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Stop Overcoming Objections - Start Resolving Concerns!

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Register to watch the full webinar and or download slides at http://bit.ly/SMMwebinar-03212018 (no later than 3/23/2018).

Modern, enterprise B2B buyers have no tolerance for “Jedi mind tricks.” And as professional, consultative sellers, we shouldn’t want to foster an environment where we “overcome” our buyers’ “objections.” Could anything be less consultative and more combative?

Instead, here's a deceptively simple model that fosters good communication, trust, and partnership, as you forge a relationship with your buyers.

Published in: Sales
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Stop Overcoming Objections - Start Resolving Concerns!

  1. 1. Mike Kunkle Host of Sales Transformation Straight Talk™ VP, Sales Transformation Services, Digital Transformation Inc. Founder, Transforming Sales Results, LLC
  2. 2. What • Sales Transformation Straight Talk webinar series Why • Provide you with the latest thinking and actionable ideas to transform sales results How • Solo webinars, guest speakers, panels, Q&A, always taking requests When & Where • Usually mid-month, usually mid-week, usually 2 pm Eastern, usually every month, right here on SMM Connect - Always check www.smmconnect.com for details Sales Transformation Straight Talk Series on 2
  3. 3. mike.kunkle@fastlaneus.com mike@mikekunkle.com Mike Kunkle is a highly-respected sales transformation architect and internationally-recognized sales training and sales enablement leader. He’s spent 24 years as a corporate leader or consultant, helping companies drive dramatic revenue growth through best-in-class learning strategies and his proven- effective sales transformation methodologies. Today, Mike is the VP of Sales Transformation Services for Digital Transformation Inc. (a division of Fast Lane Consulting & Education Services) and founder of Transforming Sales Results, LLC. He consults, advises, writes, speaks, leads webinars, designs sales learning systems that get results, and guides clients through all aspects of their sales transformation. Mike Kunkle VP, Sales Transformation Services Founder Your Host 3 Connect with Mike & Follow His Content Digital Transformation Inc. Blog http://www.fastlane.digital/blog Transforming Sales Results Blog https://www.mikekunkle.com/blog Digital Transformation Inc. Webinars http://www.fastlane.digital/learning-sessions SMM Connect Webinars http://bit.ly/STSTonSMM BrightTALK Webinars http://bit.ly/TheSalesExpertsChannel LinkedIn Publisher http://bit.ly/MikeKunkleLIPublisher LinkedIn Profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikekunkle SlideShare http://www.slideshare.net/MikeKunkle Twitter https://twitter.com/mike_kunkle Free!
  4. 4. Our Plan for Today AGENDA: • Mind-Shift Precedes Skill-Shift • The Model for Resolving Concerns • Advice on Implementing • Your Take-Aways | Q&A. 4
  5. 5. Mind-Shift Precedes Skill-Shift 5
  6. 6. Mike Kunkle 6 Thoughts and Words Influence Actions A. My job is to sell things. I need to make quota. B. My job is help buyers solve problems and achieve desired outcomes. Compare and contrast…
  7. 7. Mike Kunkle 7 Thoughts and Words Influence Actions A. Selling = Always Be Closing. B. Selling = Always Be Serving. Compare and contrast…
  8. 8. Mike Kunkle 8 Thoughts and Words Influence Actions A. Buyers are liars. B. Buyers may not trust me until I earn it. Compare and contrast…
  9. 9. Mike Kunkle 9 Thoughts and Words Influence Actions A. “Challenging” buyers is a better way to sell. B. Understanding buyers better than others provides real differentiation. Compare and contrast…
  10. 10. Mike Kunkle 10 Thoughts and Words Influence Actions A. I need to be persistent, take control, and influence buyers to do things. B. I need to build trust and collaborate to gain consensus and commitments. Compare and contrast…
  11. 11. Mike Kunkle 11 Thoughts and Words Influence Actions A. It’s not “pushy” if I’m right and trying to make the buyer see it. B. I need to lead and guide buyers to do the right thing. Compare and contrast…
  12. 12. Mike Kunkle 12 Thoughts and Words Influence Actions A. Buyers have objections. I need to overcome them. Compare and contrast… Last one… B. Buyers will naturally have concerns. I need to understand them and respectfully resolve them as best I can. Combative? Collaborative?
