or prospective customer what to do next after listening or reading a sales promotion campaign, a website or an article.
Call to action is a persuasive tool that can boost sales since it clearly pushes customers, removing their hesitation or uncertainty about the next step, not letting them procrastinate or forget about a product that may have appealed initially.
The purpose of Call to action
- As a strong suggestion, it clearly states what actions visitors must take- As a marketing technique, it also states the outcome after the action has been taken. It seeks to entice prospective customers, and by gentle, even emotional persuasion, pushes them towards a purchase.
- Builds a case for sales- A call to action is part of advertisements or other marketing strategies, or on websites, reappearing at convenient gaps, after subtle hints and sales promotion jargon has been used, encouraging and repeating, the sales effort to close the sale.
- A gradual buildup, not a rushed affair- A call to action appears repeatedly but after the ground has been prepared, and benefits highlighted. The reader or viewer is not pushed or rushed, only gently coerced into taking the final step to buy.
- Serves as an explicit message- While addressing the target audience or clientele, a call to action is not implied or hinted, but explicitly stated with affirmative words like, “subscribe now”, “order”, “click” and so on. All the terms have a clear action orientation.
- Provides temptation and irresistible offers- a call to action is always made after the products to be sold have been praised sufficiently to prove tempting and the offer made then, proves to be irresistible. This may include some rebate, additional freebies, or something that is difficult to refuse.
- Leaves no scope for dilly-dallying- A call to action has a timing connotation to it. It pushes for immediate action, leaving no room for dilly-dallying, or ‘think about it’ time. It works most times though it may occasionally, put off a prospective customer with the sense of urgency which may appear as an act of desperation.
- Very conspicuous, and cannot be missed- A call to action always stands out in copy written material and on websites as a button. Its color, font and impact is all different in terms of size and appeal. It may prove to be the most important part of the website or advertisement that is easy to find and creates an impact, pushing the reader towards using it for affirmative action.
A call to action is the culmination of the effort made for a sales call, appearing on websites or in sales copy, stated verbally, or in writing, but pushes viewers and readers towards taking affirmative action.
Posted in Sales Strategy
Posted on 06 May 2010.
When we understand why people buy we can enhance our chances of making a sale. So why do people buy? Because they have a need or a want? Yeah ok , but what is behind the need or want? What is their primary reason they want to buy from you?
Fundamentally people buy for two reasons:
1, To avoid PAIN
2, To GAIN something
Research indicates that buyers are 3 times more motivated to avoid PAIN than to gain something and people buy emotionally and defend it logically.
Effective sales people are always looking for their prospects immediate or future pain, in order to sell solutions. They are able to ask great questions so the prospect discovers their own pain and then magnify it by focusing questions around the impact of the problem.
When prospects discover their pain and moreover the impact it has on them personally or the company, they can get emotionally involved and therefore increasing their buying motivation. Excellent sales people will ask good questions to stir up emotion and gain commitment from the prospect to fix the problem before presenting solutions.
Walking prospects through a “Pain Funnel” can lead the prospect to discover and magnify the pain. The Pain Funnel process goes something like this:
Once the prospect has mentioned a problem:
Sales Person: That sounds like a problem
SP: How long has that been a problem?
P: 2 years
SP: Who is impacted by it?
P: Staff, clients etc
SP: How much do you suppose that cost you (time or money)?
P: Thousands per month
SP: Is that a lot of money to you?
SP: How does that make you feel?
P: Frustrated (emotion!)
SP What have you done to fix it?
P: We tried several things but nothing worked
SP: On a scale o 1-10 how committed are you to fixing this problem (gain commitment)
SP: Would you like me to show you a solution that could get rid of this problem?
P: Yes please
Contact us if you want help creating a pain funnel. Or for further information on a consultative selling process click here.
Paul O’Donohue and The Sales STAR Team
Posted in Sales Management Tips