Today’s challenges that most independent operators face are unprecedented opportunities for sales reps! Just about every operator will listen to your pitch/offer even if they have said “no” or “never” to you in the past.
COVID-19 has changed the selling landscape. Prospects are more willing to listen today than ever in the past and they are starving for new ideas and new products because there have been so very few in the past two years.
Remember, something new could be an item from a manufacturer that has been around for years, but your company does not stock it. Reach out to look at product offerings from manufacturers you are currently buying from for products that you do not stock, they might just be what a prospect or one of your customers could use as a new menu offering.
First seek to understand your prospects and their business needs. With that need met you can then focus on overcoming objections.
There will be times when your prospect or customer raises objections — reasons why they don’t want to buy “that” from you. Many DSRs give up or stop working on an account at hearing these objections, but a professional DSR can turn many of those objections into opportunities.
First you need to get an appointment, which is selling yourself. You know that your prospect is busy so acknowledge that fact early on. Say something like, “It will take less than ten minutes of your time. I just want to ask you some questions to see if I think my company and I can help you make more money than you’re currently making.”
If you’ve been a DSR for any length of time, there is no reason to be unprepared when objections come up since you’ve encountered them all before. Each time you hit a new brick wall, work it out afterwards and be prepared with a response for how you’ll answer it better next time. Only you know how to answer specific objections to buying what you are selling.
Below are “Response” suggestions to the three most heard Objections when calling on a prospect:
- If the prospect tells you they’re happy with their current DSR and the company she/he works for… Sincerely tell them,” That’s great news to hear about your sales rep and their company. Can you tell me some things you like most about them because I’m always striving to be better?” Then ask a couple questions like, “Are they hitting your delivery window consistently, do you get your credits in a timely manner, do they take care of you when there are outs, does their credit manager understand YOUR business, do they help you cost out your menu, etc.?”
- Prospect says that they had problems with the distributor you work for when they bought from them in the past… Don’t make excuses because you were NOT involved, apologize and tell them, “I’m sorry that happened, but what I can do is manage our business relationship moving forward, and my goal is to make you as profitable as possible.”
- Prospect brings up the objection that your prices might possibly be higher because your company is much smaller than their current supplier… Point out to them that “… because of the culture and policies we have, our business model is quite different and enables us to do things that they won’t do for you, which in turn, helps customers like you make more money. If we can start a business discussion, your current supplier will find out and the worst/best thing that could happen is they may adjust their pricing because we’re talking.”
The client knows how to get rid of you with his easily recognizable objections, so having thoughtful responses like the suggestions above will open up dialog and increase your effectiveness.
Do not be bothered by their objections, but rather look forward to them because the prospect is telling you what you need to do next, and if you listen, you will have a lot better chance of growing your sales.
Be a Resource and SELL SOMETHING!