Some recent social media discussions revealed there exists significant confusion about sales objections. This is best explained because in the past the marketing depattment handed off the fully qualified sales leads to lukewarm ones to the sales department.
Now with 97.7% of all businesses here in the US having under 20 employees and far more constrained budgets, marketing departments are no longer separate entities. Usually the small business owners to even those in sales management must integrate marketing activities with selling activities and thus begins the sales objections confusion path.
Before any salesperson can sell their solution (products or services), they must have a clearly articulated ideal customer along with having these four (4) to five (5) qualifying criteria met:
- Decision maker – the person who can actually sign the check or approve signing the check
- Allocated budget – just because the company has dollars does not mean those dollars will be directed your way
- Wants or needs for your solution
- Urgency to take action – sometimes salespeople can build a case for urgency
- Commitment to take action – salespeople can also build through proper research a greater emotional desire to make a decision in their favor
The ideal customer profile is the result of having invested the time to engage in strategic thinking and planning. Unfortunately for many small businesses they embrace the role of Captain Wing It where they spray their marketing and selling actions all over the place and then pray something will stick. I recently heard this during a public workshop where some SEO experts with significant national accounts recommended developing the marketing plan first and then determining the ideal customer. Bad advice, very bad advice.
For example, if your sales lead or prospect cannot make a buying decision this is not a sales objection, but rather one of poor qualification. This happens a lot for realtors and even car sales people. Potential customers walk in and because they have poor credit scores, limited work history, excessive debt, etc. they cannot buy anything less along something as expensive as a house or car.
A true sales objection only happens after the sales lead has been 100% qualified and you as the salesperson do not violate the 3 Sales Buying Rules. Now if the marketing has been executed flawlessly or almost flawlessly, the prospect will pull you, the salesperson, to him or her so you do not have to engage in “push selling” where you are pushing (think pitching) your solution.
Many sales are made without sales objections. Again, some in sales believe if you are not achieving sales objections you are not selling. This is a false belief and is in many cases because of ME or massive ego.
By ensuring through your marketing action plan your sales leads are qualified and better yet fully qualified will reduce the number of sales objections as well as your stress in making your marketing and sales goals.