The Importance of Confirming Your Answers

Let me give you a quick, easy to use, technique that will make your closes shorter and more effective. The technique is to confirm your answers to any buying question – or any objection – that you get. The importance of this came up for me while I was listening to a series of phone calls during which a sales rep was conducting a demo of a product. When the prospect asked the price, the rep gave it to him, but then he just kept talking to justify it!

It went something like this:

Prospect: “So how much does this cost?”

Closer: “The price for set up in your location is just $700, and then the monthly fee is just $125 per month. Of course we do a lot for you for that set up fee. It takes our tech staff blah, blah, blah… And also, that monthly fee covers blah, blah, blah. In addition, we also blah, blah, blah… And another feature with this is blah, blah, blah, blah…”

What happened on this call is that the closer, in his attempt to justify the price, actually introduced a question which turned into an objection and that led to this sale being stalled. And that’s the big danger whenever you begin talking past the close.

What the rep should have done is use a confirmation statement to see how the price fits for the prospect. Something like this:

Prospect: “So how much does this cost?”

Closer: “The price for set up in your location is just $700, and then the monthly fee is just $125 per month. Does that work within your budget?”

If building more value was required, then he could have gone into a brief explanation of that, but after that, he would still have to confirm his answer (which he and most other closers rarely do).

To take this further, if the prospect then said that it did fit within his budget, the next question would have been:

“And do you think this will work in your company?”

If the answer to that question was yes, then:

“Great! Then let me show you how to get started…”

This way, the close could have happened long before the rep talked past the sale.

This idea of confirming your answer is crucial not just when you answer a question, but also when you answer an objection as well. For example, after you answer a price objection, or objection about availability or any other objection, the thing to do is confirm your answer. Use any of the following:

“Did I answer that for you?”

“Is that more clear now?”

“Does that make sense to you?”

“Do you see why we charge for that now?”

Etc.

And after you do, if you get a yes or get buy in, then you ask for the order! Use, “Great, then let me show you how easy it is for you to get started with this…”

If the prospect then has another question or objection, you answer that as well, confirm your answer and ask for the order, over and over again.

The point here is that if you confirm your answer, you then get to ask for the order. If you don’t, and you’re talking or pitching after you answer a question, then chances are, you’ll talking past the close. And why would you want to do that?

How to Overcome the “You Expect Me to Make a Decision Now?” and “I Need to Do More Research”

One of my readers sent me two objections he’s struggling with and they are: “We need to do some research first,” and “I don’t make a decision on the day,” or the variation: “Do you expect me to make a decision, like, now?” Two interesting objections and two that are easy to handle – if you are prepared for them in advance with good scripts.

Let’s start with the second objection of “Do you expect me to make a decision, like, now?” This is an objection that never should have come up because it should have been discovered and dealt with during the initial prospecting call. As I’ve written earlier, during the prospecting call you need to qualify your prospect on six different qualifiers, and one of those is time frame. Here again are a couple of qualifying questions on the cold call that would have prevented this objection from ever coming up:

“If you like our solution when we go over the presentation next week, what would be your timeframe for putting it to use for you?”

OR

“And if you like what you see next week, is this something you could make a decision on right away?”

Again, these kinds of qualifying questions are the ones you ask during the initial call so you don’t get this objection during the close.

Another way to avoid this objection is to re-qualify before the closing presentation. I always recommend you re-qualify at the beginning of your demo so you aren’t ambushed with objections like, “Do you expect me to make a decision, like, now?” Here are a couple of questions to ask before you begin your demo:

“And ________, let me ask you: if, after we finish the demo today, you like what you see and can see how it can help you (repeat their buying motive), is this something that you can make a decision on today?”

OR

“And __________, let’s talk about your time frame for putting this solution to work for you. If you like what you see today, how soon could you move on it?”

