It goes without saying; it’s a different world now compared to a few years ago. We talk to a lot of people and can help some. Others we can’t reach (sometimes literally) to tell our story. The problems we encounter mirror some of the problems and challenges that you might encounter in your own business.

It’s generally acknowledged that in every selling opportunity that either the prospect or the seller forms an opinion that becomes the basis for all future interactions. In selling into any market we presuppose three factors are at play:

  1. The average prospect has experienced a reduction in available staff and a commensurate increase in his/her workload.
  2. The desire/ability to “take a flyer” and do something out of the ordinary or spend time on improving an approach is greatly diminished under the current economic conditions, primarily due to concerns about Return on Investment and risk reduction concerns.
  3. Subcontractors particularly, more so than suppliers and GC’s have a focus on putting out bids instead of taking their time to maximize their profitability and efficiency.

Said, or unsaid, these three dynamics are very much on the minds of your prospects and become hard to overcome roadblocks to your efforts. I want to be concise, so that you can get the gist of what I’m driving at and conduct yourself in a manner most likely to convince the prospect to go forward with you. It is imperative that you overcome these objections before going for the close. The close will more naturally follow when all objections are either overcome or mitigated. You must address these issues prior to attempting to close. The following is an example of how to deal with these issues and to make the prospect a tad bit uncomfortable with any preconceived notions they may have and, more likely to be receptive to you. The goal is how you can help your prospect better achieve his/her goals with you, instead of without you:

Mr. Prospect how does your 2010 business compare to what you’ve done so far this year? How do you see 2012?

What about profitability and your rate of closing deals? Many people tell me they are winning a small amount of the jobs they bid and that the margins are painfully thin. What about you?

Over and over, people describe to me a situation where they are busy quoting, but are painfully close to the margin. We can help, but only if you can clear your mind and work smarter, not harder. We have opportunities the other guys don’t have, a lot more. I want to prove that to you and once you are convinced, I want to help you access these opportunities. What concerns do you have about using our leads vs. continuing whatever it is that you are doing?

Objection number one—I don’t have time to bid more work. You have a choice on what you bid. Do you bid the easiest things you can find and access or do you work hard on developing relationships and being a bit unconventional. Do you really want to be one of 5, 10 or more bids? Take the time to select projects that have higher margins and less competition. Create time to manage your business instead of always being in reactionary mode. This is what DEC does. Ask us how.

Objection number two—will I see a payback from your service? Every year, DEC delivers over 2,500 private sector opportunities to its members in Georgia. Some of those projects have your name written on them. But, you have to both know about them and pursue them. We can tell you how. We can’t make you use the information, but we are your partner in pursuing better business for your survival and prosperity. Economically, the cost of our service is very small in relation to the potential payback. You have to ask yourself the question, “Do I really want to go it alone in this market?”

Objection number three—how do I integrate your information into my way of doing business? We are different! That’s the good part. Instead of doing the same thing, the same way, and expecting to get a different result; we’ll help you change the way you do business so that you can be more productive and efficient than your competitors while at the same time allowing you to access leads and opportunities they simply don’t know about. We’ll help you spend more time and resources on a smaller number of bids to ensure success. We’ll spend an initial half hour with you asking questions and making recommendations after you sign up. Will our competitors do that? Ask them and find out.

In the final analysis, the prospect either believes in the challenges and answers you throughout or he/she does not. By extension, their belief in you is on the line as well. We have the additional challenge of being different than some of the other services. Some provide online plan rooms with limited availability. Some provide reports, while others don’t. Every service winds up having its pluses and minuses. For many of our prospects, the ultimate choice is to do nothing, which becomes a fourth objection. Is rocking along with the status quo an option for your company? I am a firm believer that this option is not a viable choice for anyone. I believe that you must address all of these objections whether voiced or not. An absolute requirement when you do discuss objections is to ask whether they believe you or not after the discussion of each objection. Never assume.

Good Selling!

Allan Feifer is the President of DEC International. Allan started DEC more than 35 years ago and has background in the process and construction industries as well as many years as a recognized authority on construction trends and analysis. Allan lives in Florida with his wife and two cats. You can reach him at