  13. 13. Mike Kunkle 13 Thoughts and Words Influence Actions A. Buyers have objections. I need to overcome them. Compare and contrast… Last one… B. Buyers will naturally have concerns. I need to understand them and respectfully resolve them as best I can. Combative? Collaborative!
  14. 14. Mike Kunkle 14 Why This Exercise? • When B2B enterprise buyers are involved in a complex purchase to solve business problems, they’re seeking partnerships with people they can trust. • Your mindset, thoughts, and word choices influence your attitude and behaviors. • Buyers will “pick up what you’re putting down.” • “Intention matters more than technique.” ~ Mahan Khalsa • It’s time for a different approach – especially with resolving concerns. We must continue to elevate our sales profession. Recommended reading: • https://www.amazon.com/Charles-H.-Green/e/B001IGJS62/ • https://www.amazon.com/Stop-Selling-Start-Leading-Extraordinary/dp/1119446287 • https://www.amazon.com/Lets-Get-Real-Not-Play/dp/1591842263/
  15. 15. The Model for Resolving Concerns 15
  16. 16. The Model for Resolving Concerns • Acknowledge the concern with empathy • Clarify to understand, weigh, and isolate the concern • Categorize the concern: - Disinterest - Distortion - Disbelief - Disadvantage • Develop the best response based on category • Deliver the response • Confirm your response resolved the concern. Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm Mike Kunkle 16
  17. 17. The Model for Resolving Concerns Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm Mike Kunkle 17 External Focus: • Considers their feelings, logic, facts, and perspective. • This is customer-facing communication. “The deepest principle of human nature is a craving to be appreciated.” ~ William James “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” ~ Stephen R. Covey “Being understood is one of the deepest-seated human needs.” ~ Mike Kunkle
  18. 18. The Model for Resolving Concerns Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm Mike Kunkle 18 Internal Focus: • This is mental work involving judgment and decision-making (occurs behind the scenes).* • Uses inputs from previous steps to formulate the best possible response. * Often happens in real-time, but may include internal or customer-facing brainstorming, ideation, problem-solving, or design thinking sessions.
  19. 19. The Model for Resolving Concerns Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm Mike Kunkle 19 External Focus: • Delivering your response, based on your understanding of their concern and its category. • This is customer-facing communication.
  20. 20. The Model for Resolving Concerns Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm Mike Kunkle 20 How, Where, and When • Synchronous or Asynchronous • Face-to-Face (best), voice-to-voice (good) or in writing (possible) • Flexes to adapt to the level of concern - From top-to-bottom in seconds, minutes, hours - Occurring over days (research or follow-through)
  21. 21. Mike Kunkle 21 The Model: Acknowledge Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm Acknowledge the concern with empathy • Acknowledge means to recognize their concern and demonstrate that they’ve been heard. Acknowledging doesn’t mean you agree with them. • Empathy: It’s about them, not you. Avoid “I” statements. Examples • Speed of implementation is very important to you and your leadership team. • You’re concerned that our implementation will take too long. • You’re feeling pressure to get this going and deliver results and are worried our approach will take too much time.
  22. 22. Mike Kunkle 22 The Model: Clarify Clarify to understand, weigh, and isolate the concern • Question to understand (make no assumptions). • Try to assess how big of a concern it is. • Use this as an opportunity to uncover other concerns. Examples • Other than the fact that time-to-value is always an important consideration, what’s the source of the pressure you’re feeling about this? • In a best-case scenario, what’s the timeline you were hoping for? • In your mind, what’s the balance between speed and quality? • Help me understand how critical this concern is, compared to your other success factors? • In addition to this, is there anything else you’re concerned about? (Collect, set aside, and address individually.) Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm
  23. 23. Mike Kunkle 23 The Model: Categorize Categorize the concern • Disinterest is when your customer is “not interested” in speaking with you, or indifferent toward your solution or a particular aspect of it. • Distortion is when the prospect has incorrect or incomplete information which is creating a false concern. • Disbelief is when a customer doubts, distrusts, or otherwise expresses skepticism. • Disadvantage is when the customer has a valid concern due to the presence of something they dislike or absence of something they want. Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm
