In my last article we finished with a statement from Zig Zigler which stated –

“Every sale has five basic obstacles –
No Need, No Money, No Hurry, No desire, No Trust”

Traditionally trainers spent a lot of time in showing tricky ways to overcome these obstacles/objections.  The issue of course is when you are overcoming objections you are essentially arguing with your prospects.  We may overcome the objection however the fact of the matter is where objections are present in the sales process the closing ratios go down correspondingly.

Let’s begin by looking at the first of these – “No need”

This is quite a complex issue to address as there are generally 3 levels of buyers you are likely to encounter depending on the price and complexity of your market and their needs will be different at each level.

The first level of buyer is typically at a management level and will be someone like an Office Manager, IT Manager, Engineering Manager, Marketing Manager.

These buyers are only interested in the feature and functionality of your products/services.

Typical things they will be looking for are –

  • Support with your solution
  • Up to date features
  • Delivery schedules
  • Improvements in efficiencies
  • Demonstrations and evidence of past performance

To sell to these people you need to have a deep understanding of the technical aspects of your products and be able to speak their jargon.

It is at this level that the majority of salespeople make their calls.

The next level of buyer we are likely to encounter are the senior managers like Chief Financial Officers (CFO’s), Chief  IT Officers (CIO’s) and General Managers.

These buyers are tasked with increasing revenue or decreasing costs.

For these buyers the language is therefore stated in financial terms such as Return on Investment (ROI), Earning before Insurance and Tax (EBIT) etc.

So if you are selling to these people you need to understand what they value and talk the language of ROI rather than features and benefits.

The third level language is that of the Chief Executive Officers (CEO’s) and Managing Directors.

Their chief concern is market share and the growth and maintenance of this.

Therefore your conversations need to focus on ways to maintain or preferably grow their market share.

To summarize –

First level buyers focus on the features and functionality of your products and services

Second level buyers focus on increasing revenue or reducing costs

Third level buyers are only interested in market size and market share

In our selling environment here in NZ many of the buyers we are selling to can be a mixture of all three.

This Weeks Action Step

  1. Develop a “features/benefits” list – remember the litmus test that a benefit needs to pass is “so what?”   – what does this benefit really do for the prospect?
  2. Develop a return on investment calculation that shows the value of your particular solutions

In my next article we will cover the obstacle of “no money”.

Brett Burgess is a Sales Trainer and Programme Developer for Sales Impact Group.