By Mark S.A. Smith
An important aspect of sales acumen focuses on overcoming customer objections. When a customer says “no,” how do you continue the conversation? When you and your sales team can turn a higher percentage of the “no’s” to “yes’s” you can instantly increase sales and profits, plus you can satisfy the reason for the customer to come into your store.
To routinely overcome objections, you need to understand four things:
1) The customer came in to the store to accomplish a specific outcome. If they leave without accomplishing that outcome, they may never come back. Your job is to make sure they leave satisfied, including overcoming any objections that might arise that prevents them from doing so.
2) Until a salesperson speaks, there are no objections, only unmet customer desires. Objections arise when a salesperson makes a claim the customer finds undesirable. Understand and sell to your customer’s wanted outcome and few, if any, objections appear.
3) Most negative responses from customers aren’t really objections. Legendary sales trainer Zig Ziglar sagely pointed out, “Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” Your sales job becomes helping them clarify their need and desire, helping them understand urgency (rarely a problem when selling cannabis), match their budget, and, along the way, create trust.
4) The four steps to overcoming objections: a) Create agreement – it’s easier to move from agreement to agreement than from disagreement to agreement. b) Ask them to consider another option, being open to thinking about a different way to achieve their desired outcome. c) Give them a surprising or delightful insight about the new option that resets their expectations. d) Invite them to try the new option at little or no risk.
With these ideas in mind, consider some responses to common objections, such as: “I can get it cheaper somewhere else.”
This statement is routinely used – whether it’s true or not – to get merchants to lower their price or sweeten the deal. You must brush this off at least once or twice to hold your price. Try these responses:
–“When you say cheaper, how much cheaper?”
–“If prices were all the same, who would you choose?”
–“That’s always a possibility, yet, I’ve found that often there’s a reason why it’s cheaper, and it’s not always a good one. With cannabis, you want the best possible quality, the freshest product, and the highest purity. Don’t you? And that doesn’t come cheap. What price-point do you have in mind?”
Another common objection is “You don’t have my favorite brand.”
Never knock their favorite. Instead, understand what makes it a favorite and then offer them an upgraded option. I recommend using the phrase “upgraded” instead of “better” as it creates less resistance and doesn’t feel judgmental about their preference.
“Oh? What’s your favorite brand? Why do you like it? What do you wish it would do? Would you consider trying something very similar and a little upgraded from that?”
There’s also the easily transcended: “I don’t want to spend that much.”
“Oh, I understand. There are a few options. If you’re celebrating and want something of this quality to treat yourself, then we can go with a smaller quantity. You’ll find it goes along way. Under what circumstances would you be willing to spend
Make a list of the most common objections you hear. You’ll probably find that there aren’t that many, you just hear them all the time. Then create responses using these ideas, testing and fine tuning them until you maximize your success helping change your customers’ minds. And if you want some help, contact me.
Mark S. A. Smith helps business executives create disruptive and comprehensive business strategies and marketing plans. He publishes weekly business articles on LinkedIn (http://MarksOnLinkedIn.com) and just launched SellingDisruptionShow.com, a weekly podcast. Contact him at Mark.Smith@BijaCo.com