…and how online marketing can help you overcome sales objections
Having spent most of my early career in sales a valuable lesson learned early on is that you should not try to avoid “objections” to your proposal, you should welcome them. If someone is simply nodding in agreement to everything you say, odds are they are nothing more than a tyre-kicker and you are unlikely to make the sale.
A reasonable objection, by contrast, is good news. It shows interest. (Or possibly, if you are unlucky, that you are dealing with a bloody-minded tyre-kicker.) The effective sales person will recognise an objection as an opportunity to refine a proposal (or draw attention to a key feature of your proposal) to address the specific needs and concerns of that client. The sharper sales guy also sees them as a key way to close a deal.
“Feel, felt, found”
By way of example, the “feel, felt, found” technique. It’s so cringeworthy I rarely had the nerve to use it, but it was amazing how well it worked. For example:
Objection: “I’m not interested in your product, it’s too expensive.” (Wow, that’s a killer objection, no way back from that… unless…)
Response: “I know exactly how you feel.” (Acknowledge the objection, never argue with it)
“Many of our other customers felt the same way…” (Underline the fact that the prospect’s objection is not unreasonable, but now subtly imply that it’s resolvable)
“But once they’d taken this factor and another factor into account, they found that the small premium they had to pay upfront was soon out weighed by this benefit and that benefit. So, do you have any other objections, or shall we discuss delivery dates?”
Use your website to pre-empt and overcome key objections
Now that I co-run a marketing company, I find I am able to channel these sales experiences in a different way. The world has changed in the last 10 or 15 years, as has buyer behaviour, which means that pro-active online marketing techniques can now make a sales person’s life a lot easier, starting with a great website.
An effective company website is now more important than ever, and it needs to be more than the traditional “online brochure”. It needs to be every bit as effective as your best salesperson. It needs to impress, set the right tone, educate, establish trust, inform and pre-empt and overcome key objections.
Because depending on which survey you read 89% of consumers use search engines for purchase decisions, 90% of customers say buying decisions are influenced by online reviews and 81% research online before making big purchases.
How? Add content to your website that addresses specific objections
Every time Google launches a new or updated algorithm it places ever more emphasis on engaging, well written website content. If you want your SEO strategy to be successful, you should have a clear content-marketing strategy in place, and what better topics to write about than addressing the most frequent, original or baseless objections that your team hears on a weekly basis?
This type of content helps to pre-empt and overcome concerns in the mind of the enquiring visitor, as well as providing reassurance. It will be a valuable resource should you need it when talking to a client face-to-face.
Perhaps more importantly, it will be of great interest to other people in your industry, who might pick up on it in your social media feeds, engage, link to, retweet and share, thereby boosting the authority of your website domain the best way possible – organically.