Some salespeople talk fast.  Others never stop talking.  Still, there are those who talk fast and never stop talking.  There is an ill founded notion that if you talk fast and talk longer, that you will discourage others from asking questions or bringing up issues you would rather not discuss.  Then there are those salespeople who will conclude their presentation without asking for questions, believing that if they can avoid the appearance of a concern, then there must not be any.  
 
There is no victory in avoiding questions or ignoring a prospect’s concerns.  If a sale is to be made, concerns must be resolved.  We all heard the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi proclaim, in regards to the new national health care bill, “We must pass it so we know what is in it.”  For most Americans, that comment fell short of answering their concerns.  In fact, the majority of Americans were offended because Government would buy a product with unresolved concerns and the people would not.  Concerns must be resolved or the prospect will not buy and if for some reason they do, they will want their concerns resolved after the sale or they will end up dissatisfied and will either return the product or share their negative feelings with everyone they meet.
Here are two very effective methods for revealing the prospects true concerns and then resolving them:
1.     Ask for the prospects buy-in with every point you make during your presentation.  As you describe a feature or benefit, ask the prospect for their opinion.  Ask them to describe the value of each point that you present.  Ask them to share their perspective relating to the values and benefits to their situation.  When you ask for their perspective you will know if your solution is on the right track and you will be receiving their approval or disapproval as you move forward in your presentation.  Through effective questioning during your presentation you will draw out their hot points, their concerns and their objections.  You will be in the “driver’s seat” allowing you to determine the final direction of your presentation. 
Remember this key principle:  The presentation you make to any prospect is the solution to their needs, wants and desires which were discovered in the assessment phase of your presentation.  Always present your product or service as a specific solution to a need.  Presenting a product or service without focusing on a specific need is a waste of your time and theirs.  The typical parting response to that type of a presentation sounds like this.  “Well, thanks for your time, I’ll contact you if I ever have a need for your product.”  And you would probably say, “Thanks for your time and I’ll be in touch.”  This is pure wasted time and effort added to a stagnant bucket of hopeless opportunities.
2.     When you complete your presentation which, as I previously mentioned is a solution to a need, want or desire that the prospect has revealed to you, ask them to share with you any concerns they have with your solution to their problem.  Encourage them by suggesting concerns you have heard from others, or by bringing up points that typically are more difficult to understand.  Once they raise a concern, place it on a “mental shelf” in your mind and ask the question, “besides that, is there anything else?”  Keep asking for other concerns until the prospect finally suggests that they don’t have any other concerns or objections.  Having placed each concern on a mental shelf in your mind, you can now reach up, pull each one down individually and go to work resolving their concerns.  (By-the-way, the last concern they mention is probably the one of most importance to them).  As you resolve each concern, move on to the next.
An important element of resolving the prospect’s concerns is developing a dialogue with them.  They express their concerns and then you discuss a resolution.  As the dialogue develops you both gain greater insight into each other’s needs and solutions.  You become comfortable discussing a broad spectrum of possible solutions and you gain greater insight into the prospects situation as they come to appreciate your depth and breadth of understanding.  The prospect will respect your perspectives and you will have empathy for their position.  This is the nature of true salesmanship. 
When you avoid concerns, you are literally avoiding the opportunity of make a sale.  Practice these two methods of revealing and resolving a prospect’s concerns and watch your closing ration improve and your sales success soar.

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Copyright: The Business Performance Group, Inc.
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