  24. 24. Mike Kunkle 24 The Model: Categorize Categorize the concern Examples • Disinterest: That’s not something I’m interested in right now or We’re fine with our current supplier. • Distortion: This won’t work for us. I read on XYZ Review Site that your implementations take 3 months. We need something in place within 60 days or we can’t do it. (Fact: You routinely implement in 6-8 weeks.) • Disbelief: 6-8 weeks?? I find that really hard to believe. • Disadvantage: This just won’t work. We need something in place in the next 3 weeks. (Fact: There is no way you can do it 3 weeks.) Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm
  25. 25. Mike Kunkle 25 The Model: Develop Develop the best response based on the category • This is where you need to use judgment and experience to respond to the concern based on your deep understanding of it and the topic, or request time to do the necessary research or fact-gathering to respond appropriately. Models for Each Category • Disinterest: Acknowledge their position | Share possible value prop | Offer next step • Distortion: Acknowledge/Confirm their need | Share facts • Disbelief: Acknowledge/Confirm their need | Share or offer to provide relevant proof • Disadvantage: Acknowledge/Confirm their need | Weigh their concern against other needs or possible outcomes. Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm
  26. 26. Mike Kunkle 26 The Model: Deliver Deliver the response, following the models Disinterest Concern: That’s not something I’m interested in right now. Disinterest Example: • Acknowledge their position: You’re not seeing the value of [XYZ]. I respect that you don’t want to waste your time. • Share possible value prop: When we speak with other operations leaders, we find that many are looking for ways to reduce costs of production while also improving output and reducing scrap rates. We’ve recently helped 3 other firms like yours reduce costs by an average of 11% while improving output by 5%, with reduced scrap rates of 3%. Would results like these be meaningful for you? • Offer next step: Excellent. I’d like to share the details of these case studies and learn more about your situation, to see if we can do the same for you. What does your schedule… Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm
  27. 27. Mike Kunkle 27 The Model: Deliver Deliver the response, following the models Distortion Concern: I read on XYZ Review Site that you’re implementations take 3 months. We need something in place within 60 days or we can’t do it. (Fact: You routinely implement in 6-8 weeks.) Distortion Example: • Acknowledge/Confirm their need: You’ve done your homework, [Name], and are concerned about moving quickly to address a pressing issue. That makes complete sense. • Share facts: I’m pleased to share that while implementations can take longer under certain conditions, our average implementation time is only 7 weeks, and with strong partnership and joint commitment to project management, we’ve done many 6-week implementations. If we work together, it’s completely possible to make your timeline. Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm
  28. 28. Mike Kunkle 28 The Model: Deliver Deliver the response, following the models Disbelief Concern: 6 weeks?? I find that really hard to believe. Disbelief Example: • Acknowledge/Confirm their need: You’re surprised, and I get that, [Name.] If you haven’t seen it yourself, it does seem hard to believe. • Share or offer to provide relevant proof: Fortunately, I do have multiple written case studies that I can share with you, and have 3 clients who are willing to offer a reference on the timeline we achieved together and how we did it. Would it help to see the details and have those discussions? Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm
  29. 29. Mike Kunkle 29 The Model: Deliver Deliver the response, following the models Disadvantage Concern: We’re in an urgent situation and need to address it in the next 3 weeks, max. (Fact: There is no way you can do it in 3 weeks.) Disadvantage Example: • Acknowledge/Confirm their need: You’re feeling the pressure to address this quickly, before month-end. That’s an understandable reaction, [Name.] • Weigh their concern against other needs & outcomes: When you consider the other factors we discussed [list] and the outcomes we can help you achieve [list], but it would take 6 weeks to fully address the issue with a quality solution that delivers those outcomes, would that be a viable option? Note: The next step might be to negotiate, if options are available. This could include partial solutions as a quick temporary fix while a fuller solution is implemented, or other creative options. Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm
  30. 30. Mike Kunkle 30 The Model: Confirm Confirm your response resolved the concern • If Confirm was not part of the model already for the Category, simply summarize and ask: - Given [summarize discussion], does that resolve your concern about [state concern]? Example • So [Name], given our ability to implement within 6 weeks, supported by the references from ABD and XYZ companies confirming how pleased they were with the process, and more importantly, the outcomes we delivered, does that ease your concern about our implementation timeline? Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm
