Since I’m an introvert, the last thing I ever want to deal with is overcoming sales objections in a conversation with a prospective client. I can do it, but it pains me greatly. My preferred method of dealing with prospects is that they come to me, ready to buy, and their only question is, “How soon can we get started?” My marketing model, which consists of content marketing, (marketing through providing valuable information) creates precisely that environment, as many prospects spend 30 minutes or more on my site as they determine my level of expertise and then decide to hire me.
What prompted me to create such a system is two often-heard phrases from many clients with whom I spoke. These phrases were:
1. “Sounds good but I need to think about it.”
2. “I don’t think I can afford your services right now.”
Blech! Who wants to deal with that? I consider these folks “tire kickers” who never really had any intention of hiring me in the first place, and I got quite tired of wasting my time with them.
1. For the “I need to think about it” crowd:
Many experts tell you to ask a very direct question, like “What’s stopping you from taking action right now?” to try
and get to the root of the problem, and then continue to overcome their objections and point out the benefits of what you offer. Then, you need to set up a followup plan with them (you’ll phone or email them) to touch base with them and overcome more objections, if needed, in this second session.
What I do: I avoid this scenario by not offering just any Tom, Jane, or Harry a “get to know you session.” Before I discuss working with anyone, I require the prospect to read through a set of FAQs about how I work with clients and then complete a short application, after which I send that person a link to schedule a session with me. I have a 99% close rate by doing this. You can see this here.
I still get contacted by many “tire kickers,” who are quickly weeded out of my process when they never complete the coaching application. This saves me a great deal of time because their failure to complete the application tells me that they are not serious prospects.
If you haven’t put a screening system in place via your web site, former About.com Sales Guide, Emjae Johnson, asks a very powerful question that you will find helpful when someone says that they need to think about it: “Sure, that’s not a problem, but may I ask you something? (You need to get their approval before continuing.) I have been in sales a long time and I’ve discovered that when someone tells me that they have to think about it, means one of three things: there’s a problem with the price, a problem the product, or something I said or did. Which one of these is it for you?” I agree with Emjae that often these are the root of that particular excuse.
2. The “I can’t afford it” crowd:
Many experts will tell you to ask, “What’s it going to cost you in terms of time and/or money not to get the help that
you need right now?” By asking this question, you’re trying to get them to realize that it will cost them “more” in the long run to go it alone than it would to work with you.
What I do: I don’t like to have conversations where I have to convince someone of the value of working with me. Either they get that from my web site or they don’t. Consequently, I post my prices on my web site so that a prospect is fully aware if s/he can afford what I’m offering. No one gets surprised this way. I’ve heard others say that they have taken their prices off of their sites because prospects pull themselves out of the running on that fact alone. I’m of the mind that people truly know what they want to spend and what they can afford to spin, and if it’s out of their price range at the moment, I don’t want them getting in over their heads financially, since I cannot 100% guarantee that my method will work for them.
3. Use your web site to overcome all objections. Great copywriting on your site will go far in dispelling many of the objections someone might have in working with you. One way to do this is to place a comprehensive FAQ document on your site (you can see mine here). In your FAQ doc, you should try and establish what they want/need, how badly they want it (in terms of monetary value), a sense of urgency that they should invest right away (there’s a limited number of openings or a deadline — make the urgency real, not contrived), and why they should buy from you (client testimonials, company history and longevity).
Take Action Strategy
If you’re unhappy with the number of tire-kickers with whom you speak on a regular basis, try some of these introvert techniques to shore up your client intake process. Will you have fewer conversations with clients? Most definitely yes. Will the conversations be more productive after implementing this process and lead to higher conversion rates? Most definitely yes. Most business owners need to maximize their limited amounts of time. Make the smart move – make your web site work for you to help you overcome sales objections and screen potential clients.
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Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.