A Sale is considered closed when the buyer and seller reach agreement on terms for the buyer to take ownership of a product or service. To get to this stage, the seller normally has to close the sale, by asking the buyer for their business. This is where the buyer raises objections. Objections generally fall into three main types. This article will explore the types of objection, how they arise and how to overcome and avoid them. Part II will then discuss the 10 most common objections, and how to handle them to close the sale. Potential customers generally raise objections for three specific reasons. Two of these are easily handled. The third however, normally points to a fundamental breakdown in the sales process. All is not however lost, and while most of these can be overcome, it is important to understand why they arose, and ensure future sales do not fall into the same trap. Sales objection Type 1 Negotiation Tactics. Assuming that your buyer fully appreciates the value that your product will bring them, some still need to get a deal. The range of people looking for a deal can be entrepreneurs, professional procurement and government departments. You must get the customer to reiterate the value that they are getting first and foremost. This will strengthen your negotiating position. If it is confirmed that they really need this, and that they truly believe that you have the best solution for them, you must make a judgment call. This in effect means that you must also look at the lifetime value of the customer, and whether winning the immediate negotiation, could affect future relationships. Remember, we must always strive for a win-win scenario, since good customers become long-term partners! If you feel you need to still do a deal, try and throw something into the deal that they need. Why because a discount comes straight out of your profit. Giving them a value added service, not only costs less, but it gives them a deal, while making their life as a customer even better. Sales objection Type 2 Competitor Planted. Very few sales professionals operate in a vacuum. They normally have to face competitors at many different stages in the sales cycle. The earlier you face them and help the customer reject them, the easier your job will become. Many top sales professionals, who know that their customers need to go out to tender, help the customers, write the Requests for Proposals (RFP). I always remind sales people that I work with if receiving an RFP is a surprise losing it shouldnt be! One of the competitive tactics, I teach, is to Raise the Bar. What this basically means is that if youre neck and neck in a competitive bid, throw in some additional features or benefits, which the customer may need, that you know your competitor cant deliver. A great tactic, but what do you do if this happens to you? You need to test if this is a genuine requirement. You need to ask them how valuable to their business would having this requirement be. You also need to confirm whether or not it is a sale breaker. If it is, then either walk away, or see if you can match their need in a way that still benefits both parties. Sales objection Type 3 Genuine Concern, or an Expectation Gap. The final type of objection arises normally due to a lack of qualification, or indeed not following an appropriate sales process. If at the close, a potential buyer is still not convinced, then either you have closed too early, or you have not addressed all their concerns. At this stage, you need to find out exactly what the issue it is. It may be one of lack of authority they cant actually make a decision to purchase, or is could be because they have not matched the value your product can give them, with their needs and expectations. Price should certainly not be an issue, if your customer appreciates the value of the product or service. Size and financial viability also fall into this category, and there are a number of ways of turning these around to appease the customers concern The most common reason, and indeed the easiest to solve, is the prove it objection. Like all others, this should be confirmed as the last remaining question, by asking something like If we can do or show you that, will you go ahead. A selection of proof points may be a pilot, a reference visit or maybe a factory tour if you manufacture your own products. Visit our website (InfoCenter page) to read Part II.
Law firm marketing and the hating part in the title depends on what you mean by selling dont you think? After all many people think the word sell is a four-letter word. If you mean the kind of traditional selling we find prevalent in the selling of new or used cars or if you think of selling as getting someone to purchase what you have to sell regardless of the means used - then I would say I hate selling myself! In law firm marketing if you mean facilitating a persons unique process in deciding what is in their highest and best interest (while suspending ones own needs and supporting their decision making process) - then I love selling. I assert, in "law firm marketing" , selling is not something to hate given how I define selling. In fact selling, given my definition, is a required skill set in serving people well and is critical in lawyer marketing. Given my definition what do you do? Read on.What does this law firm marketing coach recommend you do in building sales skills? First, I would suggest you think through your responsibility to your prospective clients to deliver buyer facilitation (more on this a bit later). Second, I would suggest you become familiar with some of the consultative sales models that have been developed that are applicable to "lawyer marketing" . Few attorneys have ever had any training in sales or even read a book on the subject (or so I have found in my work with over 500 attorneys). What are these sales models that can work with lawyer marketing? Read on.One model that works with law firm marketing and has a 30-year track record is the Sandler Sales Institutes 7-Step System For Successful Selling. The book I found that is best for understanding this approach is David H. Sandlers You Cant Teach A Kid To Ride A Bike At A Seminar. There are around 175 Sandler franchisees around the country that have multiyear sales training programs you dont need, however, you can find the book at http://Amazon.com. Even though I dont agree with all that is said in this book it is one of the top three I recommend for law firm marketing. The next model is