  31. 31. Advice on Implementing 31
  32. 32. Mike Kunkle 32 Advice on Implementing How, Where, and When • Synchronous or Asynchronous • Face-to-Face (best), voice-to-voice (good) or in writing (possible) • Flexes to adapt to the level of concern - From top-to-bottom in seconds, minutes, hours - Occurring over days (research or follow-through)
  33. 33. Advice on Implementing Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm • Acknowledging and making “You” statements vs. “I” statements will be difficult for many. Be ready to coach. • The urge to skip clarifying to jump to a response is strong. A rush to respond and “overcome” the concern will derail many. • This is new to most and will require examples and practice. • Responses to common concerns can be developed in advance. Don’t use them outside the process. Use when they fit. • Focus on good communication. Summarize, explain patiently, connect dots, watch for non-verbal cues, be calm. • For complex concerns, a full summary and a check for acceptance works better than just a quick confirmation. Mike Kunkle 33
  34. 34. Advice on Implementing Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm Patience is an overlooked superpower of selling. Foster it. Mike Kunkle 34
  35. 35. Advice on Implementing Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm Judgment is another superpower of selling. Foster it. Mike Kunkle 35
  36. 36. Advice on Implementing Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm Do both through scenario-based simulations & coaching. Mike Kunkle 36
  37. 37. Mike Kunkle 37 Use a Systems Approach to Sales Enablement
  38. 38. Mike Kunkle 38 5 Stages of Sales Mastery & Behavior Change Stage 1: Knowledge Acquisition Acquire the knowledge behind the skill with examples and assessments/tests to validate learning. eLearning, Classroom Instruction (FTF or Virtual), Assessments Stage 2: Knowledge Sustainment Sustain the knowledge; reverse the “forgetting curve.” Q&A, Check-Ins, Assessments, Learning Reinforcement Systems Stage 3: Skill Development Develop and practice skills. Convert knowledge into behavior. Flipped Classrooms, Role Playing, Live Simulations, Virtual Coaching Tools Stage 4: Skill Transfer Apply the newly- acquired and practiced skills in the workplace. Mentoring and Preparation to Use Skills, Forms/Job Aids/Performance Support Stage 5: Skill Mastery Guide and coach reps to skill mastery and performance outcomes, over time. Sales Analytics, Field Training and Coaching, Coaching Forms and Tools Learn something new. Known to work. What, Why, & How. Don’t forget. Just because they learned something new, doesn’t mean they’ll retain it. Just because they know and remember, doesn’t mean they can do it. Just because they can do it, doesn’t mean they will. (Skill/Will Matrix) Just because they tried it, doesn’t mean they did it well or will continue to do it. STAGE WHAT HOW WHY Webinar on the 5 Stages: https://www.smmconnect.com/events/1254
  39. 39. Advice on Implementing Acknowledge Clarify Categorize Develop Deliver Confirm • Make it part of your formal onboarding and on-going training • Role plays and simulations reign • Not just during training… SKOs, weekly meetings, QBRs, “lightning rounds,” coaching, virtual coaching challenges • Foster the sharing of examples / best practices • Make it part of your culture (“the way we do things around here”). Mike Kunkle 39
  40. 40. Mike Kunkle Host of Sales Transformation Straight Talk™ VP, Sales Transformation Services, Digital Transformation Inc. Founder, Transforming Sales Results, LLC
  41. 41. Reading on the Four Sales Systems • Part 1, Four Systems Overview: http://bit.ly/4SalesSystems-Overview • Part 2, Sales Selection System: http://bit.ly/4SalesSystems-Selection • Part 3, Sales Support System: http://bit.ly/4SalesSystems-SalesSupport • Part 4, Sales Learning System: http://bit.ly/4SalesSystems-SalesLearning • Part 5, Sales Management System: http://bit.ly/4SalesSystems-SalesManagement • SlideShare Presentation: http://bit.ly/SystemsApproachST-Docebo2017 Mike Kunkle A Systems Approach to Sales Transformation 41 Sales Selection Sales Support Sales Learning Sales Management
  42. 42. Complimentary White Paper Realizing the Growth Potential of the Internet of Things: The Convergence of Market Opportunity, Design Thinking, Technical Enablement and Sales Enablement http://bit.ly/DTI-IoTPotential
  43. 43. Complimentary eBook! http://bit.ly/SalesCoachingeBook-DTI
  44. 44. www.linkedin.com/in/mikekunkle www.mikekunkle.com/connect www.smmconnect.com/ www.smmconnect.com/recordings THANKS for your time and attention! For more information Contact Mike: Upcoming SMM Connect Webinars: Archived SMM Connect Webinars:

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