Sales Training - Being prepared for a negative response.

By: Tony Dimech

No matter how experienced you are, no matter how much sale training you have received, no matter how confident you are and no matter how creative you are, unfortunately there will always be some occasions where you are delivered a negative response.
Background, Attitude, and Curiosity will get you into a situation where you can create demand for your products and services, but only if you're prepared to face a surprise challenge or objection at any stage of the buying process.
You will be challenged, so you need to be prepared, otherwise you won't get the chance to progress the sale.
The first thing you need to create is an automatic responses to a negative reaction.
If you are armed with a polite response to a negative answer You will have the chance to progress the call despite the initial negative reaction. If you are not, and they're unenthusiastic, you will either give up, or feel deflated and start wittering um, actually, basically: or even worse you'll be all bravado and start telling them 'You Should really consider this as it is such a good offer??' which will turn them off even more.
A good reaction to a negative response is:
'You must have a very good reason for saying that: do you mind if I ask what it is?'
Other potential spins on this can include,
'You must have a very good reason for/not wanting to see the samples/not wanting to consider this until next spring' (or whatever). You are still building the relationship while praising their judgement, and at worst you're seizing the opportunity to do some market research.
By staying calm and positive you let your potential customer know that you are not phased by their response you are simply trying to gain a better appreciation why they responded in that way.
Staying in control will give you a much better chance to create more demand for your solution and keep the opportunity to win the business alive
The creation of Demand
I have wittered on many times about how important it is to create demand or even desire for your products or services BEFORE you try to sell them, and just yesterday I saw a great demonstration of the impact this can have if you do this properly.
As a Mac convert, I could not wait to see the latest keynote from Steve Jobs and his team at the WWDC, a gathering not usually recognised in sales circles. There were over 5200 attendees there; they sold out in 2 hours. They couldn't find anywhere bigger to host the event!
During the keynote many references were made in relation to Mac's continuing success I loved the quote by John Paczkowski, of AllThingsD, who said "There's really no other way to say this: The Mac is kicking ass."
What an enviable position to be in, to be seen to be so far ahead of your competitors you are 'kicking ass'?
Mac sales had grown 28% year on year whilst the PC market had shrunk by 1%, and let us not forget that the Mac has been outgrowing the industry for the last 5 years.
There are two key drivers behind this:
1) The ongoing development of some amazing products.
2) The amount of demand this creates.
Just imagine the impact on your business if you were to continually improve your product or service and consequently increase the demand for it.

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Tony Dimech is the Managing Director of Appleton Associates Ltd who specialise in running sales training courses to improve sales performance and results. Tony has delivered training workshops for a large number of leading edge companies in all corners of the world.

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