0717Header blog

Is What You’re Saying What They Want to Hear?

The Situation

Chris is a sales rep for a web hosting business. Julia, the office manager for a law firm, is looking for a new web host and was referred to Chris’ company. After a short phone conversation, they set up a meeting.

As Chris introduces himself and starts to familiarize Julia with his company, she breaks in and says, “You come highly recommended, but it’s really important that you provide the best security we can get. I couldn’t tell this from your website. We had a problem with that previously, and now it’s our highest priority.”

“I’ll Get to That”

Chris waves his hands, smiles, and says, “I’ll get into that. In fact, I have an entire part of my presentation devoted to it!”  But let me give you some more background about who we are and . . . .”

Chris thought this was the best way to handle Julia’s preemptive question. Later, he would address it fully with some graphics on his iPad to help visualize the technical details. He would have plenty of time to relieve her concerns, and the discussion would be more powerful after he laid more groundwork.

Unenthused Response

Chris proceeded his way, but didn’t get the order that day. Now, he’s not sure where he stands with this prospect. What aspect of Q4 selling would have made him act differently?

Objections Can Come Any Time

When we talk about planning a Q4 collaborative sales call, we typically advise that you manage objections after exploring the prospect’s interests and presenting your case.


However, we also say that objections may come up at any time during a sales meeting. And the time to deal with them is when they are raised. Taking topics in order may have fit Chris’ logical structure for the meeting, but if a customer or prospect has something on his/her mind or is bothered by something that the salesperson says, truly collaborative selling means addressing the customer’s needs right away.


Answering Concerns Raises Receptivity

It’s just common sense that Julia’s receptivity will plummet if Chris doesn’t address what’s on her mind before pressing on. Chris should have seen that for Julia, security issues were the deal maker or breaker, based on her needs. Like Chris, you should always be monitoring receptivity.


If your response to an objection is to shrug it aside (“You don’t have to be concerned about that now,” or “We’ll get to pricing later”), your next words may not even be heard by the other person.


Objections Help You Adapt

But when you deal with objections right away, you are adapting to promote better engagement. Even if you have to restructure how you proceed on the fly, now you’ll have insights that will make your presentation all the more powerful. It will be customized to speak to the needs of the individual sitting across from you.