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No experience? That might be no problem. Even if you have no experience, you could still close your prospect and land yourself a new client. Do you know why? Because not everyone hires the most experienced person. There are several other factors that come into play when a prospect is deciding if they want to hire you or not. So, if your prospect throws the classic “Well how much experience do you have?” objection your way, you should never get defensive or lie about how much experience you have. Honesty is the best policy. You can still salvage the sale and close them. If you know how to handle the objection smoothly, that is.
Remember that a job-seeker with no work experience can absolutely kill it in an interview, and get the job regardless of having no experience. Similarly, a closer can still close a prospect on a sales call regardless of their experience.
“How much experience do you have?” is a common objection that might happen during a sales call. You need to be prepared for this question.The best closers are the ones who know how to handle all the different types of sales objections from different types of prospects. Click To Tweet
Seasoned closers who have been closing for years are able to predict objections, and have become familiar with the types of things clients say on a sales call. I am a seasoned closer, so if you’re new at this, consider yourself lucky to have me telling you what to do when a prospect objects.
When you’re on a sales call and an objection gets thrown at you, you can’t get shaken by it. A great closer won’t skip a beat in knocking those objections out of the park, and getting back to business. You can’t get derailed by objections – you have to stay on track.You can’t get derailed by objections - you have to stay on track. Click To Tweet
Speaking of staying on track, I want you to imagine that you are a race car driver. You see, being a NASCAR driver focused on winning the race is a lot like a closer focused on closing a prospect. Let me explain:
Several Pit Stops are Required Before You Can Reach The Finish Line
Let’s think about how closing a high-ticket offer is similar to racing for NASCAR. Typical NASCAR races are hundreds of miles long and hundreds of laps, which means that pit stops are required to replace tires, attend to mechanical problems, and refill the fuel tank.
Did you know that in NASCAR, the most important part of the race is not the driving itself, but rather how quickly the driver can get in and out of the pit stops? Every extra second spent at a pit stop is going to significantly reduce the likelihood of winning the race. Getting in and out of pit stops quickly can mean the difference between 1st place and 15th place.
Just as a sales call is all about getting yourself out of those objections and back in the driver’s seat, winning is the race in NASCAR is mainly attributed to how efficient drivers are at restoring their car at pit stops, and getting themselves back on the race track. You might have thought that how fast they drive is what matters most, but it’s actually all about how efficiently they can get themselves out of a pit stop.
In sales, think of your prospect’s objections as mandatory pit stops on your way to the finish line. When someone asks you how experienced you are during a sales call, you must handle the objective and then get right back on track.In sales, think of your prospect’s objections as mandatory pit stops on your way to the finish line. Click To Tweet
Just as a closer should practice overturning objections before a sales call, NASCAR drivers often practice their pit stop routine so that they are over-prepared on race day. A pit strategy is in place to ensure the car gets back on the race track as quickly as possible. Seasoned NASCAR drivers also learn from their driving mistakes, and then shave precious tenths of seconds off their lap time from eliminating those mistakes.A pit strategy is in place to ensure the car gets back on the race track as quickly as possible. Click To Tweet
Top NASCAR drivers having a pit stop strategy is very similar to High-Ticket Closers having an objection-handling strategy. In NASCAR, pit strategies take into account various factors such as the predicted rate of wear-and-tear on tires, anticipated fuel consumption, predicted weather conditions, and more. It requires a lot of mental training to efficiently manage pit stops and stay focused. It’s difficult to stay focused during a pit stop, because it’s so high-pressure knowing that every second counts. Just as handling an objection the wrong way could cost a closer their sale, the smallest mistake at a pit stop can cost a NASCAR driver his win.Just like NASCAR drivers must pull over at pit stops and remove bad tires from their car, closers must overturn objections and remove any negative presumptions from their prospect’s mind. Click To Tweet
Remember that in NASCAR, these pesky pit stops that force the driver off the track are a requirement that can’t be avoided. If their car is breaking down or running out of fuel, the drivers have to attend to the problem before they can continue the race. Similarly, in sales, you must acknowledge the objection before you can continue closing your prospect. So, just like NASCAR drivers must pull over at pit stops and remove bad tires from their car, closers must overturn objections and remove any negative presumptions from their prospect’s mind.
