No matter how you earn a living, you are in the selling business. In fact, your ability to persuade is central to your success.
That’s why you must know how to deal with objections. Here’s what to do when someone says, “no.” (An excerpt of this post appears on my DBusiness magazine blog.)
1. Listen to what they don’t say.
In this instance, the customer has concerns with your offering but doesn’t inform you. These types of “invisible” objections are deadly because they’re not evidential. The best way to uncover hidden objections is to let the prospect talk more.
Ask open-ended questions, lean forward, listen intently, and watch for “tells” or physical indications of what the person is thinking. The more a prospect talks to you, the more likely that he or she will articulate what’s keeping him from buying in.
2. Appreciate the show-off.
Sometimes prospects try to show you how much they already know about your product or service. These people are often looking for a form of appreciation or validation, so give it to them. Tell the person how impressed you are by how much they know. Make your message sincere and he is much more likely to warm up to you and your message.
3. Validate the know-it-all.
These types of objections offer empirical evidence that counter your message. People who make these objections need to be intellectually convinced that your idea is a good one. Unfortunately, know-it-all types are not likely to change their minds. Rather than trying to convince them, use a negotiation technique called “triangulation.”
For example, if you are working with someone on a customer service initiative, respectively remind the know-it-all that what matters most is what the customer thinks. In other words, use the customer’s preference as a trump card to take the objection off the table and allow your agenda to move forward.
4. Include higher authority early on.
You have made your presentation and everything is going great. Then, the person suddenly announces that he needs to take the idea to his boss or another third-party. You can overcome the higher authority objection by making sure that third-party is involved early. Always ask this question early in the persuasion process: “Who else has a stake in this?”
5. Not everyone likes you; get over it.
These ad hominem objections are aimed at you as a person. If this happens, it’s important to not become defensive. A second technique is to replace yourself as the persuader so that someone with more appeal closes the deal.
6. The “Feel, Felt, Found” technique nips excuses in the bud.
Excuses are usually reflexive answers to a persuasion message, but they don’t have to be deal breakers. The best salespeople nod, smile, agree with the person, and then ask a question to take control of the conversation.
The very best way to this type of resistance is to say something like: “I understand. Many people in your situation feel the same way when I first talk to them. But they all felt better when they found out how good this product works!”
7. Malicious Objections
You will occasionally call on people who are unhappy or angry about their current situations. These people tend to be negative in their demeanor and behavior. The best way to deal with malicious objections is to not take their message personally. Think QTIP—Quit Taking It Personally. Remain calm, confident, positive, and polite throughout the interchange.
8. Request For Information
We like it when folks ask for more details about what we’re offering because it often indicates a level of interest. But beware—sometimes this request is a stall technique or an attempt to shut down the message. Make every effort to have the answers to all questions available during the initial appeal. If you must follow up, do so in short order, always with an agreement that if you provide the requested information, there will be forward motion on the offer.
9. People don’t like to be sold to.
Conquer all forms of sales resistance by quickly developing trust and rapport. Aaah, the devil is always in the details!
You may re-publish this article in your company newsletter or on your blog. Simply provide attribution by including www.MichaelAngeloCaruso.com and send the newsletter or link that includes my content to http://www.michaelangelocaruso.com/contact-me/.
For more ideas on how to teach these valuable techniques to your work team, call Michael at 248-224-9667.