By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
My marketing work brought me three back-to-back-to-back episodes of sellers who would rather debate or argue than sell.
If you’ve been selling news/talk for longer than three years, there’s a good chance you can relate. The trigger can be the frustration that grows from a rate hurdle, time-consuming package that still doesn’t hit CPM or CPP parameters or maybe it’s a creative concept that misses the mark.
On paper, on the white board, in the meeting, it all worked. The rehearsal took the sales flow in one direction and when the curtain went up in a real-world pitch, your positivity melted as buyers become boo-birds.
Your overwhelming instinct is to defend the pitch as designed and sidestep the objections. The poise and discipline you’ve practiced when physically face-to-face with your advertiser is lost in the current fast-moving, rapid-response world of email and text. You push your point instead of “listening” to the voice behind the words in the email, text, or other digital reply. Caught up in the moment, you inadvertently add friction where you need smooth communication. You’re digging in and when you’re in a sales hole, stop digging deeper. Here’s how you start climbing out:
- Listen carefully to feedback from your buyer.
- Clarify any objections, obstacles, or blocks so you know what is standing between you and winning the business.
- A response is different from a reaction. Take time to think through your response before you hit send.
- Words matter, so chose them carefully. You can unintentionally send the wrong message.
- Drop your defense and re-establish positive common ground.
- Lead with flexibility when you resume the sales process. Can you adjust your plan with management input?
As many businesses come back from the devastating economic impact of the pandemic, value propositions will be crucial — and competitive. Be smart, be prepared, and be empathetic when facing objections.
Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: Steve@Lapcomventures.com