How to Overcome Objections

November 30th, 2010

overcoming objections stop signObjections are an inevitable part of sales, yet most salespeople, business owners and professionals aren’t skilled in dealing with them. Which is unfortunate, because knowing how to effectively handle objections is crucial for increasing your sales.

Listen as Michele Price interviews me about how to skillfully overcome objections. In this hour-long program, Michele and I discuss:
• What really causes objections
• The first thing you should do when you encounter an objection
• Why objections are actually an opportunity
• What not to do when you’re faced with an objection
• The “Dandelion Principle” and how it can make or break the sale
• What to do when you can’t resolve an objection
• And much more!

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the interview to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

Whenever you listen, make sure you have a pen and paper ready, because you’ll want to take notes!

How to Overcome Objections, Interview with Michele Price on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

To learn more about Michele and listen to her interview other business strategists (which I strongly recommend), check out her web site:

Your REAL Competition

November 18th, 2010

Ten Dollars SalesDo you know who your real competition is? It’s not who you think.

It isn’t the people who sell the same product or service you do. It isn’t even the people who sell products and services in the same general category as you.

Your competition is everything else your prospect could conceivably spend their money on.

It’s a concept economists call opportunity cost. And it’s vital you understand it, because it affects your sales. Here’s a simple illustration.

Let’s say you’re walking down the street in a retail area with ten dollars in your pocket. What could you do with that money? You could:
• See a movie
• Grab a couple of beers in a bar
• Buy a t-shirt
• Pick up a paperback at a bookstore
• Eat a fast-food meal
• Buy some drill bits for your toolbox
• Get your shoes shined
• Buy a pair of knockoff sunglasses from a sidewalk vendor
• Bowl a few frames
• Pay the cover fee to get into a dance club

You could do any of these things. But you can only do one of them. To spend your ten dollars on one of the above things means you’re giving up the opportunity to do any of the others.

Everything you’re giving up is your opportunity cost. It’s the combined value of all the things you can’t buy because you’ve spent your money on what you did buy.

So what will you buy? Whatever option has the lowest opportunity cost to you at the time. In other words, you’ll give up everything you value less than what you end up buying.

Drill Bits SalesIf you’re starving, the restaurant will have the lowest opportunity cost because you’ll happily give up everything else to satisfy your hunger.

If you’re not hungry, but you are in the middle of a home improvement project, the drill bits may have the lowest opportunity cost because your highest priority is to finish the project before your in-laws arrive.

Opportunity cost takes the concept of value and extends it, comparing the value of everything to everything else. It’s how people judge the relative value of the myriad ways they could possibly spend their limited time, energy and money.

If you’re going to send your kids to a private school, what other things will you not be able to buy? If your company spends money on a new computer system, what line items have to be cut back as a result?

Here’s what this means to you as a salesperson, CEO, business owner or professional:

Hardware Store Retail Sales1. You need to rethink your idea of who your competitors are. In the above example, the hardware store is competing not just with other hardware stores, but with the restaurant, dance club, clothing store, movie theater, bowling alley and shoeshine guy.

2. It’s crucial you learn everything you can about your prospects. Whether they’re individuals or organizations, you need to know what else is competing for their time, attention and money. What are their goals, needs, desires, fears, values and priorities?

3. Whatever you sell, you must persuade your prospects it’s the best possible use of their money. Everyone has a finite budget. (Some are larger than others, but they’re all finite.) To buy your product or service means they have to give up some other purchase they’d also like to make. You’ve got to make the case that your offering is more important to them than any other expenditure.

It’s not enough to be able to compete with others in your industry. Like it or not, you’re competing with everything and everybody. The better your marketing and sales efforts take that brutal fact into account, the better your sales will be.

Are You Too Cheap?

November 10th, 2010

Chinese Food and Your SalesYesterday I received a menu in the mail from a local Chinese restaurant. On the front of the tri-fold mailer is a  proud proclamation in large type: “$1.38 Chinese Food.”

Sure enough, all of the appetizers and most of the entrees listed inside are indeed only $1.38.

My first thought?

This stuff must really suck.

Seriously, if they’re charging less than a buck-and-a-half per item, they must be using the cheapest, lowest-quality ingredients possible. And that’s not what I want to eat.

Too often, business owners, professionals and salespeople feel they need to cut their prices to attract more customers. But that can actually work against you.

We’ve all learned from experience that as a general rule, you get what you pay for. Higher-quality goods and services tend to be more expensive, lower-quality ones tend to be cheaper.

Which means if you’re the cheapest option around, people will perceive you to be the worst. Is that the positioning in the marketplace you really want?

People don’t want cheap, they want good. If you’re good, say so. Make the relationship between your quality and your price clear. Point out what makes you better than your competitors and how that’s better for your prospect.

If you want to boost your sales, don’t make your product or service cheaper. Make it more appetizing.

The Critical Difference Between Features and Benefits

November 4th, 2010

difference between features and benefits laptop salesIf you’re in sales (and you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t) you’ve been exhorted at one point or another to “sell features and benefits.” But what do these terms actually mean? What’s the difference between the two?

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio with Michele Price as I clarify this crucial distinction. In just seven minutes, you’ll gain a better understanding of these two concepts than most sales and marketing professionals have.

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the segment to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

The Critical Difference Between Features and Benefits, Don Cooper on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

To learn more about Michele Price and listen to her interview other business experts (which I wholeheartedly recommend), check out her web site: