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Sales Training - What Is a Disguised Implied Need?

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Have you ever been in the position where you are getting, what you think to be, close to concluding the deal only to find your client comes up with objections?

Some would argue, as salespeople, we have not handled all the possible objections upfront, in other words we have not demonstrated our value proposition fully. However, in the real world objections at the last minute happen to all of us regardless of what we think we have done to conclude the deal.

What objection?

It is what we see as an objection and how we manage that objection that will give us the edge in closing the deal. I have been asked many times about how to handle objections and my initial stock answer is usually, "Have you fully demonstrated your value proposition to the client?" However, this does not serve a great deal of good if the salesperson feels inclined to think, "Of course I have."

It may be true that the salesperson has indeed not identified some of these objections when going through the sales cycle, but that does not mean the end of the deal. The prospect is talking to us because they have a need and I would suggest that any objection is in fact an "Implied Need."

Whilst the majority of objections are 'Implications of Need,' there are some that will be described as real; the 'price objection' and the 'product objection'. These real objections are handled by reducing their impact with the value argument. Set them against the benefits that have been agreed already and their affect is minimised.

So, get into our minds that there are only two "real" objections behind why a prospect may not buy and you will find that any other objections can be handled - which will allow you to further demonstrate your value.

Prescriptive Reflex!

Many training courses promote the use of prescriptive reflex responses to the typical objections that a salesperson will encounter. Unfortunately such methods preclude us from seeing the objection as a positive contributor to the sale. As we have discussed, objections are really needs in disguise and by using the 'reflex statement' we are in fact ignoring the prospect's views and needs.

Before we go on, let me give you an example. Read the statement below and consider the reflex response from the salesperson.

Prospect; "Right now we do not have the resources internally to manage such a complicated solution." Salesman; "If we could show you how easy it could be to make this possible would you buy from us."

The prescriptive response from the salesperson will only harm the sales cycle. This is a wasted opportunity. There are real needs behind the prospect statement. In fact it is not an objection at all but a series of 'implied needs' which, if explored and developed, would enhance our chances of addressing all the customer's requirements. Can you name all the "implied needs" in the prospect's statement? Could you turn these "implied needs" into "benefit statements" which will help close our deal?

If you can't see the implied needs, it does not mean you are bad at selling, it usually means that you may need to improve or hone your skills. Why not write down some of the "objections" you have encountered in the field over the last few months. Look at them and see if you can pull out the implied needs. If you want, email them to us and we will reply with the implied needs.

You could also read about BlueEskimo's sales methodology, Real Value Selling?. It is all about the value proposition. This primarily describes the only reason, motivation or justification for an organisation or company to purchase any product or service. These values are also described as the 'Buying Criteria' ? the reasons for choosing a particular product or supplier over another. These justifications are commercial and can only be described in financial terms, or the payback but not the price!

And if nothing else, next time you encounter an objection, remember it is only an implied need in disguise.

Kevin McLaren - Sales Trainer and business development

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