Problem: Kelly’s company had developed a training program for their customers (and prospects) that was designed to position them as a leader in their industry, enable their customers to use their technology more effectively and reduce emergency calls to the tech support department. Kelly was having difficulty determining why one of his largest customers was not moving forward on enrolling his people in this important training program sponsored by his company. Granted, the training was not free, but at $995 per person it had the potential to save his client many thousands of dollars per year. He had already determined that the customer was concerned about the high number of incidents of faulty applications that the training program was developed to address, so there was significant pain. Basically, this seemed to be a “no brainer.” But, Kelly just couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t get the deal closed and it was clear that, unless he was able to get to the root of the problem, the idea would die a slow death.
Analysis: Often prospects don’t know the specific reasons why they don’t want to move forward. They know they’re uncomfortable with something, but they just can’t seem to put their finger on it. So they stall, saying things like “We just haven’t had time to make the decision yet” or “How about calling me back in a few days.” We’ve all been there and, as we know, time kills deals so we need to find a way to get the objection(s) to the surface so we can deal with them.
Solution: Put yourself in the prospect’s shoes. Try to come up with two or three of the objections that you think he is having. In Kelly’s case, the assumption was two things: the prospect didn’t have the conviction that the training would solve the problem or the money was just not available to train the people. So, Kelly said the following, “Fred, obviously you’re having some difficulty moving forward with the training program. I’m guessing it has to be because you’re either not convinced the training will be effective or that the budget just isn’t available for you to move forward. Which one is it?
By raising the objections himself, Kelly has put the prospect in a position where he must deal with them. He either has to agree that they are issues, or eliminate them himself. If the objections are valid, they can discuss them and move forward. Give the prospect some “objection” options, and let him eliminate them so you can keep the sales process moving forward.