Integrity Selling For The 21st Century by Ron Willingham. One of its big strengths is talking about different buyer types so you dont speak the same way to everyone, instead you speak to their type if you can.Finally, my top recommendation for lawyer marketing is Selling with Integrity by Sharon Drew Morgan. She has a website at http://www.buyingfacilitation.com/advantage.html where you can get her latest e-book (which is an update of her hard copy book). Sharons model is the one I use in my work since it is third generation and a win/win situation. First came traditional selling, and then came the consultative sales model, and now the buyer facilitation model. One does not throw out consultative sales (represented in the first two books I mention) totally with buyer facilitation but consultative sales skills comes AFTER buyer facilitation. Also, it goes without saying traditional sales is out in law firm marketing.Why would sales distinctions (more on that in my client development e-course) be important to learn in law firm marketing? First, you want everyone you talk with to have a good experience. Whether they hire you or not they have been profoundly served and will remember your unique connection with them as well as tell others. Second, you want your prospective client to be an educated consumer in making a decision since an educated consumer is more likely to say yes and say it sooner than later. Third, as a law firm marketing coach I am interested in your conversion ratio or how many of the people you talk with actually turn into clients. If I can help you improve your conversion ratio or please forgive me closing ratio then I will increase your income while you serve your clients better than ever. What is wrong with that?
So how do you do it? Direct mail marketing. When it comes to marketing your product or services there are two basic challenges: 1. How do you obtain new customers or clients? 2. How do you get your existing customers to come back for more? Direct mail/direct response marketing answers both these challenges admirably (its not the only way to do it but it is a proven method that always works). You can ALWAYS rely on DIRECT MAIL MARKETING. The postcarddirect marketings secret weaponOne of the simplest and most cost-effective forms of direct mail marketing is the POSTCARD. Because postcards work so well they can be considered one of the key small business marketing strategies. "I switched from sending out a monthly newsletter to my mailing list, to sending out full color post cards.Not only did it save me money on the cost of printing, but it saved me the hassle of having to prepare the mailings. Feedback has been very positive from our clients and the leads have been pouring in. Plus my website hits have increased due to promotion or it on our post cards!" Kerry Fuller, Realty Executives Direct mail marketing strategiesTo get new customers all you need to do is: 1. Get their identities (mailing lists do this). 2. Reach them ( "direct mail" does this). 3. Attract their attention and get your message across (post cards do this perfectlyyou dont have to open them!). 4. Get them to contact you. (Your mailing piece, letter or, preferably, post card, will do that if its well designed and written.)5. The rest is up to your ability to sell. To get your existing customers to come back for more all you need to do is:1. Keep accurate records of your customers (anyone who has ever bought anything from you) in a database and keep it current. 2. Send them frequent mailings. Postcards are excellent. You can send out a newsletter. You can send out personalized letters. But keep contacting them. Tell them about new products or services. Get them to respond. 3. Obviously you have to deliver excellent service or a great product. You will get results with these marketing techniques even if you dont deliver good service or a great product, but it wont last long and you wont be able to maintain it. 4. Remember, the size of your customer base and the number of mailings to it determines how much income you make. Fact. So, do it correctly and you cannot fail.
Brand Identity is a promise. One given from business to customer to expect certain things. Whether that promise involves product quality, service, price or a million other things varies from brand to brand. But the one thing common among all brands is the need to be a strong brand.Why is brand identity so critical?A strong "brand identity" can position a company above its competition all by itself. But having a brand that strong takes time, money and effort to develop. Its not as simple as just redesigning a logo or rewriting a tagline. Brand identity is the reason you offer for your customer to choose you instead of your competition.How to rework your brand identitySuccessful re-branding involves evolution, not revolution. You must impress upon your existing customers that your new brand is just a new and improved version of the same you. Its important to not get too crazy with a re-branding effort because you could end up destroying fragile emotional ties and customer loyalty.Brand identity is much more than marketingHaving a brand identity that resonates with your market is important, but not at the expense of the people within your company. They need to not only get it, but also be your brands most fervent ambassadors. Do your employees believe in your company? Do they feel like they have a vested stake in its success? Companies with solid brand identities can say yes to these questions. Can yours? If not, heres some things you can do:1.Get every aspect of your company on the same page: Easier said than done, right? Well, that doesnt mean its not necessary. Get all your departments talking to each other and understanding each other. 2.Promote everyone to the position of brand ambassador: Give everyone a common understanding of the company, its mission and their part in it. They should feel like they have ownershipeven if they dont.3.Reinforce brand values and behaviors: To do this, use the tools you have, such as internal communicationsand like a good basketball coach, consistently promote these fundamentals until theyre second nature.Your employees will ultimately determine your success or failure. Thats why its so important to have them buy into your companys brand identity. However, thats not something that can be forced. You, as leadership, must earn it. But once you do, youll have a company that is full of happy, motivated successful brand ambassadors.
