Home > Social Influence > Rebuttals: Do They Help Or Hurt Your Sales?

Rebuttals: Do They Help Or Hurt Your Sales?

(picking up from another thread on a sensitive area that may be of widespead interest). To simply state from my experience, I've found rebuttals to hinder my sales and, indirectly, led to a system I've used to fantastic success. - by Wonderboy
(picking up from another thread on a sensitive area that may be of widespead interest). To simply state from my experience, I've found rebuttals to hinder my sales and, indirectly, led to a system I've used to fantastic success.
Please give an example of a rebuttal. - by Jolly Roger
Please give an example of a rebuttal.
Check my definition of a rebuttal from the prior thread in response to BossMan. - by Wonderboy
Check my definition of a rebuttal from the prior thread in response to BossMan.
I found the thread.;wi http://www.salespractice.com/forums/t-5720.html - by Jolly Roger
I dunno I am skeptical of anyone who is in selling and doesn't use rebuttals.

Most prospects are going to have questions and concerns that need to be addressed before they buy.

For instance, I sell a vacation package over the phone on a one call close. It is an inbound call atmosphere. Prospects were mailed a Direct Mail Certificate , which gives all the terms and conditions of the offer other than the price. We even let the prospect know it is one call per household, and advise them to call with their traveling companion.


The main objections I receive fall into 2 categories:

Credibility or Affordability.

To be considered very good at vacation Sales, a person should close about 20% of the people they talk to.

For instance, people will say let me call you back. Which is just a stall tactic or way for them to say no. Some will say they really did need to think about it. So I did an experiment, after using all the rebuttals I could think of I would set up a call back with the prospect for 72 hours later. Guss What? Out of 120 call backs, it resulted in only 2 sales. So obviously buyers are liars.

At the end of the call, people have all the facts and information regarding the product that they are ever going to have. If they don't make a positive decision then, it is not going to have happen ever.

In my job, if we didn't use rebutalls everyone would go home broke. - by MattyB
I dunno I am skeptical of anyone who is in selling and doesn't use rebuttals.

Most prospects are going to have questions and concerns that need to be addressed before they buy.
I'm skeptical, too, MattyB!

Salespeople who don't have the assertiveness quality (a quality of highly successful salespeople) that allows them to address sensitive issues and discuss them openly with their prospects suffer from "fear of handling objections." I am not in favor of aggressiveness in selling, but assertiveness is essential.

Smart salespeople want to hear objections so they can be dealt with. Fearful salespeople hope objections never rear their head, but when they do, they rationalize that they need to move on to a different prospect because the first prospect "didn't have what they were offering" instead of dealing with the prospect's objection head-on.

But addressing issues and discussing them openly is exactly what prospects need. Not every customer will buy, but many will, because they've reached a point of being comfortable with the purchase and therefore proceed with it. - by Skip Anderson
(picking up from another thread on a sensitive area that may be of widespead interest). To simply state from my experience, I've found rebuttals to hinder my sales and, indirectly, led to a system I've used to fantastic success.
What field of sales is your experience in Wonderboy? - by Houston
I'm skeptical, too, MattyB!

Smart salespeople want to hear objections so they can be dealt with. Fearful salespeople hope objections never rear their head, but when they do, they rationalize that they need to move on to a different prospect because the first prospect "didn't have what they were offering" instead of dealing with the prospect's objection head-on.

But addressing issues and discussing them openly is exactly what prospects need. Not every customer will buy, but many will, because they've reached a point of being comfortable with the purchase and therefore proceed with it.
Couldn't agree with this more.

With a rebuttal you'll discover a customers fears and what they really need. At that point, you're able to address the issue and hopefully create a happy customer: which is a buying customer. - by MrCharisma
What field of sales is your experience in Wonderboy?
Carpet cleaning phone rep, newspaper telemarketing (on subscriptions), customer service rep on cable services are my main ones Houston. - by Wonderboy
Why not beat the prospect to the punch? Look, it's extremely rare that a prospect doesn't have some sort of skepticism about your product. So what I used to do when I was out in the field was talk about my products flaws (every product has them), incorporate them into my sales presentation and overcome them.