Honesty is the Best Policy
Have you ever been talking to a prospect who catches you off guard by asking you how much experience you have? If you’re just starting out, and the truth is that you don’t have a ton of experience, you might not know how to handle that objection.
You should never get defensive, or justify yourself too much. You should also never lie about how much experience you have. Instead, just be honest. Be transparent. Ask them what they’re looking for. Are they looking for experience, or are they looking for results?
Steer clear from defensive statements. I believe the best way to frame it is: Yes, you may not have a lot of experience, but your prospect can feel certain that you will work hard for them. Instead of getting defensive, you can tell your prospect that you feel you can add a lot of value. You can even tell them that because you don’t have too many clients to handle, you give each client a lot of care and dedication. You can explain that you possess a lot of qualities that make you perfect for the job.
What Else Do Prospects Look For, Besides Experience?
As I explained earlier, not every prospect hires the most experienced person. You can compensate for your lack of experience with other redeeming qualities. There are many qualities a potential client looks for besides experience. Below are some attributes that for many prospects, are even more important than experience:
- Trustworthiness (reliability, follow-through, and no false promises)
- Loyalty (commitment and devotion)
- Fresh ideas (creative problem-solving skills)
- Enthusiasm (passionate, motivated, and eager to solve problems)
- Correspondence (good communication skills)
- Initiative (proactive)
- Organization (efficiency)
- Professionalism (and respectfulness)
- Rapport (a good relationship)
These are only some examples of many other qualities that prospects look for besides experience. Many of these attributes are referred to as ‘soft skills’. Potential clients and employers want to hire someone with people skills, which is why they look for these types of soft skills when considering you. These qualities are all very valuable. If you possess these traits, then prospects will be more likely to look past the fact that you have no experience, and hire you anyway.You can compensate for your lack of experience with other redeeming qualities. Click To Tweet
How to Build Rapport With a Prospect
The reason why building rapport with your prospect is important, is because people buy from people they like and trust. Wikipedia defines rapport as “a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned are ‘in sync’ with each other, understand each other’s feelings or ideas, and communicate smoothly.” I mentioned that rapport is an example of something a prospect looks for, which may be even more important to them than your level of experience.
Building rapport with your prospect is one of the best methods for building a relationship with them and earning their trust. You can build rapport with a prospect by discovering similar values, beliefs or interests. Another great way to build rapport is to listen to your prospect and care about what they have to say. Below are some tips for building rapport on a sales call:
- Use your prospect’s name often throughout the conversation.
- Break the ice with a joke, because they’ll let their guard down if you make them laugh.
- Find common ground. Perhaps you and your prospect have children of similar ages, or you both play golf. Discovering those common interests will help you build rapport.
- Be specific in your compliments. Don’t just say you love their website design – explain why you love it.
- Empathize with their challenges.
- Ask questions and follow-up questions, making sure to actively listen to what they have to say.
- Mirror their verbal behaviors and communication style. Match their rhythm on the phone, and match their volume.
- Understand your prospect’s personality type, and use that knowledge to help you use the type of language that truly speaks to them.
You might have read that last tip and found yourself wondering how you can figure out your prospect’s personality type. My Perfect Closing Script helps you decipher this. Different personality types care about different things, and each personality type needs to be spoken to a different way on a sales call.Rapport is a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned are ‘in sync’ with each other, understand each other's feelings or ideas, and communicate smoothly. Click To Tweet
Ask Questions to Shift The Focus
Asking your prospect a lot of open-ended questions is a sales technique often used by High-Ticket Closers who practice the art of consultative selling. By letting your prospect talk more than you talk, you’re gaining their trust. The more they open up to you, and the more they feel heard, the more likely they are to hire you. When you ask questions and listen to their answers, your prospect begins to feel comfortable, understood, and heard. That’s why it’s a great idea to handle the “How much experience do you have?” objection with a question of your own. See below for an example dialogue:
PROSPECT: “How much experience do you have with this?”
