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Sales Blog - The Tattle-Tail

By Steven J. Schmidt (5/12/08)

I used to work for a gas supplier in South Jersey, where I would try to convince customers to switch to us so they could save business money on their gas bill. This is an example of an objection that was thrown at me, and how I handled it.

I got my foot in the door and the owner said, "You know what, I'm happy with the supplier that I have now, and they haven't raised their rates in three months."

I came back with, "I completely understand that you're happy with the rate that you're getting, but if you can save more money, wouldn't you want to do that? Unless of course, you want to pay more money. But nobody wants to pay more than they have to. Plus, they may raise the rates in another three months, just because I told them that you want to pay more money. And trust me Mr. Pruitt, I will do that."

At that point, I had the owner laughing pretty hard. Yes, I may have come off a bit obnoxious, but I did so in a charming way. I basically made the owner feel stupid in a nice way. When you essentially tell a customer, "What's wrong with you, you don't like saving money?" They will get hit with an epiphany and that will be, "Of course I want to save money." And you have to put it to them just like I did or in a way where they have to listen to what you have to say.

In addition, I pointed out that while it was great they had a low rate for three months, they couldn't be sure what would happen in six or nine months from the present. The reality is that in the deregulation of choosing a gas supplier, they all are subject to change. This means that nothing is written in stone; nothing is locked.

This is a perfect example of knowing your competition - by pointing out that rates can go up at any given time. You also want to point out the obvious, so it's black and white to the customer, like I did about why they wouldn't want to save money.

Sometimes you have to spell it out for the customer because people get used to what they have and fear change. Once you can explain that change isn't always bad (i.e. it can save them money), like in this case, they will realize that they are stupid, and think that you are Einstein, or maybe close.

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