Liz Lemarchand: How is it that innovative software solutions have the ability to change the world yet they don’t sell themselves? How is it that I know my target market but I’m not able to generate enough sales opportunities? How do I even get started to create visibility for my brand when I’m not an expert in marketing? That is the question and this podcast will give you the answer. Welcome to SMplified: Software Marketing Made Simple!
Hey, everyone, it’s Liz from MediaDev and thanks for joining me today for another episode of SMplified where I will give you access to tools and strategies to help you with your software marketing and sales outreach.
Today I am going to address why we need to stop counter-arguing prospects, and I know this is going to ruffle a few feathers out there because as sales professionals, we’ve all been taught why it’s important to list out some of the main reasons for negative and make sure that we’re able to effectively counter-argue those.
And I’m here to say that we need to really stop doing that.
First of all, any time we get into a convincing kind of energy when we’re with the prospect, we’re really just creating a situation where the prospect is going to insist that their way is the right way. You know, anytime we’re trying to say to somebody you’re wrong, even if that’s not exactly what we’re saying, but we’re implicitly implying it by trying to counter-argue, the other person is just going to try to prove to you why they are right and many many times when we’re talking about sales outreach in the B2B Software space, there’s not a whole lot we’re going to be able to do to convince somebody in that way to have a look at the offer that we have, right?
So instead of getting into this, I’m arguing with you situation which honestly has never worked for anyone. I mean ask any sales representative, have you ever argued your way into a sale and I am 100 percent sure they will all say, no, I have never argued my way into getting a sale.
So I really do believe that instead of arguing or counter-arguing, we need to be able to get to a place of curiosity so that we’re understanding the prospect more, understanding why they’ve said no. And from there, then we can begin to maybe break apart some false beliefs that they may have. So it’s not the same energy that’s behind it.
Again, a convincing energy really is a kind of scarcity of time mindset where we’re very hard-pressed in the moment to quickly come out with a counterargument that’s going to change the person’s mind. But instead, if we basically drop our weapons, drop our defenses, go in the sense of the prospect and say, yeah, you know, I totally get it. This may not be the right solution for you and I just want to understand better like, What is it that you’re looking for? What are some of the needs that are really important to you right now? What is it that you’re looking for? What is the priority in your company? What are some of your main challenges or pain points? That will help open up the conversation.
Many times we think that a no means this is the end of the conversation. The conversation has to stop now, but actually no. Really its just a starting point. As long as we have a very neutral open curiosity type of energy behind it.
So what are some of the high-quality questions we can ask to a prospect when they’ve started to push back and imply to you whether implicitly or explicitly, that they’re not interested? Well, obviously it’s it depends on the context. It depends on exactly who is this prospect, what have they said. What are the contacts? What is the engagement that I’ve had with them? Am I on the phone with them or right in the mail? And is this an exchange that I’m having on LinkedIn or over e-mail?
Obviously, when we’re having in-mail exchanges over LinkedIn with prospects or we’re emailing them, there is an abundance of time because you don’t have to reply instantaneously to the prospects, right? So then you can really craft out your response very intentionally so that you can come up with what is really the best reply.
However, when we’re on the phone, it can be much trickier to do that, because sometimes we can be thrown for a loop when a prospect is telling us no, right? So some of the questions though that I have come up with, I’ve outlined this in our online master class called the Essentials to Lead Generation, where there’s really a whole module around this in that course.
But you know, just quickly, mirroring the prospect, repeating back the answer that they said. Let’s say they say, “No, this is not something we’re looking at right now.” You literally use the exact words they said to mirror back to them in the form of a question. “So you’re not looking at this right now? That will help prompt the prospect to give you more information, right? Or
“This is not something that we need at this moment.”
“This is not something that you need at this moment?”
It prompts the prospect to give you additional information that then you can use, either because you know you find out from the prospect that actually this is not the right person for you to talk to, you need to speak to somebody else. Or maybe they’re giving you some additional details that are really useful for you to help you say, Oh, well, actually, that’s not at all what I meant. This is what I did, you know, can be a clarifying type of scenario where you’re able to give the prospect more information that they didn’t necessarily have previously.
So again it’s a way of continuing the conversation. There are tons of other questions that you can ask, of course. Like I said previously, it all depends on the context and the idea though is that having this energy behind it, that’s very neutral. That’s very understanding. It will soothe the prospect. It makes them feel like they’re in a safe place where they can trust you. Do not cram a message down their throats because you want to get off the phone as quickly as possible and you want them to say yes to something even though they’re not quite sure that it’s the right, the right solution for them.
So keep that in mind, if you’re putting yourself in the shoes of your buyer persona, how would you react to somebody holding you? You know, that’s always my filter for everything. Would I want somebody to keep insisting? No, I wouldn’t. Would I want somebody to tell me that I’m wrong? No, I wouldn’t. So what are some other things that you can do so that the prospect really is inclined to give you more information? Continue the conversation. Engage with you further. You know all of that information then can bridge to “Wow, that is really super interesting and I would love to show you how we can address that. I’m not saying you’re going to buy this product, but I’d love to be able to give you a bit more detail so that you have all of the information you need to make an educated decision.
OK. That’s really what we can hope for is as being the best outcome. I mean, many times we go into these conversations thinking that we’re going to sell a product just because we’ve sent out one e-mail message or we’ve had one phone call with somebody. That never, ever happens ever. It’s like skipping too many steps on the buyer journey. I think if it is the equivalent of when you send out a resume to a company, you’re hoping sending out that resume is that they’re going to call you in for an interview and it’s the interview that’s going to get you the job, right? But if you go into thinking like, hey, this resume is going to get me the job, that’s actually never, ever, ever going to happen. Nobody hired somebody off of a resume that they received over e-mail once like that just is not how the process works, so don’t oversimplify the process either because you’re in a hurry. The buyer is certainly not in a hurry, so you need to match that energy and take your time and slow down, as well, so that you really can have quite an engaging conversation with your prospect.
So again, I hope that gives you some tools and strategies that can help you today to move forward with your B2B software sales outreach. For more tips and information we have tons of articles, podcast episodes and you can also check out my book which is called Tune In and Dial Out: How to win at B2B Cold Calling which is available on Amazon. And for more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or check out everything in our resource library at mediadev.com. Thanks so much, everybody. Have a fantastic day.
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