Invariably at some time during my dealer visits someone is going to bring up, “Just how do you deal with a client’s objections?” Good question, but is that the real question we should be asking?
When I was a young whippersnapper of a salesperson, I had the same question: What to do with objections? You know, that “no” word. The accomplished, polished, professional sales folks would come to my aid with valuable insights and clarity that would ensure success: “Don’t ask questions that can be answered with ‘no.’” “Really,” I said. “Really,” they said back. “Now go get ‘em, kid!”
Back I’d go trying to figure out what to say that someone couldn’t answer with a no. It gets rid of a lot of good questions, I was thinking, but I’ve gotta get ‘em.
Today we’ve got top guns promising everything under the sun if we follow their three-step or 15-step program that ensures no more objections and a sales force that closes every deal. But wait, there’s more! (Got to get those Ginsu knives in there.) The more I hear and read on what guarantees something to happen, the more I realize that there are no guarantees. There will be objections. We will have folks saying no, and we won’t sell everyone who walks through our doors. This does not signify a lack of success, only retail reality.
The real retail world is about doing it so well that you achieve and maintain the highest percentage of retail success possible. It’s about how your team interacts with each other and how that’s viewed from the outside, from the customer’s point of view. It’s about the commitment a business makes in ensuring that the clients they do have never want to look elsewhere for a better experience.
If folks like doing business with you, all those perceived objections are, more often than not, temporary. If folks like doing business with you, all those objections are much easier to deal with and overcome. If folks like doing business with you, your clients will support you, but you have to support them first. Support them with policies and procedures that give you the highest likelihood of achieving and maintaining retail success. Support them with an attitude that says, “You are important, and we’re not taking you for granted.”
If we do our jobs well, people will want to buy from us over and over again. We put so much stock in what should be asked that won’t result in a no or some type of objection. Maybe the question that should be asked is, “Are we doing the job so well that people want to buy from us?” That’s the real question.
Mark Mooney is director, retail performance for Pied Piper Management Company LLC, a Monterey, Calif., company that works with motor vehicle manufacturers and dealers to maximize performance of dealerships. One of Pied Piper’s most popular services for the powersports industry is Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) sales mystery shopping to help turn more motorcycle shoppers into motorcycle buyers.