If you’ve read any sales books, I’m certain you’ve learned multiple ways to overcome objections using contrast, comparison, and outright challenging the prospect. I’ve been in sales for over 30 years, and while I do believe you should have a strategy for overcoming them, I also know that most of the tactics taught by sales trainers are brutish, clumsy, and downright insulting to the prospect.
For starters, I absolutely know that the best way to overcome a sales objection is before it’s even uttered by the prospect. For example, I always recommend talking about your fees in the “sit down” meeting after you’ve gotten a good handle on what the client wants — yet the first time most MSPs reveal their price is in the written proposal. Wrong, wrong, wrong!
If the proposal is the first time you’re revealing your fees, you will waste a LOT of time on cheap penny-pinchers and looky-loos. You also risk having your proposal completely overlooked and misunderstood because prospects get the proposal, skip past all the work you put into explaining the “value you bring,” and go right to the bottom line to make a snap decision that your fees are too much. Then what? You start the pathetic, hat-in-hand follow-up of, “Hey … just me again … checking to see if you have any questions about the proposal I sent over,” which is the worst follow-up you can possibly do, making you look like a desperate, needy salesperson. Bad all around.
The alternative I recommend is using marketing to do some, if not all, of the heavy lifting to overcome objections. Your marketing can be in the form of written articles and letters, videos, or even audio files. Let me give you a brilliant example. (Thank you, Mr. Kennedy, for the idea on this one.)
Below is a true story from my childhood about a deeply embarrassing event. The purpose of sharing it with prospects is to overcome the objection (more of a concern) that they will get disappointing results again, from our program, like they have in the past. You see, most MSPs who seek out our services have already run through a number of other consultants and marketing firms, writing checks all along the way with little to nothing to show for it. Now here I am, promising “we’re better, we’re different,” and they are Charlie Brown, really wanting to kick the football but worrying that Lucy will, yet again, pull it away at the last minute.
Your prospects have the same concern. So, how do you overcome that? You can talk about how honest you are, how long you’ve been in business, how you’ll personally be involved — but it’s still all talk they’ve heard before.
What I’m suggesting is that you use a personal story to make the point. Clients won’t remember all the facts, details, and platitudes, but they will remember a good story.
Now, here’s mine …
An Embarrassing Personal Story About A Pink Carnival “Ferret” And Why You Can Trust Us To Not Disappoint You
If you’ve taken the time to look through the materials we’ve sent over to you, I think you’ll agree that we make a compelling case about our ability to help MSPs and IT services companies get results in marketing.
However, you might still be skeptical, thinking that all of this sounds a little too good to be true. Yes, we’ve helped a lot of people — but the question on your mind is can we help you?
I’m sure you’ve heard similar “pitches” from other marketing companies and have, most likely, invested both time and money with other people making similar claims, only to be sorely disappointed that you didn’t see the leads and new clients you had hoped for and were promised.
I know how you feel, and I want to share a personal story with you that is important to answering the question: “Can we actually help YOU in YOUR situation, or will you be disappointed yet again?”
Back when I was 7 years old, my parents let me spend two weeks over the summer at my grandparents’ summer home without my four siblings. It was a rare and unique opportunity, and I loved having my Nana and Pop-Pop all to myself. During my stay, a small traveling carnival rolled into the small town for the weekend and plastered advertisements all over the telephone poles and the small grocery and gas station my grandparents frequented. Desperate to go, I begged my grandparents to take me, but my grandfather couldn’t walk more than a few steps due to contracting polio as a child, which left him crippled, and my grandmother had a severe heart condition that also limited her activity, so they told me it was a no-go. Fortunately, one of the teenagers in the neighborhood, whose parents were good friends with my grandparents, offered to take me. I was thrilled.
Wanting me to have a good time, my grandmother gave me a $5 bill right before I left and told me in no uncertain terms that I was not to waste the money and that I should use it to buy myself an ice cream cone or to go on the rides. Back then, we were poor, so $5 to my grandmother was a lot of money, and I felt the weight of the responsibility to use the money wisely.
