Uncovering the real reason
As a business owner or sales manager, we constantly hear the same responses from our sales team when they fail to close a deal. Here are some common examples: "The competition bought the business;" "Everything is on hold right now;" "Budgets are frozen;" or the number one response, "Our price was too high."
Source: Sales consultant Steve Hackett
What's the real reason they turned us down? We'll never really know, unless we ask the right, and sometimes tough, questions up front. The more accurately you identify the issues and the prospect's concerns, the easier it is to qualify the opportunity.
Identifying our prospect's resistance to buy also requires listening between the lines. Not everything said in conversation represents the whole story. Your sales team needs to read body language, eye contact and voice inflection throughout the sales process to identify where their prospect is raising an objection -- even when they don't say it out loud. For example, did they cringe when the salesperson mentioned price, delivery schedule or quantity. When that happened, did the salesperson seize the opportunity to ask direct questions on that issue?
By asking the right questions and "reading" the prospect, salespeople may not always get a "Yes" answer, but at least they'll find out why the prospect said "No' or "Not right now."