Overcoming Sales Objections for Small Business Networks
Do you need help overcoming sales objections? Do you sellcomputer networks, or other IT-related products and servicesto small businesses? This article provides tips and hints soyou can be overcoming the most common sales objections heardwhen selling networks to small business prospects,customers, and clients.
The problem generally begins when you start talking about anetwork upgrade. Around the time, many small businessprospects, customers and clients will dwell on cost.
These small business prospects, customers and clients oftenneglect to consider the soft costs of not properly investingin a network... such as lost employee productivity whenimprudent corners are cut, downtime when fault-tolerance isan afterthought, and service costs from computer consultantswhen difficult-to-support or "dead-end" solutions areselected primarily because of their low price tag.
No matter how thorough your initial consultation, IT audit,site survey and network design reports, some unforeseenclient objections may pop up just before you get theclient's authorization to proceed (generally a signedcontract and retainer or deposit check).
Why Overcoming Sales Objections is SO Crucial
Because one relatively minor concern might threaten toderail the entire sale, you need to gain the criticalbusiness development skills for overcoming sales objections,with some of the biggest small business network deal-closingobstacles.
Empowered with these strategies for overcoming salesobjections, you'll be much less apt to get emotional,defensive or just plain annoyed. You can then stay focusedon keeping your eye on the ball and figuring out the bestway to solve the prospect's or future client's problems...and of course, close the sale. Remember, your company isn'tin business to solve prospects' problems; only those ofpaying clients.
Overcoming Sales Objections: Apathy
I hope you get a good night's sleep before this salesobjection rears its ugly head. You need a powerful force toovercome apathy.
If small business decision-makers have an apathetic outlooktoward the prospect of implementing a network, yourdecision-makers might take weeks, months, or perhaps evenyears before feeling a sense of urgency about your proposednetwork project.
However, once you discover the roots of this apathy, you'llbe better able to push (or at least nudge) the approvalprocess along.
Here’s a typical example you’ll find in the field: The smallbusiness owner sees no problem with their existing peer-to-peer network. One or two seemingly innocuous foul-ups,however, can cause the small business owner to see the"light".
With a Microsoft Windows peer-to-peer network, for example,the "server" seems perfectly reliable until the personworking on the PC functioning as the server inadvertentlyhits the reset button with his or her knee.
If you need to be overcoming more of the common salesobjections, you must be very adept and recounting thesekinds of cautionary tales with the right timing, deliveryand empathy.
Using Network Reliability to Overcoming Sales Objections
PC/LAN network reliability can also get called into questionwhen the user of the peer-to-peer server inadvertentlyperforms an unannounced, unscheduled shutdown and restartbecause a software setup program prompted a reboot.
With peer-to-peer networks, protecting data is usually alsoan afterthought. If the peer-to-peer server isn't protectedwith fault tolerant hard drives, a reliable tape backupdrive, a server-class UPS, and updated antivirus software, apeer-to-peer server becomes an accident waiting to happen.
So while any of these factors can turn apathy into youropportunity, sometimes a little divine intervention steps into help you in overcoming sales objections.
One day a lightning storm and blackout pushes your client's"server" over the edge. When power's restored, the servercannot even boot up to its welcome or logon screen. So now,the small business owner is scrambling with the internalguru at 2 a.m. trying to restore the company's corruptedcontact management database, which contains 25,000 recordsand three years of data.
Fear of Catastrophic Data Loss and Overcoming SalesObjections
Situations such as catastrophic data loss, although horribletragedies for those affected, are great motivators forcombating apathy and overcoming sales objections. All of asudden, the small business owner becomes extremely receptiveto your suggestions about your proposed networking solution,which of course features centralized security and dataprotection.
Discontinued technical support is another powerfulcounterforce for overcoming apathy-rooted sales objections,especially when you're talking about vertical, industry-specific software, such as niche applications designed foraccountants, attorneys, physicians, realtors, auto bodyshops and restaurants.
After a certain point, the independent software vendor (ISV)selling vertical, industry-specific software draws a line inthe sand and stops providing technical support, annualupdates, and patches for older versions of their product.
So if your client is an accounting firm that needs updatedtax tables (they'd basically be out of business withoutthem), your client is forced to upgrade the tax software,which often in turn forces an upgrade of the server. Thisresults in a call to your firm to upgrade their server (andseveral related highly lucrative product sales and serviceopportunities for your firm), all as a result of the "dominoeffect" from an ISV calling the shots.
With this kind of scenario, you don’t even need to do muchof the work in overcoming this sales objection. Yourprospect’s, customer’s, or client’s vertical ISV has donethe "heavy lifting" so to speak in overcoming salesobjections.
So besides fears of unreliable systems and vendor-mandatedupgrades, you can also overcome apathy by discussing yourprospect's, customer’s or client's competition (withoutnaming names, of course). If you work with many smallbusinesses in the same industry, and you're seeing asoftware or more general technology trend that drasticallyalters the competitive landscape in your prospect's orclient's industry, by all means call this to your prospect'sor client's attention, as a means of overcoming salesobjections.
The Bottom Line
If you sell and service IT-related products to smallbusinesses, you need to develop your sales skills forovercoming sales objections. This article introduces you tothree different major categories of small business IT salesobjections and helps you understand simple anecdotal closingstrategies for overcoming those sales objections... and mostimportantly, closing more big-ticket sales.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joshua Feinberg is a 15-year veteran computer consultant and an internationally recognized expert on computer consulting. He has appeared in dozens of business and IT trade publications including CRN, VARBusiness, Microsoft Direct Access, TechRepublic, American Express OPEN Platinum Ventures, Entrepreneur, Inc, and USA Today. To get more of Joshua’s proven strategies for overcoming sales objections, visit http://www.lan-wan-integration.com