It worked like a charm too, because the prospect isn't expecting you to say anything negative about your own product. Heck, nobody does that. And when you use this technique, you gain a whole new measure of credibility with the prospect - at least I did.

Dale King - by Dale King
"Salespeople who don't have the assertiveness quality (a quality of highly successful salespeople) that allows them to address sensitive issues and discuss them openly with their prospects suffer from "fear of handling objections." I am not in favor of aggressiveness in selling, but assertiveness is essential" -- Skip

Those are assumptions and one method of what's commonly called "selling." Of course one set of assumptions and one method doesn't represent an absolute of any kind.

Xingyi and aikido are very much unlike one another in martial arts yet either can be used for similiar results.

MitchM - by MitchM
I think some rebuttals are necessary and help, while I do agree that most hurt sales if they are not gone about in a proper way - by JulieR
I think some rebuttals are necessary and help, while I do agree that most hurt sales if they are not gone about in a proper way
Julie, what do you think is the proper way? Please share your thoughts. - by Skip Anderson
Hello.
I recently joined the site and thought I’d dive in head first.

I started a thread with a similar topic because I didn't see this one first. Please, be patient with me.

After many years of being effective at handling objections from qualified prospects… and making sales… and becoming less fond of the process along the way… I discovered that the main cause of every one of those objections was… none other than yours truly.

It was really simple, or it seems so now. Since I was the driving force that created the objections, and therefore an adept rebutter by necessity, I finally understood I might have the power to make the objections go away.

First… there was a question that needed to be answered. To what, exactly, was the prospect objecting?

I had to face it. He/she was objecting to something I said. She/he was objecting to something I showed them. I lit the fuse every time. Rebuttles were my attempt at damage control.

We need to address concerns, but concerns are different than objections, or stalls. The traditional buyer has been trained to expect a certain kind of approach from a salesperson, and they’re usually ready to object so they prove us wrong and put us on the defensive. You know it’s true, because that’s the way most of us sales professionals act when we’re the buyer.

I don’t give information, or show clients anything anymore.
Life is much simpler since I stopped giving information and started getting it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m nice, and I’m assertive. I’ve just learned the value of being an effective diagnostician. (an interviewer if you will).

Once I shifted to an authentic approach of asking questions... and away from an authentic approach to answering them… objections literally disappeared. The need to overcome and rebut anything vanished at the same time.

Here’s a saying I’m most fond of… When you say it, it’s selling. When they say it, it’s true.

I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts.

Ike - by ikrieger
We need to address concerns, but concerns are different than objections, or stalls.
For those reading this thread Ike how do you define concerns, objections and stalls? - by AZBroker
Don’t get me wrong. I’m nice, and I’m assertive. I’ve just learned the value of being an effective diagnostician. (an interviewer if you will).
Right on, Ike!

Once I shifted to an authentic approach of asking questions... and away from an authentic approach to answering them… objections literally disappeared. The need to overcome and rebut anything vanished at the same time.
Fantastic, Ike!

Here’s a saying I’m most fond of… When you say it, it’s selling. When they say it, it’s true.
Awesome, Ike! I

I'm right there with you on all these points. Thanks for sharing them. - by Skip Anderson
A concern might sound like: What happens if I spend money to train a new salesperson and he/she leaves?

I see an objection more in line with: "What you've described is not what I'm looking for. That approach won't work in this company."

A stall is, "I need to think it over", or "Why don't you write me a proposal and I'll take a look at it."

Ike - by ikrieger
One of the most difficult and challenging things in sales is to relax and not force anything.

