My Chinese partner, Michael Chen, CEO of Zest Learning in China, has asked to write a series of blogs on what is the key hot button for each of the seven components and what are the likely objections such individuals are likely to provide during a sales call. We have so far dealt with the Politician (P), Normal (N), and Hustler (H) components so now let’s consider another component commonly found in administration decision makers: the Doublechecker or D component.
Doublecheckers are driven by the desire for security. The first questions they ask when presented with a new proposal are what are the risks or what can go wrong? Thus any proposal presented to a Doublechecker must have a section devoted to both the risks involved and how they are going to be mitigated.
This naturally leads to the first common objection made by Doublecheckers: Your proposal is not good enough. Typically during a presentation the Doublechecker will ask a whole series of ‘What if?’ questions and by the end of a presentation, you will often wonder how you ever managed to sell anyone your product before. The secret is to ask ‘why is this issue important?’ and answer each question in turn, and then ask, ‘Besides that, is there something else?’. Gradually, the Doublechecker will realise that most of the objections are imaginary and start to present the real ones. Sometimes a salesperson begins to take the Doublechecker’s objections personally because there are so many of them. Try to remember that Doublecheckers complain to everyone and never take their many objections directly.
Even if you do seem to answer each of the Doublechecker’s points there is another type of objection which is very common: Loyalty to an Existing Supplier. Doublecheckers worry that if they change suppliers it will be a mistake. To handle this objection you need to play on the wish for change combined with the fear of taking risks. The ever-complaining Doublechecker will have real and imagined incidents of dissatisfaction with the present suppliers. You should weaken their resolve by asking Double-checkers why they should be loyal to just one supplier and so allow the supplier to charge monopoly prices. You should question whether their organisation expects them to be permanently loyal to its present suppliers, and whether the company has ever changed suppliers in the past. If you are able to suggest a trial run with a money-back guarantee, you should be able to make the change appear risk-free.
Another objection that Doublecheckers may have is that I do not like your Company. A Doublechecker may think your organisation is risky and may not survive as a long term suppliers. You may dispel these doubts by using your oldest and best references.
There is a final objection that Doublecheckers always raise which is I Will Not Make a Decision Now. Many sales textbooks suggest that, with this common objection, you ride roughshod over the prospect but the results of doing that can be disastrous if you try that technique with a Doublechecker. Instead ask the Doublechecker why and you will probably uncover another objection. However, you should realise that the Doublechecker needs time to ponder decisions. He or she will want to discuss the decision with various people. You must give the Doublechecker time to do this, otherwise he or she will think you are pushy and uncaring and refuse to make a decision.
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