Peady’s Selling Engagement
Here’s a subject I cover this time every year. Time to hear two of the most hated phrases in sales – “call me after Christmas” or “call me in January after the break”
Welcome to this week’s post on sales and selling success.
Most of us look forward to the Christmas and summer break but we don’t look forward to what I call the ‘Christmas Objection’. Problem is, it’s not an objection, it’s a stall; and stalls are worse than objections because they are not ‘real’. They are a reflex action and when you get a stall, you have to find the real objection and get at the truth before you can move forward.
Why does it happen?
They have a legitimate reason. Maybe budget, finalising next year’s strategy, review of a current vendor, end of year conflicts, internal issues.
It’s a stall and she’s hoping you’ll forget over the break; and if you do remember to call in January, you’ll get another excuse!
As with any objection, questions are king.
You can’t challenge an objection, that causes further push-back, so you need to drill down using smart questions to uncover what prompted the customer to delay things.
The other option is to put forward alternatives for them to consider.
- Offer an incentive for an early decision. Maybe a bonus or delayed invoicing until February or March.
- Use empathy. “I know what you mean, others have felt the same way, however when they did go ahead with a December/January campaign found it really effective.
- Ask ‘tie-down’ questions. “What will be different after Christmas?” or “Will anything change over Christmas?” or “Is it really about Christmas or is there something else?”
- Use a testimonial video or case study. Demonstrate how a customer had planned to delay “because of Christmas” but didn’t and gained a strong success as a result.
- Confirm a date. If you have to accept a delay, ask, “When after Christmas?” Make a firm appointment – both sides put it in their planners.
Relationships are king!
The success rate in avoiding the ‘Christmas Objection’ is directly related to the quality of the relationship that’s been built with your customer. A good relationship allows you a lot more liberty to press for immediate action or to ask why. A poor relationship will mean you wait until January, or longer.
A Christmas fact
If you hear the “Christmas Objection” a number of times over the next couple of weeks and you can’t (or won’t) deal with it, you’ll have to do some seriously hard work in January to achieve your monthly or quarterly targets.
Or you can spend some time looking for a new job over the Christmas break.
Until next week, good selling!
About the author
Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.
He can be contacted at [email protected]
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