MitchM - by MitchM
Relax Mr. Sales Manager. And can you please ask to CEO and CFO to relax also. They can just ask the stockholders to relax also.

thmbdn2;

It is not a matter of forcing anything. It is a matter of asking the correct questions to get the customer to tell you what there need payoff is. Thus eliminating the objections and stalls and bringing the sale to a win/win conclusion. Having a road map to get you to the end is a lot more effective.

Objections and stalls are more common when a sales person pukes their presentation on a prospect without having an understanding of their current situation, existing problems and what the customer feels would resolve their problems.

When I was doing field training I always told my reps that they should ask at least five questions before they took anything out of the bag. This was in a simple sale situation.

In a more complicated sale then it can be much more exhaustive of a process.

Good Selling!

Sell4alivn - by Sell4alivn
Sell4alivn,

Beautiful. Well said.

Ike - by ikrieger
Noticed a spelling error in my previous post. How do I edit. The edit button isn't showing up. - by Sell4alivn
It is not a matter of forcing anything. It is a matter of asking the correct questions to get the customer to tell you what there need payoff is.
Yes, Sell4alivn, yes!

Objections and stalls are more common when a sales person pukes their presentation on a prospect without having an understanding of their current situation, existing problems and what the customer feels would resolve their problems.
Correct, again! I couldn't agree with you more, Sell4alivn. - by Skip Anderson
You guys are awesome, this is an excellent topic.

I found that it's hard to have a sale without an objection, an objection is a buying signal. If the customer doesn't object to something that they see or hear, then they aren't seriously contemplating the purchase in the first place.

How you handle the objection is important though, I never pause after I hear the objection, and always restate the objection in my own words and follow up with a soft close.

~James - by Mr. Cesario
Hello to you James...

You are absolutely correct.

Objections are a buying signal in the traditional sales model. When the prospect objects... that's when the sale begins. Very stressful.

I look at objections in a different way. Objections are just one tactic that buyers use to discredit your "sales testimony."

In a more modern, more authentic way to sell... you have the opportunity to conduct a sales interview. You get to use this interview to disqualify your prospect as a candidate for your services, rather than the other way around.

I think it's imperative to spend your precious sales time with ready, willing, and able buyers. Be more selective… cherry pick. (Most salespeople slip into quicksand when they try to turn a real no into a yes. Disqualify, disqualify, disqualify.)

When a qualified prospect believes you can solve their problem... she/he will willingly assume the responsibility of convincing you why they want and need your offering...

You really don't get objections.

If you use an interview approach and still do get objections, it's probably because you're telling rather than selling. It's probably because you’re talking when you should be listening.

James, it really does work this way. This approach has helped me eliminate objections... and most of my sales stress.

______________________________
BTW... Here's a quote in response to yours.

"You’ve got enough problems with your non-problem clients. To take on a client that you know is going to be a problem is insanity."
-Ike Krieger
- by ikrieger
Hello to you James...

You are absolutely correct.

Objections are a buying signal in the traditional sales model. When the prospect objects... that's when the sale begins. Very stressful.

I look at objections in a different way. Objections are just one tactic that buyers use to discredit your "sales testimony."

In a more modern, more authentic way to sell... you have the opportunity to conduct a sales interview. You get to use this interview to disqualify your prospect as a candidate for your services, rather than the other way around.

I think it's imperative to spend your precious sales time with ready, willing, and able buyers. Be more selective… cherry pick. (Most salespeople slip into quicksand when they try to turn a real no into a yes. Disqualify, disqualify, disqualify.)

When a qualified prospect believes you can solve their problem... she/he will willingly assume the responsibility of convincing you why they want and need your offering...

You really don't get objections.

If you use an interview approach and still do get objections, it's probably because you're telling rather than selling. It's probably because you’re talking when you should be listening.

James, it really does work this way. This approach has helped me eliminate objections... and most of my sales stress.

