What happens when a prospect rejects your proposal for reasons that make absolutely no sense? Maybe you've heard some of the reasons why they won't buy your station:
- I hated the guy (company) that owned your station four years ago.
- My competitor used to be on your station.
- Your sister station didn't work, so neither will yours.
- I don't buy stations that just changed format.
These are excuses and smoke screens. In most cases, they are not the real objections. You must discover the real problem that's preventing the prospect from buying your station.
Generally, there are four reasons customers say no:
- They don't like you.
- They don't like your product.
- They don't have the money.
- They aren't the decision-maker.
Because 80 percent of the sale is based on whether the prospect trusts and likes you, let's assume for purposes of this article that they like you. Sometimes, all you have to do is look at the body language to know whether the prospect is giving you smoke or telling you the real problem.
Facial Expressions and Tone of Voice Change
If the posture changes 180 degrees from the time you enter to the time you end your presentation, then this prospect is probably uncomfortable. You might notice the person?s rubbing the forehead or squinting the eyes.
Avoidance of Direct Eye Contact
This is the surest sign that your prospect is not leveling with you. Looking anywhere but at you is the first sign that there could be a hidden agenda.
The Prospect Starts Doing Other Things
If the prospect starts shuffling things on his desk, taking phone calls, and getting up and moving around, he's somewhere else. He's not with you.
All of these clues should hint that it's time to start hunting for the real objection.Here are a few questions that might help you get there:
- "Off the record, tell me what I'm doing wrong."
- "On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most positive, where are we with my proposal and ideas?"
- "Who, besides you, has the authority to make investment decisions for your company?"
- "What mountains do we have to move for you to get this campaign going?"
It might take a few more meetings to gain their trust and get them to answer these questions honestly. In all cases, find out more about the person with whom you are dealing. This can help to level the playing field with trust building.
We know that 80 percent of the reason prospects buy from us is because they like and trust us. So, why do we spend 80 percent of the time selling our station's features and benefits and only 20 percent of the time delving into the profile of the person with whom we are dealing? The time focus should be flip-flopped.
We should spend 80 percent of our time learning more about the prospect personally. This can build a more open and trustworthy relationship. Then you can get to the real objections.
You can always use a little humor and tell the prospect he is stupid. You won't make the sale, but you'll probably know why.