August 19/26, 2019: Volume 35, Issue 5
By Lisbeth Calandrino
Even seasoned professionals get dismissed by customers who use certain statements to put them off. Rather than challenge the customer, many often give up. This is the point where true salespeople shine. Rather than being thrown off by common consumer objections, creative RSAs seize the opportunity.
To be successful, however, you need to be prepared. You must also believe in yourself, your products and your brand. Following are frequent consumer objections, along with suggestions on how to overcome them:
1. “I can’t afford it.” This is my personal favorite. We all have had times when we couldn’t afford something, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t ultimately buy it. You’re not doing your customer a disservice by ignoring this statement. Persist by building value. Show the customer how she can’t live without the product. Review the customer’s “conditions of satisfaction.” Why did she decide the product was for her in the first place? Review the features and benefits that fit the customer’s key concerns. You can also suggest a product that is less expensive and help her compare the two. Don’t let the customer dissuade you. Your job is to make her feel you have her best interests at heart and show her your product is what she needs.
2. “We’re just looking.” You’ve heard this a million times and you might be tempted to leave her alone. Don’t do it. Yes, people just look, but if you leave them alone while they’re looking you run the risk of looking like you don’t care. Statements like: “We have some new products, can I point them out to you?” “We have a huge selection, can I help you find the right product?” “May I look with you?” These should be followed up with rapport-building statements—anything other than trying to sell them. Talk about their kids, the weather, whatever, etc.
3. “I have to ask my husband or my wife.” One reason the customer might say this is because she/he doesn’t trust your judgment. If they don’t believe what you’re saying, they certainly don’t want to make the decision alone. Ask them what their spouse likes. I bet they know.
4. “We’re not prepared to buy today; we have to look around.” That’s fine, don’t be afraid to tell them you understand. Respond by explaining you don’t want them to miss out on special products and pricing. As they’re looking around, ask what they’ve been thinking about.
5. “I’ll know it when I see it.” This is really a funny statement. Try this: “What will it look like when you see it?” Or, “Tell me what the ‘perfect’ product means to you.”
6. “It’s too expensive.” This is similar to “I can’t afford it.” Surprisingly, this response gives you lots to work with. Review the customer’s budget and explain why the product she likes will be less expensive in the long run. Products that hold up are never expensive, no matter how much it costs.
7. “Your competition is cheaper.”Customers like to scare you with this statement—don’t let them. You can acknowledge their statement, but this doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. Your competition might be cheaper, but you might exceed them in other areas. Explain what makes you different and what you’re willing to do for them. Cheaper doesn’t always mean better even if it’s the same product.
If the customer leaves your store too soon, chances are you won’t get the business. The longer you can keep them in your store, the more likely you are to sell them.
Lisbeth Calandrino has been promoting retail strategies for the last 20 years. To have her speak at your business or to schedule a consultation, contact her at email@example.com.