______________________________
BTW... Here's a quote in response to yours.

"You’ve got enough problems with your non-problem clients. To take on a client that you know is going to be a problem is insanity."
-Ike Krieger
Ike,

I hear what your saying, and you are correct, however It's not a solve all for every sales situation. For instance, I sell New Homes, and ideally I try to get the people into my office as soon as they come in to do my investigation, however sometimes they arent comfortable with that so I have to investigate for desire and ability during my demonstration, so in that situation I come across objections.

But in a perfect world, when I get the customers to come into the office at the introduction and I have time to probe a little and I find out their income, credit, and debt, then when I demonstrate I have more control of the situation and it works more as you describe.

But if I were to kick the non conforming prospects to the curb at the begining I could be eliminating ready willing and able buyers. Even though they didn't want to open up and conform in the beggining, on a big ticket sale item like a new house, sometimes you have to give them some space, and restructure your approach to fit the customer. Whats your thoughts on this?

BTW I like your signature/quote as well cl2;


~James - by Mr. Cesario
Good morning.

Appreciate the reply.

When using the term disqualify... I'm referring to a process in which you uncover a no that was going to happen anyway.

This is quite different then creating a no by "kicking someone to the curb" if they don't immediately raise their hands and say, "please sell me something."

Since I don't have enough info about your opening, and what you do to enhance relationship at the outset, I wouldn't begin to suggest a change in your approach.

What can be offered from experience: Ask the right questions as part of your initial interview and you can tell relatively soon if the client fits any or all of the ready, willing, and able requirements you've established for yourself.

What are some of the opening questions you have found helpful?

What area in your initial talk with your prospects has produced the "answer reluctance" to which you allude?

Also, when in the process do you have your conversation... before or after the viewing? This wasn't clear from your post.

The placement of your initial conversation inside of your sales "flow chart" plays a major role in the effectiveness of your probe. Timing is everything.

How have you prepared them for your interview?

An NLP concept that's worth remembering is , "the meaning of your communication is the response that you get."

Take care. - by ikrieger
But if I were to kick the non conforming prospects to the curb at the begining I could be eliminating ready willing and able buyers. Even though they didn't want to open up and conform in the beggining, on a big ticket sale item like a new house, sometimes you have to give them some space, and restructure your approach to fit the customer. Whats your thoughts on this?
I agree, Mr. C. And Real Estate is one of the easier industries in which to pre-qualify prospects since those who will need to finance must literally qualify for it, and there's no sense spending a ton of time with someone until they do. Salespeople doing showroom sales or retail sales or in-home sales don't have that luxury.

Some people take this mantra of selling to only people who are "ready, willing, and able to buy" to the extreme. When someone comes into your retail store or showroom, or they call you out to give them an estimate on siding for their home, you treat them as a prospect and use your probing skills to identify their needs, their budget, and a bunch of other stuff. But if you approached that customer and asked if they were ready to buy today, it would be a recipe for sales disaster! - by Skip Anderson
Guilty.

I do take disqualifying to the extreme, every time. (And you’re right; this conversation doesn't necessarily apply in a full blown retail environment.)

I'm talking about the type of sale in which the salesperson relies on relationship, and the interview process.

The degree of success you achieve with this approach is viewpoint based. Are you communicating as a salesperson first, or a problem solver? When you sell... whose problem are you really trying to solve? (That's really an importnat question)

Your effectiveness with this approach depends on the specific questions you ask, the format of your interview, and the agreements you make.

Also, I think that’s it’s important to avoid getting upset with prospects for not following "rules" we've established, since in most cases we don't tell them what those rules are.

When these agreements are made and are set inside of the spirit of relationship, and your prospect believes your main focus is their problem and not yours... they will follow those agreements... and it does work... nearly every time.

BTW - I always ask a prospect if they're “ready to buy today”, it’s just that the question is asked in a way… and at a time in the sales flowchart when your prospect is most ready to give a "truthful answer." I find this step of the process to be most revealing and profitable.

Look forward to your thoughts.
- by ikrieger
Guilty.

I do take disqualifying to the extreme, every time. (And you’re right; this conversation doesn't necessarily apply in a full blown retail environment.)

