The Zig Ziglar School of Sales: How To Overcome 5 Basic Sales Obstacles

Despite many salespeople’s attempts to reach the pinnacle of the sales mountain, no one has come closer to truly understanding the psychology of selling as well as Zig Ziglar. Much as been written about him; I’ll let you dig into his philosophy and explore his legacy on his website. Today I want to focus on one thing he said that resonates with me:

“Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.”

Whether you’re a small business owner or a dedicated salesperson, you’ve probably heard these objections from potential clients. How do you handle them? Do you just say “thanks anyway” and move on to the next lead, or do you really tackle that obstacle and find your way to break through it?

I’d like to look at strategies for handling each one of these. Now, keep in mind, I’m no Ziglar, but these come from my own experience as a business owner.

“I Don’t Need What You’re Selling.”

The problem here is that sometimes your customers don’t know they need what you have. Maybe they’re unwilling to admit they have a problem that needs solving, or they didn’t know your solution existed.

Here’s an example: I have a couple of employee scheduling software company clients. Rather than using a paper schedule for restaurant employees, as an example, a restaurant can use the software to view each employee’s availability, then email or text that schedule to each employee. It’s a crazy smart solution, but the problem is: many business owners and managers don’t know it exists. So how do you educate the market?

  • Write Content. Use keywords that your leads would be searching for. Lead them to the water.

  • Ask Questions. If they think they don’t need your solution, how are they currently addressing this issue? Sometimes people’s default response is “no,” but they don’t actually think it through until you prod.

“I Can’t Afford It.”

While certainly there are potential customers who really don’t have the budget to buy what you’re selling, sometimes they use this reply because they’re afraid they can’t afford you. Show them that they can afford your products and services, or find a way to meet their budget by offering a smaller package.

  • Break Down the ROI. If a lead focuses on the “right now,” it’s harder for him to see the big picture. Show him how quickly he can earn back his investment with your solution.

  • Ask About Budget. Some people are nervous about asking what you charge, so start by asking what their budget is and work from there.

“I’m Not Ready to Make That Decision Right Now.”

You can combine the “no hurry” and “no desire” objections into this single response. Maybe a lead is in the research phase, or is only beginning to assess solutions to her problem. In this case, you must craft your approach for the stage in the buying cycle that she’s in.

You may not be able to rush her through the process, but you can help guide her to the next stage in the cycle.

  • Target Your Content. Consumers at each stage of the buying cycle need different types of content. Make sure yours matches where a lead is.

  • Create a Sense of Urgency. Light a fire when you can. Make a special, limited-time offer to encourage your buyer to take action.

“I Don’t Trust You Yet.”

This is your marketing department’s domain. You can build trust through marketing if you focus on the value, not the canned marketing message. Buyers want information, not sales pitches.

  • Educate Your Audience. Your blog isn’t designed to push your sales agenda, but to provide the answers that your audience is looking for. Make value your #1 goal.

  • Get Social. Social media is a fabulous resource to establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry. Connect with people who are talking about your brand or your types of products and provide free advice.

For every obstacle, there’s a way to handle it to increase your chances of closing a deal. Pay attention to what your contact is really saying with her objection and find a way she simply can’t say no. What do you think? How have you handled these sales objections in the past? I’d love to know in the comments section below.

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