The number of businesses using direct mail marketing now compared to how many used this medium 10 to 15 years ago is staggeringly higher. More and more marketers understand its effectiveness and are on the bandwagon - especially Mortgage Brokers. Years back the novelty of receiving an advertisement in your mailbox was such that any direct mail pieces were not only looked at but mulled over. Not so anymore. The term junk mail was coined sometime since then and Im sure youve thrown out your fair share of unread pieces enough to understand why. So, what can you do about it as a marketer? How can you ensure you get the biggest bang for your direct mail dollar? Now more than ever, you have to understand how to put together a direct mail piece. More than ever you have to really target your mailing to go to a specific market. And more than ever you need to be patient and learn how to campaign because that is the key to success. Dont get me wrong direct mail is not dead and I dont see it dying any time soon. It is still the quintessential part of the largest companys campaigns. Because it works.In this article I will teach you some of these three topics:Designing a direct mail pieceTargeting your specific marketCampaigningA Great DesignMany people think that the quality of any graphic design is determined by how aesthetically pleasing it is: Although making the card look good is important, this couldn't be further from the truth. The only true measure of any design, at least commercially, is "How well does it pull?". By pull we mean what type of response does it elicit? Does it pull in calls, or pull people into the store? In essence, does the design accomplish what it set out to do?From this fact it is not a reach to come to the conclusion that the merit of a graphic designer is based on the performance of his or her designs. You may be able to put together the most beautiful ad that the world has ever seen, but if it doesn't make the phone ring it isn't worth the paper that it is printed on.You need to make designs that are not only attractive but, more importantly, that get the response needed to turn a profit. You want to ensure people see your ad and want your services. In short, if the ad doesn't make you any money, its not a good ad.To BE or Not To BEEasy. Say there is a monkey loose in your office and you can't seem to get any work done. The only solution is to catch the little distraction and FedEx him back to the jungle that he came from. Question: How do you catch a monkey? You have to get into his head, think like him. You have to BE the monkey to find out what is going to bring him close enough for you to catch him.Every potential customer is like the monkey. They are going to do whatever they want unless you can persuade them to listen to you. You have to get into their head, think like them, BE them. A monkey is a simple animal so you can probably get his attention with the stereotypical banana.Human beings on the other hand are extremely complex. Then you add in the fact that the mailing list is targeted and it can get quite challenging. To help you answer the question of what you should say in your ad, you should use three things: Reasoning ExperienceResearch Take an unrelated subject to your own industry sometimes its better learn that way. Pick something. Say you have an upscale Italian womens shoe boutique. You want to appeal to women that like that sort of thing. Get in her head. What would make her want to buy from you? Remember, she gets bombarded with advertisements every day. What can you say that really draws her in? How about Tired of Wearing the Same Styles as Everyone Else? Have a graphic that supports the message - show a fantastic pair of shoes or better yet a good looking woman with a great pair of shoes on. Now pretend you are a family man or woman with a household income of the $75k with revolving debt of $15K and youve got two kids! Kids can be pretty expensive. So, why would you like to refinance? Find a Specialized Mailing ListIf there is one thing I cant say enough it is that the most important part of your mailing campaign is your mailing list. It is vital that you put the right amount of energy into learning about lists who to mail to so that your mailing efforts arent wasted. There are a few different ways that you can get an adequately targeted list.As always the first step is to determine who your target market will be. Say you want to market to homeowners. Good, now we have narrowed it down to only 291,324 people in your area. As a minimum, your mailing campaign should send to the same names three times. So all you have to do is send out 873,972 postcards at $0.185 per piece & you get the point. We need to narrow it down some more.So how do you accomplish the narrowing of your list? Many factors can be considered, including age, gender, zip code, annual salary, profession and number of children are some of the more common qualifiers. It may take a while to figure out what combination works for your specific product. Dont worry about political correctness when considering whom you should mail to. It is perfectly acceptable to test certain lists that may be considered "stereotypical". Many times these lists will work well. But you never know until you test them. No matter how great an idea you have about a certain market, ALWAYS DO A SMALLER TEST MAILING FIRST! Average test mailings run around 1000-1500 names. Once you see acceptable returns on the smaller mailing then you can jump in with the larger numbers. Test, test, test!The purpose of special mailing lists is to target a specific type of customer for your specific type of business. The eventual end result is more customers and a better bottom line. And this is what we all want, right?Repeating Your Messagecampaign n. 1.A series of military operations undertaken to achieve a large-scale objective during a war: Grant's Vicksburg campaign secured the entire Mississippi for the Union. 