Today I am going to share with you a little golden nugget that has helped me become an effective, efficient closer, and an elite sales professional. Many people who have worked with me over the years will tell you that one of my best skills is the art of being a closer. The one thing they notice the most is that my closing style is unlike any they have ever seen before. Most sales professionals, who are known as super closers, often use many crafty selling techniques filled with pressure and manipulation. My way of closing is establishing trust, connecting with my customer and allowing them to lead me to the close. I am not afraid to let a customer walk if they are truly undecided because more often than not they return to me when it is time to purchase. My method has been proven to be more effective, efficient and certainly creates a larger and more loyal customer base. This is what makes my future sales with my customers almost effortless.
Having shared this insight with you, I would like to focus on one of the key skills in closing which is handling objections from your customer. Many times sales professionals think of objections as a negative thing. They think of how they must overcome the objection and play a mental game of chess with the customer, and sometimes that is the case. However, did you know that many times an objection is letting you know that you are on the right track and doing your job well? I call them Reassurance Objections!
A reassurance objection is the customer’s way of letting you know that they have found what they are looking for and need a little reassurance to buy the product.
Let me share a common reassurance objection that many sales professionals see as a negative. The customer will ask, “Is this the best price you can offer?” What the customer is telling you is that they have found their winner and are ready to buy the product. Because many sales professionals are scared of this objection they often hesitate, or lose eye contact with their customer, as they try to reassure the customer. The problem is that any hesitation or negative body language shows the customer that there is room to come off the price, and now doubt has made the sale even more difficult and the profits even lower.
The key to this reassurance objection is having the confidence and skill to look the customer in the eye with a smile and reassure them that the price is fair for the quality of the product that they are buying. A majority of the time the customer will jump right into the close with you if you have connected with them and established trust. So what happens to the few who truly believe that they can get a better price no matter what you tell them? The answer is very simple, offer them a promotion that benefits the customer without giving a discount. If they are shopping for a birthday or anniversary gift, offer them a $50 birthday/anniversary gift off their purchase. You would be amazed at how something so little can go a long way. It could be a $10,000 sale and all the customer wanted was to make sure that you gave them something to feel good about the purchase. This is much better than taking another 10% off (that is a $950 difference).
Now I want to take a quick moment and stress that this must always be done with honesty and integrity. Lets say the customer’s occasion is one month away and they are looking at a ruby ring. If you are having a color gem stone sale in two weeks and that item will be discounted 20%; be honest with them and take a deposit to hold until then. Many owners may not like me advising you to sell this way because 20% profit is out the window, but trust me when I tell you that the long term effects will far outweigh that small 20%. That customer will trust you forever and promote you and your store because you have connected and looked out for their best interest. Loyalty and trust go a long way in the retail world. Greed and selfishness never lead you to long term success
Another common reassurance objection that is used is, “What if she does not like the item I am buying?” You would think this is a softball question which would be easy to hit a home run with, but many sales professionals whiff at the attempt. The proper reassurance would be to let the customer know they have a golden parachute in a two week return policy or 30 day exchange. Reassure them that if for some reason she does not like it, or want jewelry, that they can get a full refund. Nothing to lose!
Many sales associates have been taught to never mention the word refund and emphasize exchange only. That simply does not reassure the customer and may cost you your sale. Many times the sales professional never mentions a refund or exchange and starts selling the product again. Whiff! Now you have a marathon sale. I can also assure you that I very rarely have returns, and when I do, I treat them with such respect and positive energy that it always comes back around to benefit me in the long run.
As sales professionals you will face many objections from your customers. There is the famous, “I saw this on the web $500 cheaper,” or “I know this stuff is marked up 1000%.” These are standard objections and should be dealt with as you have been trained for many years. Let’s face it, some customers will never believe you, no matter what you tell them. They simply will not allow anyone at the close to connect with them and reassure them. The key is connecting with the customer and establishing a bond of trust from the beginning. The next time you have done all the little things right and face a reassurance objection I encourage you to take this advice and watch your close become easy and almost effortless. For more insight you can visit my website www.moderndayselling.com and as always if you know anyone who could benefit from this insight please pay-it-forward.
Brian Barfield is a two-time published author, worldwide, who specializes in offering fresh new insight in retail sales training. Modern Day Selling offers a unique perspective in teaching sales associates how to reconnect with their customers and how to achieve greater success in their sales career. For more information please visit his website www.moderndayselling.com. Brian also offers in-store sales training and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.