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How to Effectively Manage Objections in Sales Conversations

Almost every prospect you speak with has sales objections or reasons for not buying your product. If they didn’t have qualms about the price, value, applicability to their situation, or purchasing ability, they would have bought it already.

While dealing with objections is an inevitable aspect of the sales process, it may be a significant stumbling block for moving prospects through the pipeline. Accepting the complaints and sending a breakup email right away may be tempting. If you’re going to be successful, you’ll need to learn how to find and overcome these concerns.

What is a Sales Objection?

Any concern a prospect expresses about a barrier impeding their ability to buy from you is a sales objection — an unambiguous indication that you’ll need to handle more areas of the buying process than you thought.

According to Brett Trainor in an Expert Talk, customer objections are a sign that they don’t grasp your value or your ability to solve their problem. When customers raise objections to a purchase, it’s a sign that they’re interested in what you’re offering. They enquire, demand more information, and express their worries.

Instead of being afraid of sales objections, learn to see them as chances to move your sales process forward.

how to deal with sales objections

How to Deal with Sales Objections

While objections are one of the hardest and more unpleasant aspects of sales, they are not necessarily dead ends. Let’s look at how you can get around these potential stumbling blocks.

Taking care of objections 

Dealing with objections is an inevitable and frustrating part of the sales process. The process entails specific actions and skills that every salesperson should be familiar with. Situational awareness, gathering background knowledge, leading with empathy, and asking intelligent, open-ended questions are just a few.

assessing the situation

Being aware of the situation

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to managing objections that will address all of a prospect’s concerns. You’ll need a good sense of where you are in the sales cycle, the kind of the deal you’re chasing, and your prospect’s demands and interests, among other things.

Understanding the conditions that shape a prospect’s objections is critical to effectively addressing them. As a result, you must retain situational awareness as your talks with a prospect proceed.

Getting a lot of background information

This argument follows the previous one: comprehensive background information informs effective, actionable situational awareness. Investigate your prospect’s company and, to some extent, the prospect themselves.

What are the company’s current challenges? What problems do the prospect’s industry peers regularly have? If you’ve previously worked with similar-sized firms, try to recollect their concerns.

And, in the event of your contact, be aware of their responsibilities. What authority do they have to make decisions? Daily, what areas of the company’s operations do they deal with? What are the most common issues that someone in their job faces?

If you know all of this and more, you’ll be in an excellent position to answer objections gracefully.

sales leadership skills

Empathy in leadership 

Objections are a normal part of the sales process, and they often — if not always — reflect legitimate concerns. When your prospects push back a little, you must avoid being visibly upset and impatient with them.

Every great sales effort starts with empathy. You shouldn’t sell to a prospect solely to make money; you should sell to them because your product or service is the best fit for their problems. As a result, you must always keep their wants and interests in mind.

You may set yourself up to anticipate and effectively answer their objections if you stay on top of their problems and circumstances and approach them with compassion and understanding.

Posing open-ended, thoughtful questions 

Every other element on this list can be bolstered by the capacity to ask meaningful, open-ended questions. If you want to comprehend and effectively resolve the objections raised by your prospects, you need to go to the bottom of their problems.

Asking them meaningful, courteous questions and providing the opportunity to address them thoroughly is an excellent place to start. Avoid queries that can only be answered with a single word, “yes or no,” and don’t be afraid to use silence to your advantage.

There could be more underlying objections that the prospect hasn’t expressed or has merely hinted at. Before you can react successfully, you’ll need to ask open-ended questions to assist you in uncovering all of the objections.

Allow your customers to express themselves. Determine their issues – and put yourself in a position to anticipate their objections.

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sales strategy

How To Increase Your Customer Renewals

New business is always great. In most situations, the more customers, the better. That’s why almost all revenue teams devote most of their time and resources to acquiring new customers. Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent annually on advertising and marketing each year—in fact, the United States saw over $240 billion in ad spend in 2019 alone.

