Five Fast Ones (Issue 938)

In which we are reminded to prepare for five (or any) predictable sales objections.

Major League Baseball Spring Training is in full swing. Here in Boston, romantics that we are, we have some returning veterans, some new players, and a new lease on baseball life. Oh, sorry, right. I forgot… we traded away two of our very best players to the LA Dodgers… including one who could have been David Ortiz’ successor as the face of the franchise.  Yeah, and the Sox opened their season by CRUSHING the Northeastern University varsity team. Score? 3 – 0. Maybe the win was bigger than the score indicated.

In any event, OK, starting again.

 I listened to some of the Red Sox game on Saturday, first Spring Training game against a Major League opponent. After one Tampa Bay batter ripped a fast ball into the outfield, the announcer said, “This [Red Sox] pitcher typically throws a fast ball in this situation, so the batter knew which pitch was coming, and he was ready.”

Oh, that’s just great! That should take the Sox DEEP into the post-season this year.

But, speaking of “typically throwing fast balls in this situation”: I once asked several companies in three completely unrelated industries to tell me the objections most frequently pitched to their salespeople. I was stunned to hear that many were typically the SAME:

1. Your prices are too high.

2. Your sales reps turn over too frequently.

3. I don’t see you’re that much different.

4. Your credit policies are too restrictive.

5. You’re a big company; you’re not responsive enough.

I also surprised to hear that many of their salespeople swing and miss when their prospects and clients throw these pitches, like the pitches were a complete surprise.

Really? We don’t even have to steal signs here. If we know that prospects typically throw these five objection pitches in this or that situation, shouldn’t we (like the Tampa Bay batter in the game last Saturday) have well-prepared strategies for each of them so we can relax, see the pitches, take meaty swings, and hit those babies deep?

Nick Miller trains banks and bankers to attract and expand relationships with business clients. More profitable relationships, faster. He is President of Clarity Advantage based in Concord, MA. Additional articles on Clarity’s web site.

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