When Objections Are Lies, and When They’re Not
We’ve all been in this situation.
You go into a store and you’re the only one there.
The salesperson asks, “Can I help you?”
To which you answer, “No. Thanks. I’m just looking.”
And so you look; and then you look some more; and then some more.
The salesperson may say, “If you have any questions, I’ll be right over here”
It’s more a statement of hope, than an offer of help.
Now imagine that you are that salesperson. Do you believe the prospect? Do you accept that he/she is “just looking”, or do you really think that that person is there because it’s pouring with rain outside, or they happened to be passing and had never seen a Ferrari up close?
You see, the thing is, that the difference between outright lies and simple objections has as much to do with context as anything else; and if you assume it to be the former when it’s simply the latter, you’ll lose whatever chance you had of making a sale.
Why is that? It’s because your thoughts will ultimately determine your actions. If you believe that your prospects are genuinely interested, but aren’t sure, then you will act in one way. If, however, you think that they are trying to weasel their way out of a tight spot because, having asked some questions, they don’t know how to slip out gracefully, then you’ll act in another.
In the former case, you might be inclined to provide more information; in the latter you might be tempted to go for the kill.
How do you know the difference, and when you figure that out, then what do you do?
Let’s answer the second question first?
Never go for the kill
Under no circumstances should you go for the kill, so to speak, nor should you attempt to kill the conversation. You always want to leave the door open, even if it’s only a crack.
If it’s clear that your prospects are not interested in buying right now, then rather than press the point, make it easy for them to “save face”; to exit the conversation without feeling embarrassed.
People will remember that you treated them well.
If there comes a time when they want what you sell, then they may think of you simply because you treated them with respect.
You can be sure, however, that they won’t buy from you even if you’re the last supplier on earth if you don’t.
How do you know if prospects aren’t interested in buying?
Few people like to say “No” point blank. Instead, they dither.
They say, “We want to think it over” or “I’ll get back to you”, except that they never do.
You do exactly the same thing when you’re approached by salespeople.
This is no different.
There’s a whole section in every salesperson’s armoury called, “How to Handle Objections”. You probably have yours memorized. Those who work in call centres have them listed in the order of highest probability right in front of them on a sheet of paper.
How do you handle objections?
Many sales’ trainers suggest that you ask why your prospects are hesitating. The problem with this approach is that you’re putting them on the spot.
Maybe they can’t think of a reason.
Maybe they’re too embarrassed to say they can’t afford it. Do you know why there is a cooling off period for many items that are sold to consumers? It’s because they felt pressured to buy at the time and after they had a chance to think about it, they realized that they had made a horrible mistake.
Whose fault was that? The salesperson’s. Enough of them did it often enough over a period of time that the laws were changed.
Maybe your prospects lack the authority to make a purchase decision. That, too, can be embarrassing. More and more, such decisions are being taken by a group than by an individual. You may think that you understand the process, but still be completely wrong.
Maybe something doesn’t feel right to these people and they want to confer with someone else. There is wisdom in a multitude of counsellors.
Who knows what the real reason is?
It doesn’t matter.
You must avoid making them feel uncomfortable about you by putting pressure on them to buy right then.
Stir up the pain; not the person
Remind them that the problem will not go away unless a solution is found; but don’t make them feel guilty for not buying right then. Instead, lead them to the sale.
When you do that, you make them want to buy from you. If they don’t want to buy, then any attempt on your part to remove their objections will make them more resistant; not less.
The urgency to get them to buy is clearly coming from your side, and you have to avoid making them feel like that. This isn’t the Dragon’s Den; and you’re not the only deal in town.
It may not be your fault
You also have to recognize that not every stall is because of something you have done. You have to be objective and ask yourself what is really going on.
Are things as they seem?
Why did the prospect agree to see you?
What did you offer or promise? What was your pitch?
Did you promise more productivity? Then you have to deliver it – in the meeting.
You also have to demonstrate that you understand your prospect’s position. You have to disarm him/her. You don’t do that by pointing a psychological gun. Instead, you remove the threat in such a way that he/she decides to lay down arms.
How do you do that?
By making it clear that you were listening.
Prove you’ve been listening
In writing, we say that you should show; not tell. Don’t tell someone that you were listening. Summarize what they said in their words. Then draw a conclusion and then ask if you are correct. Don’t assume it.
Be natural. This can’t sound like a formula. You know what that sounds like. Other salespeople have done it to you, right?
Some sales’ trainers will tell you that you should reassure your prospects that their response was valid.
Of course it was valid; and it would be disrespectful for you to assume that it wasn’t. Your prospects will pick up on that, too. So be very careful that you don’t imply something you didn’t intend by what you say.
Know when to close
When prospects are ready to buy, they should have their virtual pens in hand.
If they are still hesitant, then you have to find out why. You have to discern whether it’s because they want more information or don’t want to buy at this time.
If they don’t buy you must not assume that it’s because of something you’ve done. You could do everything exactly right. Remember that your assumptions will cause you to act in a particular way. It could make or break the deal.
Closing the deal
Whatever you do, avoid confrontation or contrivance. You don’t want to put anyone’s back up, and you must be genuine; not just appear to be.
One question you could ask and which might surprise your prospects is, “What do I need to do to get your business?”
You might get “nothing” for an answer, but that’s not an opening for you to say, “So what’s the problem?” That’s going for the kill.
If the answer is nothing, then thank him/her for seeing you, gather your stuff and leave.
However, if you’re given even a little bit of information, no matter how trivial it may sound, then write it down, ponder it for a couple of seconds, and then say something like, “I’m going to think about this. Can I call you when I’ve had a chance to do so?”
More than likely, he/she will say, “Yes”.
It will bring your meeting to a natural close and leave the door open for you to stay in contact.
If you would like to be more effective an handling objections – contact me here