But while a new customer is always a worthwhile pursuit, you shouldn’t forget that customer renewals are just as important. It’s imperative that companies allocate time, effort, and resources to put together a comprehensive customer retention or customer success strategy. Here’s what you stand to gain from a high customer retention rate.

The Benefits of Customer Renewals

1. Retention is cheaper than acquisition.

It’s more cost-effective to keep an existing client than to bring in a new one. According to this Harvard Business Review article, acquiring a new customer is five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. While retaining customers may not always be easy, it definitely pays off.

2. Existing customers are more likely to purchase from you again.

If a customer is satisfied by the value of your product or service, they’re more likely to purchase again. So it makes sense that retained customers have been proven to buy more often and spend more than new ones, and it’s estimated that almost 65% of a company’s business comes from repeat customers.

3. You’ll have a higher chance of getting customer referrals.

Happy customers are the best form of advertising. Despite the massive strides undertaken by the marketing and advertising industries in recent years, word of mouth still reigns supreme, delivering higher conversion rates while expending minimal resources.

4. You’ll have a ready market for new products and services.

When you’ve proven your value to a customer, they’ll be six times more likely to try a new product or service from your brand when it becomes available. This also gives your company wiggle room to develop new products, different messaging efforts, and other branding initiatives.

5. Loyal, engaged customers are more willing to provide feedback.

Satisfied customers will be more willing to share their thoughts about your products and services and thus, will be more likely to tell you how you can improve. And if they have a bad experience with your company, they’d be more willing to let the issue slide—as long as it doesn’t happen again.

These are just some ways a great customer retention program can benefit your company. So how can you increase your customers’ likelihood of renewing their contracts with you?

How To Increase Your Customer Renewals

Here’s something all sales professionals should know: The more contacts you have within an account, the more chances you’ll have of entering sales conversations—which can lead to customer renewals.

“Let’s assume that you’ve met an extra five, six, seven people [within an account], gone out, and introduced yourself proactively to them. You’ve told them about what you’re doing in that account, you’ve told them that you’re working with their peers and colleagues, and you’re starting to actively strike up more sales conversations,” says Sales for Life CEO Jamie Shanks.

“You can call this cross-selling, upselling—it really doesn’t matter. But having more contacts or stakeholders in an account will absolutely increase the likelihood of renewal and expansion of business in any account that you’re dealing with.”

To expand your network and enter new sales conversations, you need to go where your customers are.

“You’ve got to be on platforms like LinkedIn,” says Shanks. “You’ve got to deliberately, and with intentionality, go out there, find people in all the key accounts, start connecting with them, and start striking up conversations with them.”

Do this every single day, and set targets for the number of people you’ll reach out to per session. This way, you can increase your network size gradually and strike up more conversations with people in your target accounts. Your customer renewal rate will thank you for it.

Key Customer Renewal Metrics

To see if your customer renewal efforts are working, you need to know how to measure customer retention. This allows you to make more informed decisions concerning your sales strategy. Here are the most important customer retention metrics that all sellers should know:

Calculating The Customer Retention Rate

  1. Count your total number of customers at the end of a specific time period.
  2. Subtract the number of new customers you’ve acquired during the same time period.
  3. Divide the difference by the number of customers you had at the start of the time period.

Customer Retention Rate vs. Churn Rate

Some sellers confuse retention rate and churn rate. These two metrics, though related, are vastly different.

The retention rate refers to the percentage of customers that have returned to your company to avail of your product or service within a certain time period. The churn rate, meanwhile, refers to the percentage of customers that you’ve lost over a period of time. 

A high retention rate corresponds to a low churn rate, and vice versa. Customer churn is normal—but if it’s higher than five to seven percent, you should take a step back and evaluate your sales strategy.

Calculating The Repeat Purchase Ratio

The repeat purchase ratio refers to the percentage of customers that have returned to buy from your company again. It’s especially helpful for assessing the performance and impact of your company’s customer retention strategy.

