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Handling Objections: Sales Tips from Pablo Picasso

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I read a great quote from Picasso (yes, the famous painter) the other day, and it really resonated with my sales philosophy. Here it is: “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” You’re probably wondering what that has to do with sales, and it’s simple: Most sales and marketing rep’s instincts are to adlib when they get an objection or when they get into a sales situation that isn’t going their way.
The problem with this is they haven’t first learned the rules of proper objection handling – like questioning an objection first, or isolating an objection, etc. – so instead they just wing it. And if you are doing this now, then you know how that turns out.

For years, we at Fire Inc Atlanta have been preaching, teaching, and training sales teams to put in the time and effort to learn the proper sales techniques first, and then after they understand and have mastered the fundamentals, then they can “adapt” them to each particular prospect or situation. Here is a quick example:

A common objection in sales is the, “I have to show this to my (boss, manager, partner, etc.).” How does your sales team handle this?
The “rule” a pro follows is to isolate this objection to make sure it isn’t a smokescreen hiding other objections like, “It’s too much money,” or “I can get a better deal elsewhere,” etc. Because pros know the rule above, they can then “break it like an artist,” by adapting their rebuttal to each prospect. This can include:

“I understand, just out of curiosity, what is your take on this now?”
OR
“I’m with you, let me ask you this, though: If your partner says ‘do whatever you think is best’, what would you tend to do?”
OR
“If your partner could go either way, which way are you leaning now?”
OR
“That’s fine and we talked about this earlier. But given what we’ve just gone over, what is your opinion on this?”
OR
“And if your partner asked you what you thought he should do, what would your answer be?”

This is the “art” of handling objections. Unfortunately, most sales and marketing teams have never been taught the rules or fundamentals of proper selling, so they adlib, lose sales, and get discouraged. And your company misses its revenue numbers.
It’s also one of the reasons that Fire Inc Atlanta grows each year. The solution to this is to invest the time, money, and effort to learn and master core marketing and sales techniques. Read more about our company here.

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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Success

 

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Learning How To Negotiate In Difficult Circumstances

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No matter how hard you try, sooner or later you will find yourself in a situation of having to iron out a difficult situation. This can be scary, but fortunately with the right tools in place, you can make your way through and come to a solution that will work for all concerned. At Fire Inc Atlanta, we develop a person’s negotiating skill to the point where every deal made is a win-win-win. It’s good for the customer, the client, and the rep.

The first thing you should remember when heading into negotiations is to look on the bright side. If you start out upbeat, you will be far more likely to come out with a satisfactory result. Remember that in negotiations, it is better to strive for all parties concerned to come to a mutual agreement.

It’s best to meet in person in neutral territory. Avoid meeting in the other person’s office or in your own. Instead, choose a place that has no associations for anyone. If you are not able to meet to negotiate, use an online option that will still allow you to see and hear each other. Do not try to negotiate by e-mail. This is a recipe for catastrophe.

Be sure you completely understand the issues at hand and are prepared to discuss them calmly and intelligently. Start out your meeting with a clear definition of the problem and the matters that need to be addressed. In this way, everyone will be on the same page. Be sure your negotiations are about the facts at hand, and do not let your emotions get the better of you.

Assess yourself honestly. Be willing to accept responsibility for ways in which you may have contributed to the problem. In your mind, establish some clear parameters in regards to the outcome of the negotiations. For example, there may be some areas that you simply must have satisfied and others where you could be more flexible. Be clear on this from the outset.

Keep a forward motion. Focus on finding solutions and creating alternatives rather than dwelling on mistakes and wrongs in the past. Completely sidestep laying blame. Simply start where you are and focus on improving the situation and solving the problem as it currently stands.

Avoid maneuvering and manipulating. Communicate transparently by simply and honestly presenting your concerns and goals. Recognize areas where your concerns and goals are the same as or similar to those of the other party. This recognition of commonality will help you work together for a successful resolution.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2016 in Success

 

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3 Ways to Plant Your Roots in a New Job

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Change is uncomfortable, especially in the workplace. Any time you get a new job, transfer to a different location, or find yourself in a new environment that requires you to perform to a certain standard, you will undoubtedly be put under stress. But, stress or not, you are still required to perform at the level of everyone else. Here are three tips to help you transition into a new position and, maybe even more importantly, grow into the next one.

Get Your Voice Heard

There are plenty of times when an individual enters into a group and voices their opinion about how something should operate. While that person may be correct in their thinking, they will lack the credibility within that group to have their opinion heard. A group tends to dismiss new ideas from newly acclimated members.

In order to truly be heard and gain credibility within a group, you should first focus on performance. That is to say that you opinion doesn’t have to do with some ethical or legal wrongdoing of the company or members therein. Once the members of your new peer group see what kind of performance you can bring to the table, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you gain support of your ideas and solutions to problems.

Ask for Advice from People You Respect

In almost every organization, there is a mentor-ship structure. Some companies call them supervisors or team leaders. Some organizations call them mentors, “Big Brothers,” or “Big Sisters.” Whatever they’re called in your new work environment, that’s the first person you should lean on for advice and support. They’ve probably earned that position for a reason and you should get the advice where it is most readily available.

After you’ve gotten as much knowledge as possible from your “supervisor,” it might be time to find a mentor. It’s pretty simple. Just find someone you trust and admire and start building a relationship.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

While it may be important to “find your own groove,” going against your traditional habits and modes of operation is critical in the beginning stages of a new position. Unless you got hired directly into a management position with zero oversight, you’re going to need to do things the way that the company does them. Take this one step further though. Look to see what the top performer is doing and do what they are. Once you start achieving top results, you can then “find your own groove.”

In summary, making the most out of your new position comes down to one basic principle. You have to gain credibility and respect through work performance. Don’t just “talk the talk.” Become the top performer as quickly as possible. Once you do this, you’ll be able to sway group decisions, earn promotions, and command the respect of the people you work with.

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2016 in Growth

 

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