How can you overcome your sales team’s objections?
It’s pretty straightforward when a customer objects, but what if the sales team themselves are objecting?
When it comes to internal team objections, most are the result of “not-knowing”. They’re not actually objections at all.
Several years ago, a client contacted me about helping to increase their sales.
They had been trying to break into a new market for some time.
Unfortunately, their sales team and sales manager all seemed to be stalled.
Overcoming Objections and “Not-Knowing”
Why couldn’t they move into the market?
The reasons varied depending on whom you spoke with, but generally, they fell into one of three categories:
1. No time to do the proper research and confirm opportunities available in the new market.
2. Distribution costs into the new market were too high.
3. Established competitors already dominated the markets.
After some initial discussions, we decided to do an exploratory trip and see for ourselves.
We took some product and spent a few days in the territory meeting with potential customers to validate the sales team’s objections.
Dealing With Internal Objections
Some of the objections that the sales team was saying about the new opportunities were true.
However, it hadn’t been validated and unfortunately were simply their own objections.
They were creating reasons for not investing time and energy to confirm the validity of the initial feedback they received.
No doubt most of it was true, but stopping with initial feedback without validating it is no different than ceasing to stay in touch with a customer after their initial “no thanks”.
They are only objections that require further investigation to uncover the truth.
We did the exploratory trip, driving well over 1500 miles in a three-day period, and here is what we found from meeting with nearly two dozen prospective customers:
- There were some unique products that my client offered that other competitors did not.
- His price points were very competitive.
- People were genuinely happy to see us.
- There were plenty of cost-effective distribution solutions that could keep costs low.
Engaging Your Sales Team
When the owner returned with the good news, the sales team was obviously a little embarrassed.
Not all of their predictions had been true.
Fortunately, this wasn’t the case.
The client didn’t come back angry about the objections, but rather excited about the opportunities.
As a result, employees remained both positive and interested in moving the opportunities forward.
Here’s what he learned that you can apply to your business:
- When it comes to sales, objections can exist externally (with your customers) and internally (with your employees). As an entrepreneur or owner, your role is to validate and uncover the truth, providing, in turn, facts and evidence to your employees, and doing so in a manner that is not insulting but helps the employees recognize how a deeper dive is often required.
- New markets exist and are waiting for your product. You can’t confirm this without actually visiting and spending some time in the market. Exploratory trips are worth their weight in gold.
- If someone is selling in a market today, then the infrastructure you would need already exists. Don’t get caught up in all of the reasons “it won’t work”, but instead recognize you simply need to do a little competitive research to confirm how you will best enter a market.
So if you are dealing with objections from your sales team, consider these questions.
- How many sales opportunities exist for your company today?
- Can you validate these without embarrassing your sales team?
- What can you do to involve your sales team in your findings?
Sales grow only as a result of the amount of time you invest in growing them.
Invest some time in finding evidence to overcome your sales team’s objections, and you’ll move forward faster than you ever expected.