Defusing vs Overcoming Objections
“Closing” sometimes has a negative connotation, primarily because no one likes to be “Sold” except for sales people. The rest of us don’t want to be “Sold” something, we just want to “Buy” a product or service worth having. Sales professionals who consistently find themselves having to use Hard Sell techniques and aggressive closing tactics often have to do so because they have missed the subtle art of building a relationship and actually finding out what would be the best option for this customer. Customers only say “No” when we haven’t given them enough reasons to say “Yes.” Luckily, it’s actually fairly easy to avoid objections when it comes time to ask for the business. I’ve heard this general practice called Objection Mining, Objection Avoidance, I like Objection Defusing, but mostly it’s just called Good Service and actually getting to know someone. It’s called Being Helpful and here is how you do it-
#1 Accept Responsibility
- Why do good sales people always appear to have the lay down deals? – Hint, It’s probably because they are good and make it look easy!!
- Great sales people defuse the situation, everyone else loses control and places blame. – In 20 years of sales I’ve heard all the excuses. The product is bad, the price is off, the leads are horrible, the time shift or region is terrible, my assistant ate my homework, by dog booked the appointments after lunch, you name it. What I’ve never heard is a Salesperson who said, “You know what, that customer wants to wait and it’s 100% my fault.” I get it, it’s a defense mechanism, as people we want to deflect failure and pretend that it’s outside of our control. It’s easier that way. No one said Sales was an easy profession though, it’s like living off the land, we only eat what we kill. Accept that you and your family need and rely on you to make a good living and that you alone are in control of your success.
- I read a book about 5 years ago that really nailed this reality and opened my eyes – Larry Winget’s “Success is Your Own Damn Fault” , check it out.
#2 Setup for Success
- Ask Questions to uncover the objections before they happen. – Ask about the decision making process, ask about how they have made decisions in the past, ask what criteria is important, ask why, ask, ask ask and uncover the “Why”. There is an Art to asking questions, the first answer to a “Sales” type question is always the social nicety or what they think they should say, something like “I’m fine, just looking. I don’t need any help.” The second question is typically answered with what they think they should be shopping for, something about a budget, rate, cost, or some feature. The problem is that now we’ve asked a couple of questions and have absolutely no idea what this customer wants or needs, the third question typically needs to find out why these features would help. The best way to understand the “Why” is to check out the Golden Circle Ted Talk by Simon Sinek. Just search for it, it’s a great way to spend 20 minutes.
- Listen More – Ask your questions and then shut up. The problem with sales people is that we love the sound of our voice. Who wouldn’t? We have great things to say and we are very persuasive right? The problem is that we aren’t comfortable with silence and we tend to dominate the conversations instead of letting our customers get comfortable in the conversation. Listen twice as much as talking and you customers will like you twice as much as long as you are asking the right questions.
- Non-Business Relationships – NBR – CLICK with your Customers, use personality types to bond, read about How to Win Friends and Influence People, study social graces. I don’t know a successful sales person that isn’t likable, but I do know a couple of arrogant sales people who are diligent $30,000aires. You know the type, the sales guy or gal that has no business driving that car or wearing that watch. I’m all for looking the part and those things represent success for many in our business, but if you aren’t humble and likable, it will always be a show. Those guys lease the car, you want to own it free and clear.
- Uncover Need – Throughout your conversation keep notes of what the “Need” is. This person doesn’t need to save money, this person needs you to change their life in some way. How can you help?
- Gather up Benefits – As you are gathering up the information you’ll have an idea of what the objections will be to making a purchase now. Make note and stack up reasons why they should move forward anyway. Those reasons are called Benefits.
#3 Defuse the objection
- Don’t be caught off guard. – If you get surprised with an objection you failed in the first part of the call.
- Anticipate the Objection and Frame your Benefit statements to address it. – If you anticipate a Cost Objection heavily outline the recoup cost and the cost of doing nothing if that’s applicable. Talk about the savings. Talk about the long term savings, talk about the value of time.
- Use “The Agreement” – Confirm that your solution addressed the concern in question. “That solves the problem of paying for the program right?”
- Do this properly and you wont have to overcome objections, the customer will overcome the objections themselves and choose to move forward.
2 BONUS TIPS –
BONUS TIP #1 – Defusing and Uncovering Objections is NOT the same thing as CREATING Objections. If you suspect that you are going to get a Spousal Objection, don’t say “Hey, so earlier in our conversation you mentioned your spouse wasn’t here to help with the decision, maybe you should go home and talk to them and come back next week. I wouldn’t want to make a decision like this without my spouse”. Defusing the Objection is about addressing this concern so that the customer CAN move forward today. Remind the customer that there is a guarantee or that they would be accomplishing exactly what their spouse asked them to.
BONUS TIP #2 – We still overcome objections. Don’t kid yourself, even if we do a good job of addressing the issues and framing the benefits, sometimes we still need to ask for the business multiple times. Don’t use this technique as a way to opt out of asking for the business a couple of times if that’s the right thing to do. Sometimes we have to make it so uncomfortable for a customer to say NO, that they say YES. Often those customers are the ones that call me back and thank me for forcing them to make a decision, they were just too scared for their own good.