Do you dread the thought of cold calling? Does the thought of picking up the phone make you sick to the stomach? Let me help you deal with that…
Over the past few videos, on the Maid In Business YouTube channel, I have been talking about sales and the sales process within our cleaning businesses. In the sales series, so far, we have spoken about door knocking for business, planning a sales call, and most recently about sales objection handling.
Let’s take a quick look at the video on Sales Objection Handling as a starting point:
(Don’t worry if you have missed the other videos, you can find all “Sales For Your Cleaning Business” in one playlist << this will be added to with each new video, so the info you need is always in one place, ‘cos I’m helpful like that :-))
So, in the sales objection handling video, we spoke about the technique of handling an objection and I promised to give a few specific examples of the most regularly received sales objections when making a business to business telephone call. Below is a re-cap of the steps to use when sales objection handling.
Ready for the crash course in sales objection handling? Let’s Go!
OBJECTION 1 – “You’re too expensive” – “It costs too much”
Ah, money, money, money. They say it makes the world go round and maybe it does, but do you know what money can stop dead in its tracks? Cold callers that’s what. ‘We have no budget/money”, “we can’t afford you”, “you are too expensive”, are all phrases likely to scare away the cold-calling cleaning business owner, into a quick fumble of “oh okay then, thank you for your time”. Click. Panic, panic, panic…. (sound familiar?)
If a potential client tells you they have no money, then that must be the end of the telephone conversation, right? Nothing to do or see here?
Wrong. Wrong-diddly-wrong-wrong my friend.
If anything playing the money card is the quickest way to get the cold-caller off the phone, it is the more acceptable and more polite version of “I’m just not interested”.
The business you are calling may have assigned their budget..this year, but what about next? What if you could prove you could actually save the client money long term and that you could do a better and more efficient job than the cleaners they currently have? What if they just don’t understand what you are selling and the value you would bring to them and their business?
Don’t be deterred by the money card amigos, instead, think of open questions to try and find out the reasons behind the sales objection…
“I understand what you saying sir about the cost of hiring a cleaning service, but can I ask how do you currently clean your offices..”
“I appreciate as a small business it is hard to assign what little budget you have but what if I could prove to you it would be cheaper to hire me to clean than to do it yourself? I can clean quicker and to a higher standard, allowing you to spend your time on tasks that can make you money within your business”
“I understand that you feel we are too expensive as a company, however, we have a very excellent standard of cleaning, using only the highest grade cleaning materials, with fully trained staff, that we have several client testimonials confirming. We have an out of hours service for all of our clients and a client retention rate of 98% year on year. We always deliver our best clean every clean, so you don’t ever have to worry about your offices being presentable as we will have it covered, like a silent cleaning ninja!”
*** Notice the start of each example reply was a brief re-cap of what the potential client had said – (step 2 in The step by step guide to sales objection handling above) followed by an open question or a positive feature and/or benefit of your cleaning business matched with their business – This shows understanding and that you’re listening ***
Don’t be afraid of the price of your service and don’t feel pressurised to drop your panties, so to speak, on your prices just because the potential client is huffing and puffing. Remember, you are business and as a business it’s your job is to make a profit, you are not doing anything every successful business in the world doesn’t do, so stand by your prices people, you work hard.
Remember, you are business and as a business it’s your job is to make a profit, you are not doing anything every successful business in the world doesn’t do, so stand by your prices people, you work hard and deserve the money!
Still not convinced? Read this great post from Entrepreneur – Don’t Be The Cheapest, Be The Best” to reaffirm yourself.
OBJECTION 2 – “I already use a cleaner/cleaning service”
This may or may not be a true sales objection from a potential client, so again rather than be ‘ok thanks, bye”, we need to dig a little deeper…
“Oh that’s great, can I ask, who do you currently use for your office cleaning?”
“How long have you been with your current cleaning service?”
Personally, I will always praise the competitor, when given their name, if I know them (which I will…)
“Oh you use Joe Bloggs’ Cleaning? They are a great company, I know Joe personally, he’s a good guy. Can I ask, is it a contract you have with Joe and how regularly do you put it out to tender to make sure you are getting the best value cleaning service for your business?”
If a potential client tied into a contract with another cleaning service provider, and it doesn’t renew for say 6, 10 months, for example, there is no point harassing the poor facilities manager or business owner for months on end, as unless something terribly wrong happens, the potential client will be locked down. What I would advise in these situations is to confirm when the contract comes up for renewal and ask the potential client of I could call them again in x amount of months to see if their needs have changed/are changing. I would also ask if I could add them to my monthly newsletter list and keep in touch.
Whatever you do folks, do not, I repeat, DO NOT talk down about your competitors – even if you know the cleaning business owner sucks or that the business in question is woeful, it is not your place to comment or pass judgements. Ever. It makes you look childish and a poor sportsman(woman), no one wants to deal with someone who passes off judgements and opinions willy-nilly, it does not show good integrity to be trusted by the potential client.
OBJECTION 3 – “I need to speak to my manager/boss/CEO/Anyone who isn’t you”
Okay, so one of the first videos in the sales series was about door knocking for business, and in this video, we talked about the importance of information gathering and paying attention to the details of who is who and in what departments they are in, of the business you are trying to get into. If you call Joe Bloggs, CEO of Widgets Incorporated, off the back of a cold call, who is non-plussed about talking to you, (and it was definitely the name the receptionist had given you), one of three things are probably happening:
- The receptionist lied/was mistaken and give you the first name that they thought to be correct contact, or perhaps, it was the first name that just randomly popped into their head to make you go away
- The person you are speaking to does not want to speak to you (and might even be annoyed you have reached them) and so they will make out they do not have the right authority levels to sign off orders even though they do
- The person you are speaking to may be the right person in the right role, but may have no budget authority – therefore, they are a key to the right person and you should definitely have a chat to gain further information but, they are not the right person to keep schmoozing/harassing with your pitch, so just keep it to chit-chat and information gathering on who holds the cheque book!
Again, like the previous examples, it has to be down to probing further with the potential client to see if you are wasting your time and best sales pitch on them…
“Sorry to have bothered you Joe Bloggs I was passed your name by Cynthia. Could you tell who would be the best person to speak to regarding the cleaning services?”
“I appreciate you are very busy Mr Bloggs and that your time is limited. I was passed your name by Cynthia, and as I understand it, you would be involved in the sign-off of any new contracts but would not be available to see me direct? I was wondering, if you could point me in the direction of someone who would be responsible for the office cleaning/or if I may send you an email, and I will explain, in less than 2 minutes, how I could save your company money, whilst delivering the highest standards of cleaning to your organisation?”
The thing with sales objection handling, is that you could go on forever, thinking of plausible sales objections and comebacks, and yes, whilst it is worth preparing for sales objection handling, it can become an all-consuming task, that I have seen many sales professional use as a source of procrastination and reason not to get on with the calls. In sales you will always get no’s, they are par for the course, the trick is having faith and knowledge in your business and your skills, and a knowledge of your competitors and of your marketplace.
Before you start your calls, maybe jot a list of the top 3 features and/or benefits of using your service, be clear and know what you offer. Feel free to print our the steps to sales objection handling too.
Now my friend, all you have to do is pick up the phone and go for it…
Happy selling, let me know how you go
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