The Spousal Objection

The Spousal ObjectionKicktras

We often hear the spousal objection in day to day calls, unfortunately we often lay down when we hear this and schedule an appointment, or worse yet just let the customer ask us for an email and we never call back.
When I ask agents about this, the reason typically given is that they identify with the objection. If they were shopping they think that they’d want to talk to their significant other as well.
I’m here to tell you that identifying with an objection isn’t the same thing as allowing it to control the call.

STEP #1: UNDERSTAND THE OBJECTION-

Here is a breakdown of the Spousal Objection in reality-

50% of the time the Spousal Objection is a Complete Smoke Screen Brace yourself… Customers Lie. Customers don’t like confrontation and for whatever reason they know that if they pretend to pass the decision making process on to someone else who is inaccessible you will give up. You have sales skills and routines, they have customer skills and routines. They have probably run this play many times in the past and it’s worked. There is some other option available that the customer hasn’t made you aware of or a decision was already made and they are placating you on the phone with zero intentions of ever speaking to you again.
25% of the time the Spousal Objection is a Partial Smoke Screen Brace yourself… Customer Lie. Seriously. Customers need a reason to get off of the phone, but in this case it’s because THEY don’t like something and instead of talk about it, they would rather talk to someone who gives them what they want the first time around. This scenario means that the customer has an objection to your cost or service, this is an objection that you could overcome, if you only knew about it. The objection that you don’t get kills the deal.
25% of the time the Spousal Objection is Real 1 out of 4 Customers that give you the spousal objection really aren’t capable of making a decision on their own. These customers need to speak to their significant other and come to some sort of agreement before they can move forward. These customers need to either get you in touch with their spouse, or they need to become advocates for your service.

STEP #2: ADDRESS THE OBJECTION-

Assume that like 75% of your customers, the Spousal Objection is a Smoke Screen. Here are 3 Ways to Overcome the Spousal Objection-

1. Avoid the Objection in the first place. Get tacit approval from the spouse up front: ask if both parties are on the same page, ask if they have already talked about this, ask if they have clearance to make a decision.

2. Uncover the true objection. Use non-threatening language that transfers blame for the non-agreement to the 3rd party, Example- “If your wife were here right now what would she be concerned about?”, or use a proactive approach, Example- “What do you and I need to do so that your husband loves this and thinks that it’s his idea?”. This may draw out the real objection that was hidden, in which case we can address it.

3. ARC. Acknowledge the Objection, Respond to it and Close. Example- “I realize it’s tough to make this call right now but I believe it’s safe to say that we are going to move forward, we just aren’t sure whether or not to (insert options here) right?”, (wait for the YES, or if it’s slow in coming apply a qualifier statement like “because the last thing you want to do is nothing, right?”). Once the customer implies that they will move forward take it to the next level and let them know that you will make the various options available to them and that they can adjust the order as they see fit together. This shifts the decision making process to the Spouse, which is what they wanted in the first place. Then, re-close and ask for the business.

STEP #3: PLAN TO RESOLVE THE OBJECTION-

Sometimes this Objection is an impasse and we need to revert to plan B-

1. Integrity Close. Ask for the business 1 more time anyway. Let the customer know that it would keep you up at night knowing that they hadn’t done the right thing yet, or that you hadn’t been able to help them out like you should have. Use the Power of Please and ask if they would Please let you help them out today. If they still say No, then tell them that you had to try for your own peace of mind, they understand right?

2. Conference Call. If you can’t get past the gatekeeper, maybe we should ask more aggressively now. If the spouse really is just the gatekeeper ask to conference in with the decision maker, or ask for an alternate number. Let the customer know that they have done a great job of gathering info, explaining the situation, but that the spouse would really want to talk to you directly in order to move forward, it’s that important.

3. Schedule an Appointment. When all else fails, move to the appointment. Don’t give an inch on this option, it’s the last option and you want to leave a wedge in the door so it’s open. Ask for a firm appointment time and let the customer know that you’ll be setting aside crucial time since their file is important to you.

A Couple of Tips-

Even if you believe the Spousal Objection is a Smoke Screen, don’t insult the customer by ever attacking their integrity and insist that they are untruthful. Always remain as if the trust has been unbroken.

Use qualifying statements like “…. Because of XYZ” or “… we found that….”

Remain Polite, customers are more likely to move forward with someone who is socially appropriate.

