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HOW TO SELL ANYTHING

Overcome 3 Common Sales Objections

These three classic sales scripts will help you to handle most sales objections.
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Here's some really basic sales techniques, right from the mouth of one of the world's true greats in sales training, the inimitable Tom Hopkins.  (Check out the great video on his home page!)

I'll give the objections and responses exactly how he gave them to me, followed by my own observations about customizing the scripts to make them work for YOU.

1. "I can get it cheaper elsewhere."

Your response: "In today's world we can almost always get something cheaper. I've found that when smart people invest their money they look for three things: the finest quality, the best service and lowest price. However, it's an undeniable truth no company can consistently offer all three. Two maybe, but not all three. Which two of those three things--quality, price, or service--do you think will most important for your long term plans?"

2. "I have a friend in the business."

Your response: "Hey, so do I! (Smile). But you know, there's an old saying--I don't know how true it is--that sometimes friendship and business don't mix. If you bought from a friend you might not want to say anything if you weren't happy with the purchase because it might damage the friendship. With me you can get on my case until you get exactly what you want."

3. "I did business with your company in the past and they were unprofessional."

Your response: "I can really appreciate that. I really hate it when that kind of thing happens to me. Suppose the shoe were on the other foot and it was your company that had acted unprofessionally. You'd probably fire the person responsible. That's probably what we had to do, and now it's my job to make certain that you're treated the right way from now on."

There's a reason that these are classics: they really do work. However, to make them work for you, you can't just memorize them and repeat them by rote.

Instead, understand the logic and intent behind each of the responses and craft a response that uses words and a tone that's natural for you.

For example, let's suppose you're in your mid-twenties, selling extreme sporting equipment wholesale to a buyer in his early thirties. Your version of response No.3 might be more like this:

"Yeah, I hear you. When I joined the firm there were rumors about some screw-ups. All I can say now is, as far as I can tell, the problems have been fixed and the screw-ups have left the company. My job is to make sure you get a great price on gear that people want and that it gets here right when you need it."

BTW, it's not difficult to do this kind of customization of sales scripts. Just think about what you're trying to communicate and then pretend that you're talking to a friend over a beer. It's really that simple.

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Last updated: Oct 31, 2012

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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