However, once I got to the fair, the lights, sounds, and excitement took over, and I was drawn in by one of the carnies who enticed me over to his “pop the balloon” dart game, promising me the ability to win one of the giant stuffed animals hanging from the ceiling. I was hooked. My 7-year-old self really wanted that big teddy bear, and I wanted to bring it back to show off to my siblings to make them jealous and to my Nana to make her proud.
So, without a second thought, I handed over my $5 to play the game, and to my excitement, after a few tries, I actually won, popping two balloons! I was over the moon — until the man handed me what looked like a small, dead pink ferret with no arms and no legs. It was nothing more than a cheap strip of pink, fake fur with two stickers for eyes. Surely there was some mistake! Confused, I told him I didn’t want that — I was playing for the giant brown teddy bear hanging from the ceiling with the big red bow around his neck. He promptly told me that the only way to get that prize was to keep playing (and winning) the game, trading up my prizes, until I earned it. Out of money and too little to know how to call him out on his b.s., I took the pink, dead-ferret-looking thing and walked away, ashamed and embarrassed that I had been had. Even then, I knew what he did was wrong, but who was I to stand up to an adult?
Later that night when we left, I threw the pink ferret into the trash when exiting the fair and put on a brave face to my Nana when I got back, telling her about how much fun I had and the ice cream I bought myself, secretly sick to my stomach about not only how stupid I had been but also for lying to cover up my embarrassment and avoid her being angry with me. I’ll never forget my disappointment.
Fast-forward to my adult career and working for several marketing agencies as a sales rep. I was constantly shocked at how little these agencies cared about their clients and the results they were getting. I recall directly challenging the CEO of the last agency I worked for about how a campaign they put together for a client would clearly not deliver results and being told to “shut up, stop trying to coach clients, and go make another sale.” At that moment, I felt the same level of stupidity and disappointment as the little girl with the pink ferret in her hand. After all, I took the job, so this was my fault.
Sadly, this is a common, recurring theme for many marketing agencies that are simply gloried fulfillment shops motivated to get you to spend as much as you can on media, rather that strategists who are motivated to show you how to get the best possible result. Another agency I worked for even went so far as to not mail out the direct mail campaigns their clients had paid for, pocketing the money they should have spent on postage instead. Just appalling, shameful behavior.
That’s why I decided a long time ago that I would always do the right thing and only deliver marketing campaigns, services, and advice that would get results and not disappoint my clients. It’s one of the reasons I have such a generous money-back guarantee on the Toolkit; I do not want you to feel like you’ve been “had” or that you haven’t gotten extreme value from my program.
That’s also why I make it very clear that my program is not a “get rich quick” scheme. It will take work and effort, and I don’t hide that or make apologies for it. All success in business is achieved that way, and anyone selling you the “no work” plan to getting more leads or high-paying clients is no better than that crooked carnie taking advantage of a little 7-year-old kid.
But I can promise you this: The program WORKS.
However, if you ever feel, for any reason, that it won’t work for you or that it won’t deliver the value you want, you can get your money back as outlined in our guarantee, without a hassle and without having to jump through 12 hoops and get a letter from your momma. Just send the program back and sign a letter saying you want a refund, and it’s done that day.
I don’t know of many companies that do this. You might not even be so bold as to offer such a guarantee because you know, as I do, that not everyone is honest and ethical. But I have high confidence in our program, and I never want you to feel like you’ve been sold a “pink ferret.” So for that reason, I’m willing to get burned a few times if it results in me reaching one honest, ethical, hardworking client who simply wants to figure out how to finally get a productive marketing plan in place.
If that’s you, and you’re done with random acts and hope, then I would encourage you to at least give my program a fair shot. You have more than my word it will work — you have my written, money-back guarantee.