“I have neckties that are older than you!”

One distinct advantage that more experienced salespeople have is instant credibility when they show up on a call. Prospects can see by the salesperson’s apparent age that there are some years on those tires, and that they will be speaking with someone with a great deal of experience.

Certainly I have seen this first-hand either in selling my services or in leading sales training programs.  I’m in my 60’s and it’s obvious I’ve been around.  I get an artificial “head start” that maybe I don’t deserve. After all, there are certainly many people much younger than I am with far more knowledge and skill.  Life can be unfair.

I remember in my younger days as a banker my age or apparent lack of experience would come up as an objection:  “If I’m so important to your company, why did they send you? How long have you been doing this?”

It can be a daunting objection thrown at you right at the start of a call, and the younger, less-experienced salespeople often ask me about it in workshops, so let’s talk about how to deal with it.

First, remember that your response is less about what you say than how you say it. It’s very important that you respond to this objection with complete confidence.  You are a subject matter expert and proud of that fact.  Second, remember that your prospect may be simply trying to test you, just to see how you deal with a tough question.

Respond confidently.  “I see.  You feel that because I’m young (and/or) inexperienced I might not be helpful to you.  Please share with me why that is, or why you feel that way.”

Then, no matter what the prospect says, respond positively:

“I completely understand. Let me see if I can help you with this because I believe having me as your relationship manager will work in your favor, for these three reasons.”

Now you hold up three fingers to show you are going to tick off these reasons as you counter the objection.

“First, I want you to know that my company has entrusted me with a position of great responsibility, and while I’m confident they chose wisely, I take it quite seriously.  I haven’t had a lot of years to make a mark here, so I’m clearly determined to do a good job for you.

Second, I also work with a number of highly experienced relationship managers with large books of business, and their capacity is often stretched.  I on the other hand have a great deal more capacity, which translates to more time to work in your behalf.

And third, one of our advantages in the marketplace is that we bring a team approach to working with our clients.  I have access to a number of highly experienced product experts that I can bring to you for any need that arises. All I need to do is gain an understanding of how I can help and I’ll bring the full resources of my company to bear on your situation.  Does that help?

I hope you’ll give me a chance to show my capabilities.”

Believe me, you’ll have prospects eating out of your hand.  You just have to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and…

Think Like Your Customer

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About Gregory LaMothe
I teach people how to sell things. I own the company ActionSystems. Visit my website at www.actionsystemstraining.com.

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