As always, Happy Selling! You can follow me on twitter @salesfumaster or review the blog at www.salesfumaster.com

#howstrongisyoursalesfu

What is SalesFu? – Identifying the Personality Type

What is SalesFu?PersonalityTypesCondensed

Sales Fu = The Art of Identifying & Capturing Customer energy and using it to Persuade & Influence a purchase decision.

In order to Capture Customer Energy it’s important to be on the same page with communication styles. This starts with identifying and mirroring the customer’s personality type. There are numerous labels attached to these personality types, some involve animals and some involve different color schemes, but they all follow the same general format- How Emotional Open/Closed is the Customer and How Direct/Indirect are they about their goals? I’ll quickly describe each quadrant in this post, to be a SalesFu master means we must start with understanding how our customers communicate and why. Use the chart to the right to find out the words that will help you connect to each personality.

OPEN EMOTION & DIRECT GOALS –  RADICAL REDS

These RADICAL RED customers wear their emotions on their sleeves and will tell you right away what they want to accomplish, they have nothing to hide. You will know these customers, they tend to use slang, may even curse or use what some would consider inappropriate language. These clients want to buy from someone who is a friend first, their trust system means that a friend wouldn’t let them down or steer them wrong. Pick up the pace of communication and be prepared to get sidetracked on a conversation in order to earn their business. If you are normally very professional you’ll need to let your guard down a little and use first names.

OPEN EMOTION & INDIRECT GOALS – BOO BLUES

These clients tend to be emotionally open, but they have no idea what their goal is but they are pretty sure that they need help. BOO BLUES are named not only because they may be more open to sharing personal stories of heartbreak but also because they may be prone to being emotionally scared off. Ever have a customer tell you that your deal just didn’t “Feel Right”? These customers need to be coddled and you need to be the be the Sales Sheppard and lead them to safety. Slow down and take your time with this personality, these folks are loyal once they make a decision so it’s worthwhile. These clients value family and have a people first mentality.

CLOSED EMOTION & INDIRECT GOALS – GEEKY GREENS

Did you ever have that customer that wouldn’t tell you what they really want? They play their cards close to their chest? “You tell me what you can offer first and then I’ll make my decision.” These customers aren’t looking to make new friends, this is a business decision and the numbers are what matters most. The GEEKY GREEN is likely to make decisions based on a spread sheet and has a goal in mind, they just won’t share it with you initially. In all my sales travelling adventures I find this one the hardest to identify with. The trick is to find out what the decision making process is, ask to see the spread sheet or ask for a specific goal to meet. If this can be obtained it’s possible to frame your product or service so that it fits the criteria and wins the business. This personality is also likely to be a heavy shopper with little loyalty, be on your toes. Offer multiple options so that the GEEKY GREEN can fill in their spread sheet and choose the best option, just make sure all the options lead back to you.

CLOSED EMOTION & DIRECT GOALS – BUSINESS BROWNS

These customers are all about the bottom line. It’s not that they aren’t friendly or caring, but they just don’t have the time. These clients are often professionals or entrepreneurs with limited time for you on their schedule. Convenience and efficiency are often the driving decision factors here. I fall into this category myself, not because I want to really but more because I have to be. I will pay more for a product or service if it’s delivered or saves me time. Use business words to connect with this customer, always be prompt and build business rapport not personal. They aren’t looking for new friends they want to know whether or not you can help them accomplish their goal.

These 4 Personality types are vastly different from each other and it’s amazing that each personality type has a different set of comfort words. Salespeople often fall into the RADICAL RED category, outgoing, boisterous, personable and fun, but that personality type can conflict when up against a GEEKY GREEN. The trick to closing more sales is to learn to adapt your communication style, change your energy and motion so that the customer identifies with you. The words you use, speed, tone and messaging will create that moment where you “click” with the customer, they will believe you “Get Them”. The crazy thing is that the product, service or underlying message may be the exact same for every client, it’s just framed for a different perspective.

A quick example here- Let’s say you have a Money Back Guarantee on your product, it’s the exact same guarantee for every client, however it would be explained different to each personality type.

RADICAL REDS = We have a great NO RISK policy!

BOO BLUES- We’ve provided a safe way to test the product

GEEKY GREENS- Our Policy offers you a reasonable way to recoup any loss.

BUSINESS BROWNS- Bottom Line, We will do what’s right with no questions asked.

Try to identify the next customer you meet and incorporate the Key Words on the Graphic and you’ll be amazed at how quickly the rapport is built!