Building Value (Handling Objections)

model1Last week I made a post about the dynamics between price and value. I hope the idea about building value, as a response to price objections made you re-evaluate how you tackle those objections. Maybe you have already heard about that idea before and that is just great. You are miles ahead!

I often encounter sales professionals who claim to be aware of the difference between Price and Value, though they still tend to yield to the pressure of my price-objection when I am on the other end of the line. Sometimes I hear sales professionals treat my objection in a way that there first words will be something like; “I hear you sir, but I actually have an opportunity to lower the price just for you, because you seem like a committed costumer”. I find that somewhat offensive towards the sales professionals own product – and in some extend an offense to my intelligence. Let me explain why. If your product is priced at a certain price, then that is what the business think the product is worth. If you then – with no other resistance than a simple price-objection – lower the price. What does it say about your product? That it is not really worth what you first asked for it… am I right?

On the other hand: if you again lower the price that quickly, you are also telling the costumer that they were very close to buying something at a price higher than what you were essentially ready to sell it for. Are you branding your costumers as ignorant then? Yes.

Above I have created a visual of the model I always use to handle objections and at the same time build Value. The model is simple in the way that it is made of five easy steps towards making the sale.

  1. Acknowledge
    When the objection – let us say “I can’t afford that” – has been voiced by the costumer, it is paramount that we always start of by acknowledging the fact that their objection is valid and has been heard. If we do not do this, the costumer will think that we are talking “over their head” when moving on to the next steps. I often use the phrase: “I hear what you are saying and I am glad you brought it up and I want to say that you are not the first to voice that concern” or shorter depending on the costumer. The most important words are: “I hear what you are saying”
  2. Re-Frame
    This step is actually an extension of the “Acknowledge”-step. You do not want to leave room in between these two steps for the costumer to speak, because in this step you are going to agree with them. However, we are not going to agree in a way that will lock our argument for them to buy our product. However, we do want to agree with what they mean by “I can’t afford that”. If you have read my last post, you would know that the dynamics between Price and Value states that if a product has enough value, the price is subordinate and therefore there is nothing that price can do to say that we cannot “afford” a certain product. Therefore, we have to Re-Frame the objection to something productive. I usually use phrases like; “I understand that you would feel that it would be tough on your business’ finances if you were to invest this kind of money into the future” The key-word is “tough”. I only said that I could see how using this money can generate the feeling that makes you think it will be tough. That is just a feeling (most likely coming from the fact that the costumer cannot see the value in my product) and feelings, I can work with.
  3. Value
    This step is for freestyling. Your job in the “Value”-step is to underline all the benefits of your product. You can repeat things you have already said in your presentation or you can grasp around topics of benefits that you maybe had let out of your presentation. You can recap and remind the costumer of positive statements the costumer have voiced earlier in the conversation. If you are fortunate to sell a product that gives a clear “need-payoff” dollar-amount back as an example of ROI – here is the time to shine!
  4. Argument
    This step is for you to get creative and build up a strong argument for why the costumer should buy your product. Mostly I will use some of the points voiced in the “value” step, like; “I am certain that we can agree that with all these benefits and a rock solid plan for a ROI that will – if all goes after plan – make your purchase paid itself within the first year”. You can also make an argument of scarcity: “I have to tell you though, that with all this interest from other pleased costumers, I’m not sure if you can afford to wait it out”. You can also link the argument to the “Re-Frame” like so: “I hope we can agree that – after I’ve laid it all out and explained to how the product works – this isn’t really something you should worry about being able to afford, since it’s actually something that will make your day go easier”. In this step, there is room for negotiating the price, because you have already stated the value of the product. You can do so by simply asking; “being aware of the great value of what I’m trying to sell you, will you be willing to commit, if I were willing to show some good will by taking 10% of the top of the price?” – But be careful and try not to go there to soon.
  5. Part agreement
    This step is really just to state that the “argument”-step and the “Part agreement”-step together forms what is popularly known as a “close”. And you cannot close the sale without asking for an agreement. When that is said, this step is called “Part agreement” because the agreement does not have be a formally “yes” to a specific closing question like; “So do I have your business?” I usually link it to the argument and make the question as small as possible. “Won’t you agree that it is much easier to say yes, know that I have explained it like this?” and when the costumer says “yes” I assume (with good intend) that the sale is closed and start asking for whatever I need to administrate the sale (name, title, direct phone, business registration number ect.)

If the costumer is surprised that they know are in a buying state, they will naturally voice another objection – and that objection will be treated the same as the first one.

I hope my blog post has given value to you. In my next blog post, I will go deeper into why I think this model is working for me.

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