I'm talking about the type of sale in which the salesperson relies on relationship, and the interview process.
Ike, in your opinion, what kind of sale does not rely on a relationship, and does not do an interview process?

In my opinion, the relationship is key (whether it's a long sales cycle or a short one, whether it's B2B or B2C or retail or in-home or account management or new business development).

And in my opinion, so presenting should be done until an interview process (obviously, in some types of sales that process is longer and more involved, and at other times it's more brief, but it has to be there).

I always ask a prospect if they're “ready to buy today”, it’s just that the question is asked in a way… and at a time in the sales flowchart when your prospect is most ready to give a "truthful answer." I find this step of the process to be most revealing and profitable.
Okay, Ike, here's a scenario for you to comment on:

You're one of three window salespeople who have been called out to give a quote on replacement windows for the prospect. This is your only sales appointment for the day. Your typical appointment lasts 90 minutes.

You knock on the door and the customer comes to the door. You introduce yourself, etc.

Other than at closing, when and how do you ask the prospect if they're "ready to buy today?" In your opinion, what is the advantage of asking that question? [My opinion: They've called you out to their home, you should assume they're ready to buy today and try to button up the deal while you're there, and asking if they're ready to buy today should only happen at closing.]

Skip - by Skip Anderson
Ike,

If I may, what is it that you sell? And I too would be interested in knowing what part of the process you ask the "are you ready to buy today" question. In my opinion in a big ticket sale with multiple options, that question shouldn't be asked until you've found the right fit for your particular customer, thats a hard close, and should only be used once you've meet the clients wants and needs.

To answer some of your questions IMO
The warm up/introduction is the most important part of the selling process, you can't sell anyone, anything until they like/trust you as a person during this process I talk about them, try to get them to open up, and try to find something in common with them.

After the warm up, I typically need the following questions answered before I can proceed with a proper demonstration:

What is your current living situation? Do you rent or own? What do you like/dislike about the place that you are living in currently? How many family members will be sharing your new house with you? What is your time frame for moving? How long have you been in the market?

if the client answers the above then I try to show them their "buying power" basically their DTI or debt to income ratio then I can be assured that I am only demonstrating the homes that fit their wants, needs and income based on the information that they provide to me. Ideally at this point I would like to pull credit, but most people wont allow that until they've found the perfect home, typically the ones that do allow it can't buy anyways.

The home market is tough right now, but I sold three homes this week, but that doesn't happen every week.

Please share your thoughts.

~James - by Mr. Cesario
Dr. Smith,

If I come out and do a trial for my widget what would be the process for purchasing my widget?

Well we have money in the budget for your type of widget...

or

Well then we would have to submit it for the budget for the next year.


This is a typical conversation that I use to qualify a person who is going to purchase now or later.

Also, this is a great territory management question for me and keeps me from running out to a customer who really can't buy now. Not that I won't go out to that customer who isn't going to buy right now but I make sure that I can plan other calls in the area and don't just run out to the one account.

Good Selling!

Sell4alivn - by Sell4alivn
Hello again James and Skip,

Was away yesterday with my two year old grand daughter... fun, fun, fun.

What do I do to make quotes from your post show up?

I'd like to respond to specific issues (ala Skip).

Thanks - by ikrieger
Hello again James and Skip,

Was away yesterday with my two year old grand daughter... fun, fun, fun.

What do I do to make quotes from your post show up?

I'd like to respond to specific issues (ala Skip).

Thanks
Ike, on the bottom right hand corner of the post that you would like to quote there is a button that says "Quote", just click on that button and it automatically quotes the message, hope this helps.

~James - by Mr. Cesario
In my opinion in a big ticket sale with multiple options, that question shouldn't be asked until you've found the right fit for your particular customer, thats a hard close, and should only be used once you've meet the clients wants and needs.
If you're thinking of a more traditional close, e.g. "So, are you going to buy from me today?” that is a hard sell, and usually does end up as a disaster. I come at it from a different angle. I want them to give me the presentation. I strive to get them to look at me as a navigator, helping them to reach their destination, rather than a destination of my own. For this to work… they must tell me where they want to get to.