  1. Get the number of returning customers.
  2. Divide it by the number of your total customers.

Calculating The Customer Lifetime Value

The customer lifetime value refers to the revenue generated by a single customer. Your customer lifetime value should ideally rise or, at least, stay constant—a shrinking number could indicate that you’re losing customers at a faster rate than before, and that’s not a good thing.

  1. Divide your gross annual sales by the total number of unique customers in a year. This is your average revenue per customer.
  2. See how many years each one of your customers has stayed with your company, and get the average. This is your average customer lifespan.
  3. Multiply the average revenue per customer by the average customer lifespan.

There are more metrics that you should track to get a clearer picture of your customer retention efforts, but you can start with these. The data you can collect from these metrics allow you to improve your customer experience and increase your renewals.

Conclusion

If your company doesn’t have a customer retention strategy in place, you’re missing out on several benefits. Not only is it one of the best investments that your company can make, but it’s also one of the most effective marketing strategies for your business.

There are many things that you can do to increase your customer renewals, but the easiest way to go about it is by increasing your connections within an account. This paves the way for more conversations, converts more champions for your brand, and, in time, increases your opportunities to upsell and cross-sell your products and services.

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sales strategy

3 Ways To Establish Authority In Your Market

When people think of sales strategies, outbound prospecting methods usually come to mind. Cold calling, cold emailing, LinkedIn networking, direct mail—all these tactics have been proven to generate positive results.

But these aren’t enough to turn you into a leader in your field.

The world’s best sellers have established a great inbound prospecting strategy. They don’t just seek out potential customers—they’ve also found a way for people to seek them out.

They’ve become lead magnets, attracting clients even in their sleep.

Their secret? Brand authority.

Why is it important to build authority in your industry?

The thing about outbound strategies is that they only work while you’re actively doing it. If you don’t send emails or make cold calls or reach out to your social networks, nothing will happen.

However, being known as an expert in your field will change the game.

Always remember that, in order to succeed in sales, it’s not enough to know that you’re selling a great product. Think of it this way: You might be great at what you do, but it doesn’t matter if no one knows it.

It’s not enough to do the things that authorities do. You also need to do them incredibly well, and you also need your efforts to be known.

Basically, you’re competing in a market not only to sell, but also to be known as an authority. 

Establishing authority strengthens your personal brand, increasing the level of trust that both your clients and potential customer base have in you and your business. It drives conversations and accelerates customer conversion. 

Here are three ways you can establish your authority as a seller.

How To Build Authority In Your Market

1. Go to where the people are

As a seller, you should know where the people in your market are. Where are your ideal clients now, and how is the competition in the space they occupy? And where will they be in the future?

In the context of digital selling, the playing field across all channels is exponentially more crowded now than ever before. Just a little over a decade ago, you can easily get a web page on the front page of Google by stuffing it with keywords. You can’t do that now, and even if you could, the competition is extremely fierce.

But it’s never too late to adopt and adapt.

Take a look at the platforms where your clients do marketplace research and seek recommendations and answers. Are they spending most of their time on LinkedIn? Are they on Twitter or Facebook? Are they watching videos on YouTube, or listening to podcasts? 

By spending time on the platforms your clients inhabit, you’ll be able to identify knowledge gaps in your industry. Capitalize on these, and use these angles in your content to set yourself apart from your competitors.

2. Get associated with the other authorities in the industry

Who are the foremost thought leaders in your field? Look for them and take note of what they’re doing. How did they gain their reputation? What are they doing that others aren’t doing? And most importantly, what are they doing to establish their credibility?

What’s interesting is that you don’t necessarily have to be the best in your field for other people to consider you as the best in your field. Perception is reality. Take a look at the most notable names in your industry—you might be surprised by the number of people who are seen as an authority in your field despite not having all the professional credentials. 