2.An operation or series of operations energetically pursued to accomplish a purpose: an advertising campaign for a new product; a candidate's political campaign. intr.v. campaigned, campaigning, campaigns To engage in an operation planned to achieve a certain goal: campaigned through the jungles of Vietnam; campaigned for human rights. [French campagne, from Italian campagna, field, military operation, from Late Latin campania, open country, battlefield, from Latin campus, field.]Definition number 2 above is the one were using. But from studying the entire definition along with the derivation (the word origin) you can see how all the definitions tie together. Campaigns for marketing are, in a nutshell, a series of advertising steps including repeat mailings that are strategically planned so that there is maximum benefit (more new customers) for your business. Nota bene (that means take note in Latin and I do mean take note): If you are not doing repeat mailings then you are flushing money down toilet. Sorry, I know. The truth sometimes hurts.Why is this true? One mailing of one postcard once is barely going to get anyones attention for more then the minute they see it. Think about it. How many times have you seen the same TV commercials over and over? A one shot in the dark postcard mailing is not going to change your business, your bottom line, your life or your anything.So, if you are not up to confronting that you need to do a campaign then maybe you shouldnt be in business. And that may sound harsh it is harsh. Its a harsh world. And I want you to succeed in it.There is another reason. Credibility. In some cases people will hold onto your postcard for a while. They can hold onto your postcard for six months. They may even hold on to your card for three years. But in most cases theyll think Oh, I may need that some day and then while tidying up theyll throw it away. When you repeat your mailings to those same people and they see your image, logo, slogan, message over and over you become credible to them. Your chances of them responding just got greater. Repeat mailings cannot be repeated enough.To give you an example, I call it the Trickle Down Effect:Say you send out 5000 postcards. Out of that 5000, 150 hang onto your postcard.Out of that 5000, so many call the 1st week.Out of that 5000, so many call the 2nd week.Out of that 5000, so many call the next month.Out of that 5000, so many call in 6 months.Out of that 5000, so many never callThere is a dwindling inflow from that first mailing and therefore can give a false impression of what occurs from one mailing. Someone sends out a postcard and says, I only got four responses from my mailing! But there is a whole dynamic that is going on that is continuing from that one mailing way after the person who sent the mailing expects things to happen. Think about it. Do you jump at every single advertisement that you get bombarded with that you think is a good idea? If you do, you are either a millionaire or broke. But most likely, you see some advertisement that catches your interest and say to yourself that youd like to check that out some day. Then, you see it again and remember that you wanted to check that out one day. And then, you see it again and this time you decide to check it out. You want continuous and consistent growth. So what do you do? Look at this scenario:What if,You send out 5000 postcards one week and you have all that going on that I mentioned above.You send out 5000 the next week and you have all that going on that I mentioned above.You send out 5000 the next week and that dwindling flow chart is going on, on each one of those outflows.What is going to happen? Eventually it is going to snowball its coming in from all different places!You are really putting your communication out there consistently in a big way.And yes, it costs a lot of money to do it. (Once you have your list which youll use over and over only paying for it once postage is more then 55% of your costs) So, FIND THE MONEY. If you are going to borrow money to do a business, spend that borrowed money on marketing!Start with a list and mail to one list one week, another list the next week and another list the following week. Then you rotate those lists again. And again. And again. Now you ask - what if you only have one list? You can still rotate one list. And it is always good to put it on a spreadsheet or a flow chart to track what you are doing and what you have already done.For instance: You get one list of 6000 identities. You can mail to 2000 one week, 2000 the next week and 2000 the third week. Then you rotate. There are your three different lists!A campaign is mailing to the same people over and over and over again. The point is you want to hit your prospects with different communication about the same thing or hit them with different products with the same look and feel or both. The rest will come.Because what you are building with a marketing campaign is credibility. You are building your business through communication. You are communicating consistently, so much that people will believe you (credibility) and they will respond; they will come, they will spend. 1744, Benjamin Franklin published and mailed the first direct marketing catalog which sold scientific and academic books. Direct Mail has come a long way since then, so DONT let your piece get lost in the mail, so to speak, make it stand out by applying these three basics of successful marketing:BeingTargeting andRepeatingGood luck!