The Customer Is Always Right
As the promotional ad specialties account executive, you need to understand what the customer has a problem with and why they’re objecting. Once you do this, you will find out the truth. There are four key steps to doing this. Once the customer has voiced the objection, you need to:
Evaluate the customer’s response. (i.e. is it emotional or intellectual)
Acknowledge the objection/emotion. (i.e. thank you! or I understand)
Ask a question. (i.e. based on whether the objection is emotional or intellectual)
Repeat steps 1-3 as many times as is necessary.
- Evaluate the response
This is an internal, almost intuitive process, in which you make a very quick decision about whether the objection is driven by emotional, intellectual, or other factors. For instance, an objection such as “I’m tired of hearing from promotional sales people like you” is likely the result of the customer having a bad experience or feeling like he has been “pestered” by salespeople in the past. (Emotional) Your response would then be to acknowledge the emotion behind the objection. “Thank you. It sounds like you are feeling very annoyed right now.”
- Acknowledge The Objection
This step is very simple, but critically important. Always start with a simple “Thank You!” which indicates to the customer that you welcome their feedback. Then, if you can’t determine whether the objection is driven by emotional or cognitive factors, respond to the objection in a manner that affirms their position, but gives you an opening to gather more information: “Thank you! Since you have already researched the promotional items, it is clear that you know what you want. I know you’re looking for the best service and price, correct?
- Ask A Question
This step keeps you in the sales process. Once you have acknowledged the objection and the customer sees that you are truly interested, they will be more likely to continue a dialogue with you.