With that in mind… Would you please tell me the sequence of events from when a prospect arrives at the site? Do they see the property before or after your initial conversation? What goes on in the viewing? When does your sales presentation begin?


After the warm up, I typically need the following questions answered before I can proceed with a proper demonstration:

What is your current living situation? Do you rent or own? What do you like/dislike about the place that you are living in currently? How many family members will be sharing your new house with you? What is your time frame for moving? How long have you been in the market?
What is your warm-up? Please explain how the answers to the above help you get to the real issues? E.g. Are they a lookie-loo, or are they a serious prospect?

Your sales flow chart would be helpful. I'd like to view your timeline before I offer an observation as to the type of interview questions and agreements I might use.

**************

I saw this near the bottom of your post and couldn’t resist.

(re: the "pull their credit" issue.) Here’s something I might say. I’m making it up as I write.
“Can I share something… off the record? I don't like to ask to see someone's credit report until they've narrowed down their home search to include ours. So, based on our brief conversation, how willing are you to let me pull your credit?

BTW – I “sell” various communications training packages.” The training focuses on harnessing the internal and external dialogue processes we employ when we are committed to reaching clearly defined outcomes. (It’s no where near as complicated as I make it sound) The program offers a “sales” module for those who have completed the basic Krieger Training curriculum.

So many other things I’d like to talk with you about

I could stay on this forum for hours, but my wife doesn’t want me to. It’s Sunday. I guess I’ll have to wait until later to post again. Ahhh… the power behind the “throne.” (this is how you stay married for 35 years)

P.S. Skip… I’ll respond as soon as she let’s me.

Go Lakers - by ikrieger
Oh yeah,

Congrats on selling three properties this week. You're in a tough sector. - by ikrieger
Hi Skip,

I love your scenario. You’ll see why in a moment.

You're one of three window salespeople who have been called out to give a quote on replacement windows for the prospect. This is your only sales appointment for the day. Your typical appointment lasts 90 minutes.

You knock on the door and the customer comes to the door. You introduce yourself, etc.

Other than at closing, when and how do you ask the prospect if they're "ready to buy today?" In your opinion, what is the advantage of asking that question? [My opinion: They've called you out to their home, you should assume they're ready to buy today and try to button up the deal while you're there, and asking if they're ready to buy today should only happen at closing.]

Skip
OK... it may be experience or it may be pessimism, but in my opinion... if you assume that because they've called you... they're ready to buy... is a big disappointment waiting to happen.

I like to think I’m there to help them reach their outcome, and not mine. If I help them reach that outcome I will achieve my outcome anyway.

However what I'm not willing to do is give away a ton of valuable information ... for free!

Experience tells us that in most cases the prospect will most likely use your info to beat up the other bidders. (And, if you’re not out on your first call ever, you can tell when a prospect in employing the old get-free-info, “tell me more about X” ,tactic.)

Here’s why I believe the window man is really there.

He’s there because of his need to make a sale. The prospect is all set to defend him/herself against a dreaded “salesman” who needs to make a sale.

Our window salesman, and a lot of other salespeople, resort to hope and, as was referred to on this thread, puking information as their sales strategy.

The mantra seems to be, I'll spend my time... and go out, and do an estimate, or a proposal, and then hope I can get them to buy... and I think I will… especially if I get the chance to give a great presentation, tell them about the excellent service we provide, and get my priice down low enough."

This is common, and is a recipe for the same old, same old, "we'll look your estimate over and give you a call."

You threw me a softball when you used the window scenario. One of my clients is a major window replacement company in Southern California.

It took me a while to get the sales staff to repeat the following because at first they thought it seemed like a waste of time (after all, they knew their business better than I did).