CLOSER: “That’s a great question. I’m just curious, why are you asking me this?”
PROSPECT: “I’ve just made a lot of mistakes in the past, and I’ve wasted a lot of money hiring inexperienced people. So I want to know your experience.”
CLOSER: “How much money have you wasted on hiring people that didn’t work out?”
PROSPECT: “Over $20,000 that I’ll never get back.”
CLOSER: “Ah. So you’ve been burned in the past.”
PROSPECT: “Yes. That’s why I’m a little bit tentative now.”
CLOSER: “So what inspired you to schedule a call with me?”
Do you see how the closer is asking a lot of questions, and making the prospect start to feel more comfortable? The closer has addressed the prospect’s pain points and shifted the focus away from their lack of experience. Now, the prospect will start to open up more as they answer the closer’s questions.
PROSPECT: “Well, I’ve heard good things about you. I’ve been following your work. But I’m still hesitant because of my bad experiences in the past.”
CLOSER: “Ok. So are you looking for someone to do things the traditional way for you, or are you looking for someone to bring you some fresh ideas that will generate more leads for you?”
PROSPECT: “I want something different from what the last few people did for me, since that didn’t work out. I want something that will really make a difference to my bottom line. Basically, I want to see results.”
CLOSER: “Some people will make big promises. I’m sure you’ve been on sales calls where you were promised the moon, and I’m not going to do that. Every client I work with is unique, so even if I’ve produced fantastic results for other clients, that says nothing about what I might produce for you. So I’m not going to promise you any kind of results. But looking at your business model, I can tell you that I believe I can offer you a lot of value and help you solve some of your problems. So what do you think?”
Now, you’ve built some rapport with the prospect and shown them that you’re not the type to make big claims or false promises. You’ve positioned yourself as a trusted advisor – as someone who has integrity and is honest. You haven’t been defensive or pushy, but you have stated that you believe you can help them solve their problems. Suddenly, your lack of experience isn’t on the prospect’s mind anymore.
No experience? No problem. Not everyone hires the most experienced person. There are several other attributes that prospects look for besides your work experience.
Get in and out of those pit stops as quickly as possible. In NASCAR, the most important part of the race is not how fast you drive, but rather how quickly you get yourself out of the required pit stops. The pit stops are required because race car drivers need to stop to attend to things like refilling their fuel, and replacing bad tires. In NASCAR, every extra second spent at a pit stop is going to significantly reduce the likelihood of winning the race. Just as a sales call is all about overturning those objections and getting back in the driver’s seat, winning is the race in NASCAR is all about how efficient drivers are at getting themselves out of a pit stop and back on the race track.
Honesty is the Best Policy. You should never lie about how much experience you have, nor should you get defensive when asked about it. Simply explain that you feel you bring a lot to the table, regardless of your experience. Explain where you can add value. Just be honest.
Are there attributes that might matter more than your experience? Yes. There are other qualities you might possess that matter more than your level of experience. Some of these other important qualities that prospects look for include: Trustworthiness, reliability, loyalty, creative ideas, enthusiasm, initiative, organization, communication skills, professionalism and a good rapport.
Focus on building rapport. Building rapport with your prospect is one of the best ways to build a relationship with them and earn their trust. You can build rapport with a prospect by discovering similar values, beliefs or interests. Another great way to build rapport is to listen to your prospect and care about what they have to say. Empathize with their challenges. Ask follow-up questions.
Asking questions isn’t only great for building rapport, it’s also great for shifting the focus of the conversation away from the objection.
Want To Learn More Sales Objections?
“How much experience do you have?” is only one of many common sales objections that you might hear during a sales call. Want to learn how to handle more sales objections, so that you can close more high-ticket offers? You can learn different scenarios, different sales strategies, and various types of sales objections from my Perfect Closing Script.