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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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The Biz Question

"I've started a new business selling natural cosmetics. However, I'm not very good at handling objections to my product and it's costing me sales. Any help?"
Shawna

Answer from our Guest Expert Mark Bower of Aberdeen Mobile Home Repair

Dear Shawna,

Oh those aggravating objections... kind of like being served liver for dinner at your mother-in-law's and having to pretend you think it's delicious. When you hear an objection, you figure it means the sale is dead. But Shawna, don't write it off so fast -- what you're really hearing isn't a refusal, it's a request for more information. It's also a customer's way of saying, "I need to think things through."

OK, you now know what an objection really is. Here are some ideas on how you can calmly convert objections into sales.

Your product costs too much?

Haven't we all heard that objection before! But be happy that your prospect was up front with you about their objection. Otherwise, you would have just heard "I have to think it over" leaving you with no idea why your prospect would not buy your product today. We'll discuss how to handle the "I have to think it over" objection later. Whenever your prospect tells you "it costs too much", try this dialog.

Shelli: "Mary, I really like your lipstick, but isn't the price kinda high?"
Mary: "Today, most things seem high priced. Can you tell me about how much too high you think the price is?"
Shelli: "Well, my old brand sells for $3, yours is $4."
Mary: "Shelli, what we're really talking is $1, isn't that right?"
Shelli: "Yes, that's right."
Mary: "Shelli, do you think it would be safe to assume that you'd be happy with this product, am I right?"
Shelli: "Oh, yes, I know I'd be happy with it. I love this lipstick and that it's made of all natural products!"
Mary: "On average, how long does a tube of lipstick last you?"
Shelli: "Oh, on average about 3 weeks."
Mary: "OK, Shelli, so over a three week period, your added investment in this tube of lipstick will be 33 cents per week, correct?"
Shelli: "Yes, that's correct."
Mary: "And in that three weeks, you'll be using the lipstick for 15 days. correct? So over a 15 day period, your additional investment to use this all-natural product will be less than 7 cents a day."
Shelli: "Yea, that sounds right."
Mary: "Mary, do you ever buy mints?"
Shelli: "Yea, all the time."
Mary: "Do you realize that by using this all-natural lipstick, which is a feature you said you liked, will cost you less than 1 mint a day from a roll of Lifesavers? Now when you look at it that way, doesn't it seem like such an insignificant amount for a product you said you would like?"
Shelli: "Yea, when you put it that way, it doesn't seem like much."
Mary: "Would you like your order to be delivered to your house, or would you prefer I deliver it to your office?"

When handling an objection, never get offensive. Also, a good salesperson will learn how to control the entire presentation with questions. Notice how Mary skillfully asked for the order. She asked whether or not to deliver the order to the house or to the office. Either answer means a sale!

I'd rather stay with my old product?

Again, you need to keep leading with questions. You need to learn to understand why your prospect likes their old product. Ask them, "What is it about your old product that you like?" or "What is it about our product that you don't like?" Once you know those answers, then you'll know what benefits the customer is looking for -- benefits you may not have even thought of bringing up.

"If I told you that our product was made in the USA, would that be pleasing to you?" That answer would be a definite YES if one of the likes about her old product is that it's made in the USA. Then continue with the line of questioning. "You said that you liked the fact that our product was all-natural, is that correct?" "And you liked the fact that we offer so many more colors, did I hear that right?" Soon, she'll be writing you a check!

I want to think it over?

This is probably the biggest brush-off that customers give. It's also frustrating as it does not give you a clue as to why your prospect isn't writing you a check today -- until now! Again, lead the discussion with questions.

Mary: "Oh, that's fine. Sure, think it over. Now.... you wouldn't be thinking it over unless you were seriously interested, right?"
Shelli: "Oh, that's right. I'm definitely interested. You have a good product."
Mary: "And you're not just saying that to get rid of me, are you?"
Shelli: "Oh, don't be ridiculous!"
Mary: "Just to unfog my thinking, what is it that you wanted to think over? Is it the reputation of my company?"
Shelli: "Oh, no, you have a fine company."
Mary: "Is it the quality of my product?" "Is it the color?" "Is it the shape of the container?"

Keep asking "is it, is it" until you've covered practically all possible objections. In 90% of the cases, the final objection will be the money. "Is it the money?" you strongly ask. If so, then page back up and reread what to do if price is the major objection. Then go for the close!

Mark Bower

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