This is the second article I’ve written regarding the answering of objections (see bit.ly/EKonObjections). Since there is only room to cover two or three objections in a single article, I will speak to a few more very common objections.
If not prepared to answer all objections, they can be a huge negative in the selling process. Conversely, they can be very positive, especially when the sales person is totally prepared to offer the answers.
Not all objections come as statements but rather questions. One that is very common is, “My building is five years old. If I enter into an agreement with you, how do I know that five or ten years from now, when I really need the service, you won’t cancel the agreement or raise your price so high that we have to cancel.” If you are well prepared, this is truly not a negative turn in the selling cycle but could be viewed as a “buying sign”. What I hear the prospect expressing is, “I am leaning toward buying this service but I need reassurance that you will not leave me high and dry”. As with all objections, there are several plausible answers. I use them all concluding with the answer that I feel is the most powerful.
ANSWER ONE: “As the term, maintenance agreement implies, we will be maintaining your equipment at the highest level of efficiency. This requires an on-going investment on our part. After investing in your system for several years, the last thing we want is to lose you as a customer.”
ANSWER TWO: “Our company has numerous customers that have been on board ten years or longer. Here are some letters that we have received from a few of them that are very pleased with the service.”
ANSWER THREE: “Mr. Prospect, you will notice that on our agreements there is a blank before the number of years the agreement is in place. You can write in how many years you want to be covered for and I will honor that number.” At this time you hand the prospect your pen.
Notice that the last answer offered is the most effective since it is demonstrative and calls for a physical action from the prospect.
Another common objection, which comes in question form, is “Instead of signing an agreement for preventive maintenance, would you do it on time and material?”
ANSWER ONE: A general rule in selling is, when a prospect/customer ask for something, never tell them “no”. “Yes, we can certainly do the work on time and material. That eliminates any risk for our company.”
ANSWER TWO: “Under our preventive maintenance agreement we write the program, assigning tasks that apply. With a time and material program that responsibility becomes the customer”
ANSWER THREE: “A time and material program allows for certain tasks falling through the cracks. With a preventive maintenance agreement where we pre-schedule all PM tasks that specifically apply to your equipment. It’s a custom tailored program to assure everything is done in a timely fashion.”
ANSWER FOUR: “If cost reduction is your concern, T&M almost always costs more than PM. Wouldn’t you prefer having the peace of mind knowing that everything is accomplished with no concern for you?”
Once again, the most effective answer is saved for last. There are proper answers for every objection that will ever be heard. The professional sales person must memorize these answers so they flow smoothly. You will notice, by doing so, the tension that used to come when objections start to fly, simply isn’t there.