Written By: Scott Koepf, Senior Vice President of Sales, Avoya Travel
Of all the steps of the sales process, overcoming objections may certainly be the most unpredictable in terms of when it will occur. No one knows when an objection, or how many, for that matter, will arise during the sales process. However, the one thing that is predictable is that objections will most definitely occur. Therefore, being prepared for them will allow you to close more sales and be less stressed about concerns that your client may have.
When it comes to objections, there are only a small number that exist when selling travel. While they will be worded differently and expressed at various times during the sales process, it is important to have PAT answers ready. By that I mean:
- Pre-prepared (Develop a script to use for each common objection.)
- Acknowledge (Let the customer know that you understand their concern.)
- Thoughtful Solution (Propose your prepared answer to the customer.)
Since most objections will be the same ones you will hear over and over, having a ready answer will give you more confidence and help overcome hesitations from the customer. I recommend you create your own list, but most objections you hear will be below:
- It Costs Too Much
- Too Crowded
- Not Active Enough
- I Get Seasick
- I Want to Buy It Direct
- I Saw It Cheaper Online
For each of these and any others that you add to the list, create a PAT answer. Work on the script so that it comes across as understanding and not confrontational. Acknowledging the customers’ concern will then allow you to present your thought-out solution.
As you develop your PAT answers and/or when you are thrown any new objection, remember the well known approach to overcoming objections called:
Feel – Felt – Found
Start by letting the customer know you have listened, understand and sympathize with their concern (Feel). Then share your own experiences and/or another client’s experiences with the concern (Felt). Finally, close with suggesting the right solution or explanation that worked for you or your clients (Found). A short version of this approach may sound like this:
‘Mr. Smith, I completely understand your desire to book directly with the supplier. When shopping for any product all of us as consumers are led to believe that you will get a better deal and maybe even better service by buying directly from the supplier. This comes up often with many of my customers. However, those same customers not only purchased their trip through me but have come back to me time and time again. They have found that I have guaranteed better prices than the supplier does due to negotiated rates and specials that even their direct teams cannot offer you. In addition, with me you will have a personal consultant directly accessible to you with insider information. And let’s face it if the supplier comes out with a better price, do you think they will call you? You can rest assured I will, in addition to giving you all of the information and support you need to make this your ideal vacation.’
Between a PAT answer and the Feel – Felt – Found approach you will be ready for anything that comes in your way of making a sale!