Again, by using any of these techniques, you can avoid the two objections above. “But what if I still get these objections at the end??” I can just hear you asking… The key here is to then isolate the objection so you can see what you’re really dealing with. And the best way to do that is to ask questions and listen. Try:

“What is your timeline then?”

And Layer:

“Based on what we’ve gone over today, how does this sound to you?”

OR

“I can certainly appreciate that, but while you’re thinking it over, consider this…” And keep pitching one or two points you know they really like. And then: “Does that make sense to you?” And if it does, then ask for the order again: “So why don’t we do this…”

Never take one no (or two or three or four for that matter) as the ultimate answer, but instead be ready to pitch the benefits and continue to ask for the order.

The other objection: “We need to do some research first,” can and should also be prevented by qualifying for timeline during the initial call, but if it still comes up, then treat it like any other stall and try to get to the real objection that is hiding behind it. And, as always, use a few proven scripts to make it easy, and ask questions that are designed to get your prospects to reveal what it’s going to take to close the sale. Try:

“I totally understand – just out of curiosity, what parts do you need to do research on?”

OR

“O.K., when you say research, does that involve comparing it to other companies?”

[If Yes]

“And what part of this are you comparing the most?”

OR

“I help my clients do research all the time – in fact, because of I have access to so many resources in this industry, I can usually get answers and solutions they can’t. Tell me, what specifically are you interested in learning more about?”

OR

“And, based on what you know about it now, if your research comes back positive, does this sound like a solution that would work for you?”

[If Yes]

“Great! And what is your timeline for acting on this?”

[If you get a date]

“Terrific! Then let me help you do the research so you can put this exciting (profitable, proven, etc.) solution to work for you today!”

OR

“________, I’ve only given you part of my presentation because I didn’t want to overwhelm you. But apparently I’ve left out some points that you need to know more about. Tell me, what specifically do you want more information on?”

OR

“From what you DO know about this so far, can you see this as being a fit for you?”

[If Yes]

“Great. Tell me what I can do to help you learn more about this so we can put it to work for you.”

As you can see, the more you get your prospect to talk, the more information you’ll have as to what the real hold up is, and what you can do to overcome it. Use the scripts above to help prevent some of these objections from ever coming up or to isolate the real objection and close in on the solution that will work for each particular prospect.

How to Handle, “My supplier is my friend/brother/long term relationship, etc.”

I often get asked the question of how to handle the objection: “My supplier is my friend/brother/long term relationship, etc.” While this is, at first glance, a seeming difficult objection to overcome – and sometimes, if it’s true, won’t be overcome right away – there are ways to position yourself to earn some of the business either right away, or to be the preferred vendor they reach out to if they need to consider making a change. The way to do this effectively is to be prepared with proven scripts. Let’s take it one at a time:

Objection: “My supplier is my friend.”

The way to first deal with this is to explore the relationship briefly and then to qualify for an opening. Use:

“I understand, I also do business with people I consider friends as well. Tell me, how long have you been doing business with him/her/them?”

Layer:

“And who were you doing business with prior to them?”

Layer:

“And when was the last time you did a comparison with another provider?”

[If never]

“Well then, it’s a good idea to at least get another opinion/quote of services just so you know that you’re not only getting the best deal and service, but also so you’ll know who to reach out to should you need additional help. Could I at least do a no cost/no obligation comparison quote for you?”

If your prospect says yes, then there’s an opportunity here and you’ve uncovered it.

If they say no, then simply use the “Next in Line Script” below:

“O.K., no problem. One last question: Could I be the next in line person you reach out to in case you ever need to get another quote or service comparison?”

[If yes – take all their information and then]:

“Just out of curiosity, what would have to happen for you to even consider reaching out to someone else?”

This technique, if used as above, is highly effective at getting your prospect to open up and reveal any possible opportunity.

Objection: “My supplier is my brother/relative.”

As above, your first job is to question and explore this objection. Use:

“Hey that’s great. As you know, doing business with relatives can have its upside and downside, how’s your experience been?”

