20/01/2015 - 13:39

A word on breaking down barriers

20/01/2015 - 13:39


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Barriers and doubts from your customers do not signal defeat, they are an opportunity and a challenge waiting to be overcome.

A word on breaking down barriers
SETBACK: Salespeople need thick skins, and an ability to find solutions on the go. Photo:iStockphoto

Barriers and doubts from your customers do not signal defeat, they are an opportunity and a challenge waiting to be overcome.

How do you respond to your customers’ words and barriers? The answer is carefully, truthfully, and with authority.

Whether it’s a bold statement in response to a challenge, a it’s promise you make in order to gain buyer confidence, or it’s a guarantee that provides the prospect with peace of mind; whether it’s an irrefutable fact to prove your point or it’s your ability to communicate passionately to the prospective buyer, the right words can create a buying atmosphere and complete a sale in a very few minutes.

The challenge to you, the salesperson, is to be prepared to respond to a challenge, not perplexed by what the customer is demanding and offer some weak excuse – or worse, give up.

I know you’re hoping for some examples, but as I mentally go through my 10 biggest and most creative sales in, I don’t believe any of them serve as good enough generic examples. So rather than be specific, and have non-applicable examples, I can tell you that if someone asks me a question that doubts my ability to deliver, or questions my price, or puts up some barrier, I make an irrefutable, comforting guarantee, statement, or video that answers their concern, and moves me closer to mutual agreement.

Or better, I offer a video testimonial of someone else loving my offer and buying. This provides both proof and peace of mind. Having the videos requires work, and many salespeople will try to get by without them. You’ll be able to recognise them at once – they’re the ones who never make sales, and blame others for their failings.

If someone makes a statement that indicates interest, I immediately ask for a commitment. Or at least uncover if that is one of their motives for buying.

When someone throws a barrier at me, I take it as both a test and a challenge. Often I have found that an objection or a barrier actually indicates customer interest and so I begin my response with a question that helps me understand what their true feelings are.

I might say something like: “Wait a second! Are you saying that (XYZ) is the only thing between you and an order?” And then I proceed from there. But I have taken the barrier or objection and immediately qualified it as the only one.

It amazes me how many salespeople take an objection or a barrier as a defeat. Maybe it’s my attitude or self-confidence level, but I have always looked at an objection as a road-bump on the path to a sale.

And if the buyer says that he or she has to consult with others, I immediately ask: “If it was only you, what would your decision be?”

You have to think bottom line. What can you ask or what can you say that will get your prospective buyer to the point of commitment, or at least to an indication of purchasing interest? And all it takes to make that happen is proper preparation.

Sales is a competitive business, you don’t have a choice but to walk in razor-sharp and razor-prepared and razor-ready. Dull razors get thrown away. Cheap razors hurt and cause cuts. Everyone knows that.

Here’s what to do:

1. List every possible barrier and objection.

2. Prepare responses for each one that have value or create ‘wow’.

3. Look for customers who have purchased in spite of the barrier and get them to shoot a short video explaining why they bought and what happened after purchase (that’s where the value is).

3.5 Stay at it until you have at least 25 examples and 25 videos.

Sound like a lot of work? It is. For years I have maintained that most salespeople will not do the hard work it takes to make selling easy. Preparation is hard, but if it’s done right, selling is easy.

How prepared are you?

How easy are your sales?


Jeffrey Gitomer is an American author, professional speaker and business trainer, who writes and lectures internationally on sales, customer loyalty and personal development.

© 2015 All rights reserved. Don’t reproduce this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 


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