It may sound easier said than done, but you really can learn to love the word “no”, even when your direct selling business depends on you hearing the next “yes”. The truth is that each “no” takes you one step closer to “yes.” “No” is not the dead end it may sound, but just a detour which helps to hone your skills for the future. The trick is not to take it personally, a lesson I’ve also learned, but to persevere. In fact, with these five tips, you can tackle objections with ease – I know they’ve helped me!
1- Build rapport
The importance of building rapport with others cannot be underestimated – after all, direct selling is all about networking and building relationships. Get this right, and you’ll handle fewer objections. Don’t go in with the hard sell, but engage your prospect in a two-way conversation. Be sure to listen and ask appropriate questions – this not only shows you’re interested, it builds trust and helps you understand the other person and any objections better. This also enables you to make your responses more relevant. Interestingly, research shows that encouraging someone to talk about themselves, whether face to face or through social media, elicits the same sensation of pleasure in the brain as food or money, so this is a great way to build a strong rapport.Encouraging someone to talk about themselves elicits the same sensation of pleasure in the… Click To Tweet
Of course, knowing ways to successfully respond to objections can be challenging. However, one method I find helpful is to turn a concern around on itself – just like a boomerang. For example, a common objection many encounter is: “I don’t have time.” To this, you might respond: “That’s exactly why I want to share this opportunity with you. If I can show you how to build a successful business while also getting time back to do the things you want, would you be interested in hearing about it?” Chances are, the answer would be yes, or at least they’ll be curious to hear more. Equally, the objection: “I don’t have the money”, could be countered with: “I felt exactly the same, but if you don’t have the money you need to do the things you want, you owe it to yourself to hear about my business.”If you don’t have the money you need to do the things you want, you owe it to yourself to hear… Click To Tweet
3- Humor helps
Although humor can be helpful, this does not mean you should be all singing, dancing and cracking jokes! However, retaining a healthy sense of humor can diffuse a tense situation, building rapport and trust. This also helps to show you’re not offended by any objection. Gently making fun of yourself, or the situation, can raise a smile and seal the sale. But be careful how to use this – keep it subtle and appropriate, poking fun at your prospect is not a good idea! Although you may have to tread carefully, evidence suggests that the benefits of gentle humor in sales situations make it well worthwhile.The benefits of gentle humor in sales situations make it well worthwhile. Click To Tweet
4- Practice, practice, and more practice
The age-old adage “practice makes perfect” was never truer than here! It’s so important to be comfortable talking about your business. When this becomes second nature, you’ll have the confidence to tackle any objection. I find it helps to role-play possible scenarios with friends or family, to cover all eventualities. Make a list of the top 10 objections you encounter and your successful responses. Keep this on hand, reading and updating it often. Practicing your responses can hone your skills for the future, ensuring a “no” is never a dead end, just a detour.A “no” is never a dead end, just a detour Click To Tweet
5- Follow up – don’t give up!
If your first contact with someone ends with a “no” or a “maybe,” don’t leave it there. End every encounter by scheduling the next conversation. You can follow up by phone, email, social media or meeting – the sky’s the limit nowadays! However, never give up, as “no” may just mean “not now” and things have a habit of changing. Many statistics are bandied around about the majority of sales being made between the fifth and 12th contact with a prospect. Whatever the figure is, persistence pays off. Of course, any day’s a good day to contact a potential customer, but interestingly statistics show that the best chance of getting a response by email is when it’s received early morning or evening, and at weekends. Further research also suggests that Tuesdays and Saturdays may be best for networking, but if you build a good relationship with others, any day will be a good day to hear from you.
So, with careful preparation and a few proven tips, you can minimize the objections you handle, and with persistence and some savvy strategies see your sales soar!
Michelle Smith has over 20 years of sales and executive operations experience in direct sales, business to business and consumer packaged goods, with expertise in startup companies across a wide range of industries. She attributes her success to building, motivating, and coaching solid teams. Michelle is currently Director of Sales & Training at a global entrepreneurship training company and direct selling organization.