[If great]

“That’s good to hear. Just out of curiosity, how long have you been doing business with them?”

Layer:

“And who did you use before that?”

Layer:

“And what did you like about doing business with a non-relative that you miss now?”

[Regardless of what they say, Layer]:

“Well then, it’s a good idea to at least get another opinion/quote of services just so you know that you’re not only getting the best deal and service, but also so you’ll know who to reach out to should you need additional help. Could I at least do a no cost/no obligation comparison quote for you?”

If your prospect says yes, then there’s an opportunity here and you’ve uncovered it.

If they say no, then simply use the “Next in Line Script” below:

“O.K., no problem. One last question: Could I be the next in line person you reach out to in case you ever need to get another quote or service comparison?”

[If yes – take all their information and then]:

“Just out of curiosity, what would have to happen for you to even consider reaching out to someone else?”

Objection: “I’ve been doing business with my current supplier for a long time…”

Rebuttal:

“How long has that been?”

Layer:

“And has it been that long since you’ve compared prices and services with another provider?”

OR

“You know, a lot has changed in that time; it sounds like this would be a good time to at least get another opinion/quote of services just so you know that you’re not only getting the best deal and service, but also so you’ll know who to reach out to should you need additional help. Could I at least do a no cost/no obligation comparison quote for you?”

If your prospect says yes, then there’s an opportunity here and you’ve uncovered it.

If they say no, then simply use the “Next in Line Script” below:

“O.K., no problem. One more question: Could I be the next in line person you reach out to in case you ever need to get another quote or service comparison?”

[If yes – take all their information and then]:

“Just out of curiosity, what would have to happen for you to even consider reaching out to someone else?”

As you can see, the way to deal with this objection is to get your prospect talking to see if there is an opportunity there. If you use these scripts, you’ll be surprised at what you might uncover.

How to Use Assumptive Statements

Want to make your presentations instantly better? Then invest some time and change your closed ended, weak closing statements and questions into powerfully persuasive assumptive statements that lead your buyer to make the decision you want them to make. Assumptive questions are just that – they assume an answer rather than ask it, and in doing so, they cut through any hesitation or resistance a prospect is likely to put up. In addition, a good assumptive question also heads off any smokescreen objection a prospect might try to hide behind.

If you look at your presentation carefully enough, you’ll find many opportunities to replace closed ended questions with assumptive ones. Here are some examples to get you started:

Change: “Do you have any questions for me?”

To: “What questions do you have for me?”

Change: “Would you like to get more business?”

To: “How much more business would you like to get?”

Change: “Do you think you would get more traffic (or leads) from using this?”

To: “How much more traffic (or leads) do you think you’d get using us?”

Change: “Do you think your other (departments/locations/etc.) could benefit from this?”

To: “How many other (departments/locations/etc.) would benefit from this?”

Change: “Do you have a budget for this?”

To: “What kind of budget do you have for this?”

Change: “Do you think your partner/manager/corporate would agree with this?”

To: “Why do you think your partner/manager/corporate would agree with this?”

Change: “Does this make sense to you?”

To: “Tell me, what part of this makes the most sense to you?”

Change: “Is this something you’d like to go ahead and try?”

To: “Let’s go ahead and get you started…”

Change: “What do you think your manager will say?”

To: “How do we get your manager to say yes to this?”

Change: “Are you the ultimate decision maker on this?”

To: “And besides yourself, who else would be making the final decision on this?”

Change: “Is your (current solution) providing all the leads you need?”

To: “What would you like to most improve with your (current solution)?

As you can see, nearly any open ended question can be turned into an assumptive one. And do you see how much more suggestive and powerful they are? Go through your qualifying script, your closing script and your rebuttal scripts and look for opportunities to transform your closed ended questions into powerful and effective assumptive ones. And then watch as you gain more control over selling situations and begin eliminating the objections and stalls that you may be creating right now…