Retail Sales Training: How To Ask The Perfect Question To Smoke Out Hidden Objections

By Bob Phibbs

how to handle ojections in retail salesYou’ve heard me say the worst thing you can say when trying to sell something at the end of a sale is Anything Else?  That’s because you are closing the door on the customer’s interest.

After a customer has decided on one item, a good salesperson would paint a picture of suggestively selling an additional item that goes with the first item the customer chose to purchase.

Sometimes though, particularly with higher-priced retail sales, you can ask Anything else? to smoke out hidden objections. 

Linda Abrams Fleming, a salesperson with Haynes Furniture in Virginia Beach, Virginia, shared the following story about refusing to give up on a customer by asking this one final question.

She had engaged a women who needed new carpet for her home. Her pet passed away and the carpet needed replacing.  The shopper had not shopped for carpet in over ten years. They talked about her lifestyle…she had just retired, was on a fixed income, had a new puppy, and lived alone. 

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“Jane” fell in love with three products and Linda worked up an estimate. The price was much higher than Jane expected.

Linda mentioned they had interest-free financing for 36 months but Jane wanted to pay for it at one time and not have a monthly bill. They looked for alternative products that would be less costly but Jane kept coming back to her original selections.

As Linda tried to close the sale it became apparent Jane wanted to think about.

Linda simply asked, Is there anything else concerning you about purchasing the carpet?

Jane confessed she didn’t think she could move the heavy books out of her bookcase and the curios out of her cabinets. Her children were scattered over the US. Linda told her she would come over and help her move everything a week before the installation.

Jane asked Linda, “How much will it cost me?”

Linda replied, “Lunch; peanut butter or tuna fish are my favorites.” Both women laughed and Jane asked again how much deposit was needed as she got out her checkbook.

Older customers have the time to shop, most often the financial means to purchase and are looking for that connection.

When you truly make that connection first, Anything Else is used to smoke out hidden objections to the sale.

This is the essence of great retail; being of service to someone and helping them see you have the answer and the way to make their lives better.

See also, 5 Steps to Closing a Retail Sale Quickly

In Sum

When trying to handle objections, poor salespeople repeat the negatives Is it too expensive? or bring up earlier objections the customer had mentioned Are you afraid it won’t fit into your kitchen like the last one?  Those are all fishing expeditions where you are trying to name the objection.

Trust me, it’s futile to guess.

Terrible salespeople guess like that or simply fold their tent, feel wounded and sheepishly ask the wavering customer to, Ask for me when you come back.

In this economy, the higher the price of the item you’re selling, the longer people may need to decide to part with their money for it.

But many times, there’s something lurking just under the surface, that if you simply ask, Is there anything else keeping you from purchasing today? customers who you’ve built trust with will honestly tell you.

Then all you have to do is solve the named objection. In this case with a sandwich and a laugh. 

Discover 12 Tips How To Become The Top Salesperson

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