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Sales Planning - I Don't Have Enough Money

By Steven J. Schmidt

Another objection that salespeople hear, no matter what industry it is, residential or commercial, is "Sorry, I don't have the money for that," or "Money's tight; I can't afford that." I think as salespeople, we have all heard this objection at one time or another. The first instinct salespeople want to do is to find out what the customer's budget is, however it should revolve around what the need is for that particular client.

Suppose you work in the commercial industry selling faster and better Internet for an Internet provider. Remember that for any company that you work for, there will always be a package for every potential client out there. It's your job to find out which package best suits their needs. The service that you want to sell or promote must benefit the customer.

You are on your way to Peach Pit Pizza, and you are talking with the owner about their Internet connection. The owner tells you, "I'm fine with what i have right now." You then ask the owner, "What kind of service do you have right now?" The owner replies, "we have dial-up service, but we're a pizza joint; we don't need any of that fancy shmancy stuff, you know what I mean?"

You will then go back to what we talked about earlier, agreeing, "Yes, I completely understand what you mean, but is the computer ever slow when you're trying to ring out a customer and then another customer is trying to buy a slice?" The owner will respond, "Yes, a few times here and there." You then reply, "Well, I'm sure that gets annoying after a while, and you wouldn't want to risk losing customers because your service is slow, would you?"

Now the dialogue will really pick up from the owner, "Well, I never actually thought of it like that, but no, I would never want to lose a customer because the computer is slow. But I don't have the money to throw down for all those sophisticated gadgets and all that. Plus, even if I did, what's the big deal?"

Remember, the more questions that you ask, the more responses you will get, and the customer will basically tell you what you need to know in order for you to sell them, and in turn, make the sale and close them at the end.

You will then follow up with, "What's the big deal? Well what if I showed you that if you took our service you would be able to save over hundreds of dollars, if not in thousands per month. Let me ask you something, is that something you might be interested in?"

Notice this question! You just asked them if they would like to save money. Any person in their right mind would be interested in that proposition, unless they are crazy. You already asked them questions to get some answers out of them. They already told you they have service, but more specifically they cannot afford anything else. They also told you that they didn't see a benefit of taking Internet service with faster speeds. And they also don't want to spend more money.

Now, you ask the question, "About how many customers would you say get backed up per hour because you cannot process their order in a timely fashion?" The owner will tell you, "maybe only a couple." You then say, "Let's say those 'couple' may have gotten frustrated where they may not come back because of how long it took."

You continue, "About how much does an average customer spend here?" Let's say the owner says $7. You say, "OK, you're open 10 hours a day, you have two upset customers per hour, spending $7 each, which is $140 a day. The shop is open seven days a week, so you're losing $980 a month? Would it also be safe to say, that because you get backed up, that about two people placing an order on the phone either are not happy because of how long the process takes, or that their food isn't delivered on time because the computer takes too long to process the actual order?"

The owner will be amazed at the possibility of money he could potentially be losing. So, at this point you multiply the $980 times two because of what he just told you. You then say, "You might even have the possibility of losing $1,940 a month. What if I told you that you could eliminate losing customers, or even the possibility of losing customers, all for less than $100.00 a month. Would that be something you're interested in?"

Of course he will he will be interested. You asked the questions to find out what the problem was. Once you identified the problem, you made some recommendations, solely on the information you gathered from him. You showed your customer how he can save money and time, all while explaining and showing him the benefits he and his company will receive from the value of service he will receive.

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