I’ve had so many requests asking for tips on overcoming sales objections, and I know that I can’t ignore these requests any longer. When selling painting services, most objections usually come down to 2 things: money or timing. One is a real objection, while the other is a condition that can’t be resolved with sales techniques.
If a customer needs a project done sooner then your schedule can accommodate, that’s out of your control. Now, if you’re willing to move other customers around to take this job, do so, but for the most part it’s not a good idea.
For price objections, keep reading, but first let’s explore some fundamental concepts around selling and objections.
Price objections are about two things
The first is your mindset. Most estimators are either too aggressive with objections, or way too passive. Both are coming from a mindset of fear. Either fear of losing the sale, so the estimator gets aggressive and tries to strong arm the customer into saying yes. The second one is fear of looking too aggressive and turning the customer off. Whichever mindset you tend towards, once you are hooked by fear, it’s all over and you suffer the “no sale syndrome”.
Be a RAC Star
A better mindset starts when you come from a place of relaxed assertive confidence (RAC). When you’re assertive, you communicate from a position of win-win. When you’re confident you tap into your natural power of conviction. Nothing is more powerful than your conviction. When you believe that helping a buyer overcome their discomfort with paying more to a get a GREAT paint job, you’re well on your way to becoming a great salesperson.
Objections are Natural
Objections on the buyer’s part are natural and should be expected. Even though you know you’re going to get objections, they still catch you off guard. Why?
I’m of the mindset that I get nervous when I don’t get objections. I’d much rather have a negative client who is nervous about their investment. At least you know they are serious. The buyers who make me nervous are the ones who go along with everything. They appear to be positive right up until it’s time to make a commitment.
Trust me when I say that empathy is not a buying sign.
Buyers hide the real objection.
An interesting thing I see happening is a lot is buyers don’t always state the real objection. Buyers try not to be rude, or they think that coming out and telling you that they don’t believe your paint job is worth what you’re charging is somehow going to hurt your feelings. What they do instead is to tell you they have to get other estimates. Most of the time customers do that because you haven’t demonstrated enough value (What they are getting for their money?)
That’s a common problem with painting company’s and estimators who have a weak selling system. What causes this is not enough effort put into asking good sales questions.
The process I teach in my Client-Centric Sales Training Classes is the following.
- Seek 1st to understand
When you get an objection try to understand where the customer is coming from. Ask questions. Many times, objections mean the customer needs more information to move forward. Sometimes it’s a situation where the customer has no idea what a proper painting company charges, so they will get other quotes to know if they are being ripped off or not.
Many times, just asking questions will get the customer to answer their own objections.
- When money is the issue.
If it comes down to the money, you need to further clarify. Is it because the customer doesn’t have the money, or they have the money but don’t see the value in spending it? These are two different issues. Not having the money is a condition, not seeing the value in spending it with your company to paint is another issue all together. The later needs to be addressed in your sales process.
If customers are telling you they can’t afford it, or they simply don’t have the money, then it’s a bad fit, In which case you’re fishing in the wrong pond. You need to get better leads and you do that by targeting better neighborhoods.
If on the other hand you are hearing that the customer doesn’t see the value in spending what you’re quoting, it’s time to rethink your selling system because your presentation (If you even have a presentation) is not creating enough value in your customers’ mind.
The problem is most estimators wait until after they present the quote to deal with objections. Letting objections stop you from making a sale is an excuse for weak sales skills. When objections become an excuse for not closing sales, this is a total cop-out by the manager, because they are not holding your salespeople accountable for learning how to deal with objections. It is all so poor salesmanship because part of being a sales professional is helping the customer work through objections. That’s what professional sales skills are.
I recently wrote a book that could really help you:
The Painting Contractors Guide to Doubling Your Sales Even If You’re Twice the Price.
This will help you make some adjustments to your selling system.
You can order a copy right here on our website or find the book on Amazon.
Isn’t it time once and for all to learn how to handle objections in a relaxed, assertive confident manor? I think so.