“So, before I begin the estimate I'd like to ask a couple of questions so I can find out what you want to accomplish, and why. And, based on my experience, within a few minutes... we'll know if there's a fit. Is that an OK way to start?"

If they agree… begin the interview. If they don’t agree to that simple and logical request… what are the chances you’ll get the deal without low-balling?

(Here’s how I suggest you ask for the sale)

Once you have an idea of what they want and why… you can ask (and by now they will have told you their budget)..... “If I can get you all of this and come in close to budget what do you think, realistically, the chances are that we can do this work for you?"

If you conducted an effective sales interview… they will answer that question.

This approach is not only effective, but is far less aggressive than it may appear.

I remind my clients all of the time… you can say anything you want with a smile on your face.

How you conduct the interview is key to getting predictable, candid, and relationship oriented responses. It really works this way.

There are a lot of people who seem to champion a similar style of selling. I’ve got a couple of new/old angles that, in IMHO, make this approach to sales even more effective.

I gotta go back to work.

P.S. All/most sales do rely on creating and maintaining relationship, whereas clerking, an honorable profession, relies on the ability to write up an order while maintaining, rather than destroying, what ever clerk/customer relationship may exist.

I’m actually putting out a little white paper this week on a topic similar to this. What is the acceptable process for letting others on this forum know about this?

Thanks for having this conversation. I find it thoroughly enjoyable.

Ike - by ikrieger
if you assume that because they've called you... they're ready to buy... is a big disappointment waiting to happen.
Ike, I don't believe a customer that calls you to come to your home to give you an estimate is ready to buy. I think they have an interest. Likely, they don't even have enough information to know if they're ready to buy, so asking them if they're ready to buy in the beginning of a sales interaction is counter-productive, in my opinion. A salesperson converts interest into revenue by helping prospects make decisions.

I like to think I’m there to help them reach their outcome, and not mine. If I help them reach that outcome I will achieve my outcome anyway.
In my training, I train people how to get prospects exactly what they want, so I agree with you.

However what I'm not willing to do is give away a ton of valuable information ... for free!
Two thoughts, Ike:

1. If a salesperson is "giving away tons of valuable information" when they're in the home, instead of focusing on the customer's needs and desires, that's a recipe for disaster. But you can do both, right? They're not mutually exclusive concepts, imo.

2. Why wouldn't you want to be a conduit for information? My blog and my sales newsletters have tons and tons of free information. I give it away willingly. If people see value, they may hire me for my services at some point. I'm happy to provide this service (and these blog posts and newsletters aren't mere advertisements, by the way).


Experience tells us that in most cases the prospect will most likely use your info to beat up the other bidders.
Yes, shoppers do sometimes beat up on other bidders. That's okay. Not everybody is going to be an easy customer, but they can still become a customer by willingly buying from someone. Why not have them buy from you instead of somebody else?

Here’s why I believe the window man is really there.

He’s there because of his need to make a sale. The prospect is all set to defend him/herself against a dreaded “salesman” who needs to make a sale.
Wow, that's a defeatest attitude if I do say so myself!

Yes, some people have anxiety about salespeople. But a skilled salesperson can build trust and rapport quickly so that this anxiety is rendered harmless.

Btw, who said the window salesperson was a male? There are lot of successful female window salespeople.

Our window salesman, and a lot of other salespeople, resort to hope and, as was referred to on this thread, puking information as their sales strategy.
I can assure you that successful window salespeople do not resort to hope. In your mind is it either "resorting to hope" or "asking them if they're ready to buy?" Isn't there any other options of successful selling?

I agree that "puking information" is not a viable sales strategy. But I would never suggest any salesperson do that.

The mantra seems to be, I'll spend my time... and go out, and do an estimate, or a proposal, and then hope I can get them to buy... and I think I will… especially if I get the chance to give a great presentation, tell them about the excellent service we provide, and get my priice down low enough."
I think the mantra of successful salespeople is: "I want to convert my prospect's interest in my product/service to revenue."

