ICS Magazine

Teaching The ‘Raising the Objection' Technique

August 23, 2009
Meet those pricing objections head-on and curb a customer’s urge to roam.

Coming from a background in sales, where I knew that my pricing on service work and install were going to be anywhere from 33-50 percent higher than most of my competition, I learned a key sales technique.

It’s called “Raising the Objection”.

Most contractors are in the habit of “Quote and Hope”. That means you let either your techs or your sales people quote a price for work and hope the customer brings up their price objection. However, they might never do that and may just select someone else. I know because they used to do that to me.

Don’t be fooled by their smiles and head nodding as you make your presentation thinking they’re buying. They’re usually just being polite.

Since I got a lot of no-sales way back when, I learned how to improve my sales technique and I spent more than 20 years teaching my own techs and sales people - and now to clients all around the country - on how to sell better.

In a solid sales system, you need to have a correct set of steps that allow you to raise the objection at the right time before they do, because then you can control it and turn it into a competitive advantage.

The way I did it was to wait until I presented what I felt was the very best solution based on their answers to my questions and my thorough preparation with the features, advantages and benefits for all of my recommendations. Then, I’d take a deep breath and say, “If I were you, I would consider getting some other price quotes. But before you do, here’s something you should consider so you’re comparing apples to apples.”

Sometimes I might even say, “You know I might be slightly higher than the other prices you’re getting. So, may I show you why that might be?” And then I’d continue on with a scripted and visual presentation that backed up why my company and I were worth the money.

This one technique improved my own closing ratio (sales calls I went on to sales calls I closed) by more than 25 percent. Know why? Because it was the last thing they were expecting me to say! They were surprised, to say the least, and open to me bringing up what they were already thinking about doing.

What it did allow me to do was bring up good reasons why my company was the best choice and what pitfalls to be aware of when they were out comparing. I truly believe that my closing rate went up because they could see I wasn’t fearful of them getting other bids. Frankly, I doubt a lot of them ever did once I helped them put all the cards on the table.

Practice it and then take it into the field and watch your sales closing rate climb.

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