Don’t you just love it when a customer throws you a curveball during a sale? Something that really takes you off course and keeps you from your sales process. We call them Sales Squirrels. They show up out of nowhere and, like a dog, you chase them around and around the tree getting nowhere. There is no hard rule about what a Sales Squirrel looks like, but here are a few examples:
- “Let me tell you all about a bad buying experience I had 10 years ago.”
- “Why do you use those colors for your logo? I don’t like those colors very much.”
- “I really don’t like spending money, so just show me the cheapest option you have.”
Sales Squirrels take everything out of your control if you let it, and by that I mean you spend too much time indulging the question that isn’t in the best interest of the sale. If you see a Sales Squirrel, then you are going to need help to get the sale back under control. That’s where the H.E.L.P. Method comes in.
Hold – When you see your Sales Squirrel, stop everything you are doing to take a moment and think. What did I just hear? How important is it? Will this take me off my sales process? What is the best response I can offer? Think before you speak.
Empathize – Acknowledge what you just heard and repeat it back to the customer. Let them know it is okay to bring this up. “I understand that you saw some of our online reviews that concern you and that’s something you would like to discuss. I check online reviews as well so it makes sense to me that you would bring this up.”
Leave it – Let the thought perish as you move the customer through a quality sales process. Sometimes acknowledging the objection is simply enough. After all, you don’t want to spend 10 minutes of your 30 minute engagement talking about a bad online review. If that matter needs to be discussed, then we should wait until after we have completed the sales process.
Postpone – The objection might be a sales squirrel, but perhaps it is important after all. Does it mean that it has to be discussed immediately? Usually not, and if it is, that means that you have given control over to the customer. Why not wait until after you have completed your sales process? Oftentimes at this point the customer has either forgotten about it or finds it to be less important than they initially indicated. “This sounds like something I should know more about. Let me make a note about this and come back around to our online reviews a little bit later.”