The bottom line is, you don’t have to be the world’s foremost authority in your industry to validate your claim as an expert in your field. The key is to be known by the right people. Position yourself correctly and take your cues from the established authorities in your field.

3. Make a habit out of content creation

If you want to be seen as a leader in your field, positioning yourself as a source of original knowledge is probably the most effective way to do so.

There are so many ways to make your voice heard. You can create a blog, guest on a podcast (or start your own), churn out content on social media, shoot videos, publish ebooks, start a newsletter. Keep in mind what we’ve mentioned in the previous item: the medium should depend on where your target audience is hanging out and consuming information.

What’s important is consistency. Make a habit out of publishing content. Create a publishing schedule and churn out content on a regular basis.

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Blog sales pipeline Sales Process sales professional sales strategy

You’re Over Two Months into the Year…So Now What? Where is Your Sales Pipeline At?

We’re just beginning March. By now, your sales kickoff has been completed, and you have your comp plans in hand. All your sellers are now out in the market.

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Blog digital sales modern selling sales strategy

[Webinar]  ‘Accelerate Your Sales Process with a Modern Selling Approach’

A webinar titled, ‘Accelerate Your Sales Process with a Modern Selling Approach’ was held last week on Thursday, February 21, 2019, 11:00 AM PT – 12:00 PM PT.  It was a one-hour webinar in which Jamie Shanks, Author of SPEAR Selling and one of North America’s leading Digital Selling experts, and Ray Makela, CEO at the Sales Readiness Group, delivered a virtual talk regarding the techniques and benefits of implementing a modern selling program.

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Blog digital sales Digital Selling growth strategies market opportunities sales consulting sales organization sales performance sales pipeline sales professional sales strategy Social Selling

Social Selling / Digital Sales Investment: Opportunity vs. Opportunity Cost?

What is the return-on-investment (ROI) differential between two growth strategies?

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Blog Sales sales for life Sales Leadership sales organizations sales professionals sales skills sales strategy sales training social media selling Social Selling Training

The Emergence of Investments in RVP/AVP Coaching Training

Leadership

I’m blessed to have developed a strong relationship with my fellow CEOs at sales training, consulting and advisory firms around the world.  We chat at conferences, via email, and exchange notes quite often.  There is one topic that we all unanimously see as high growth, and customers scrambling to level up – training/coaching for the Regional VP’s or Area VP’s of Sales.

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Blog digital sales Sales Sales and Marketing sales for life Sales Leadership sales strategy sales training salespeople

Eliminate “Random Acts of Prospecting” with an Activation Cycle – SLA

When you walk the sales floor, or conduct your 1-on-1’s with your sales team this week, pay attention to the “random acts of prospecting”.  Seller A is so different than Seller B, and Seller C has no plan, and Seller D is so objective with their process”. You’re not alone! These are very common things I see inside sales organizations around the world. Sales professionals are given so much latitude, that there is absolutely no real prospecting process. Yes, there are current or lagging indicators such as:

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Blog Sales Sales and Marketing sales cycles Sales Enablement sales for life Sales Leadership Sales Play sales strategy salespeople Social Selling Tools

Long Sales Cycles Require “Learning Paths” to Align the Buying Committee

Does your sales team have 6-18 months sales cycles? Is the buying committee involves 5-10 people on every customer transaction? Does it feel like your sales team needs to draw from everything they’ve learnt in The Challenger Sale, Customer Centric Selling, and Value Selling… insert sales methodology here?

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Blog Digital Selling key accounts Sales and Marketing sales for life Sales Process sales strategy sales training

Are You Focused on specific key accounts? Learn to focus on 1-2 digital sales plays.

Do you have only 10 accounts? Does your entire sales division focus on only 100 global accounts? Digital sales is not a “prospecting” motion in your mind, as you’re looking for an account management motion. While these accounts may or may not be existing customers, the 500,000,000 user database in LinkedIn is of little consequence to you.