It took me a while to get the sales staff to repeat the following because at first they thought it seemed like a waste of time (after all, they knew their business better than I did).

“So, before I begin the estimate I'd like to ask a couple of questions so I can find out what you want to accomplish, and why. And, based on my experience, within a few minutes... we'll know if there's a fit. Is that an OK way to start?"
With all due respect, that's not quite the same thing as asking if they're "ready to buy". My question was, "When do you ask them if they're ready to buy?"

I would love to hear your answer to that question.

(Here’s how I suggest you ask for the sale)

Once you have an idea of what they want and why… you can ask (and by now they will have told you their budget)..... “If I can get you all of this and come in close to budget what do you think, realistically, the chances are that we can do this work for you?"



If you conducted an effective sales interview… they will answer that question.

Two thoughts:

1. Any successful salesperson who has sold higher ticket items in the home knows that 90% of the time the budget the customer gives you is a flat-out lie.

2. I agree with your question, I think it's great. But again, that question is NOT asking if they're "ready to buy." That's a different question.

If you truly meant what you said, that salespeople should ask their prospect if they're ready to buy, here's what would happen:

1. The company would have 8 in-home appointments per month instead of 108.

2. The company wouldn't need salespeople because there's no selling going on, just asking a closing deal up front;

3. The company would end up with probably 5 sales for the month, instead of the probably 25-30 sales they would have with the 108 appointments. (By the way, those 25-30 salespeople willingly bought because of their salesperson...thus, the value of quality salespeople. They were not coerced into buying).

4. And the company would go out of business because there's no revenue to cover expenses let alone make a profit.

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
Hi Skip,

Thanks for getting back to me so soon.

I'm not a defeatist at all. I'm a pragmatist. Most salespeople are in business to solve their own problems. This is not to say they've gone to the dark side of the force. It means that they have kids to feed, mortgages to pay, and college ahead.

According to your experience... Out of 100 salespeople, how many do you believe are well trained in more consultative, less AIDA sales techniques?

5%? 10%? 20%?

As kids we were taught how to do show and tell when we were in school, and that's how most people sell when they’re adults.

In the for what it's worth department... most of my clients are women.

I teach what has been described as a kinder and gentler way to sell. Women seem to find that it helps them demonstrate their capability and effectiveness without coming off aggressive or pushy. A lot of men like it too, but some find it difficult to adjust to a more compassionate, and authentic sales process.

Taken in the literal, traditional context... nothing I've suggested should work.

I mean... I suggest getting rid of your sales presentation while allowing the prospect to close themselves. Can’t get much more upside down than that.

Strangely enough, given the ongoing topic, I advise to never ask for the sale, but rather ask the type of questions that gauge your prospects’ willingness and readiness to do business. So, I guess I misspoke when I said I ask for the sale in literal terms.

But, the question I used for the window example in my last post produces a similar result, just in a different way.

The main model of the system I promote is designed to clear a pathway to yes… or uncover the no that was going to happen anyway. You don't want to create a no, but it sure is great when you can uncover a “real no” early in the sales cycle… and move on.

It takes about 8 to 10 weeks to learn this process and then you're off to the races.

Like I said, I know what I suggest seems backwards... and it works like a charm.

Maybe we'll have a chance to hash this out some more in the future.

Now I’m being admonished by my staff for spending too much time on the forum.

I love it… but duty calls.

Warmest regards,

Ike - by ikrieger
Ike I don't sell windows but what you posted is true for what I do too. It took me A LOT LONGER than 8 to 10 weeks to learn much of what you posted. :( - by Thomas
In reading over some of these responses, I must say that I agree with Skip. I would caution any new sales people to remember that sales is a complicated discipline. We need to seek to use principles and strageties to aid us and not make it more complicated and confusing. Theories are great, but in sales it is all about results. I believe in balancing the "Why" with the "How" as that is what makes a sales person a superstar. - by Joeylean
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