I was working with a coaching client who was reaching out to prospects in the hopes of becoming their preferred vendor. Unfortunately, when a prospect asked for more information, he’d send them a link to his website without further evaluating what specific questions they needed answered.
He sent 14 follow-up emails to all of these people that he’d sent his website to and was confused about why he couldn’t get in touch with any of them. But of course he wasn’t going to win their business—he wasn’t even beginning to address their objections.
If, on average, a person gives four objections before every sale and you as a salesperson answer the first objection by sending basic information and adding a vague “Let me know if you need anything else,” you haven’t even overcome their first objection! It’s so important, therefore, that you identify the true objection. So much can be said in silence. And it’s in that silence where you hear what they’re not telling you.
Isolating the Objection
When someone gives you an objection like, “I need to think about it,” that’s usually just the first opportunity for them to blow you off. Beyond that, it doesn’t tell you anything about what their true issue is. Isolating the objection means finding out what it is that they need to think about in the first place.
When someone gives you the excuse of, “I just need to sleep on it” or “I don’t like to make decisions like this lightly,” it’s important to then say, “Great! Based on that sentence, it sounds like I haven’t answered all of your questions. So tell me, what are some of the things you want to think about tonight?” It’s in that answer that they’ll typically reveal what their true objection is. Nine times out of 10, it’s going to be some detail of the contract information or the service agreement, but whatever they tell you in that second answer is where the true issue lies.
Another way you can handle it is to say, “Besides having to think about it tonight, is there anything else holding you back from making a decision today?” This is the “What else?” moment. This is best used when it sounds like they want to move forward, but something seems to be stopping them. Hopefully, with a little prompting, they’ll fill in the blank and tell you what they’re really thinking about.
The significant piece of the puzzle that most salespeople fail to execute in these situations is simply to LISTEN. They’re so excited to give their spiel that they don’t truly listen to find out what their prospect wants or needs. If you’re not listening, you’re never going to figure out what’s stopping them from buying.
The principle of objections and the process of moving past them is applicable across the entire scope of the sales world. Consider something as simple as buying a new pair of shoes. You may say to yourself, “Oh I really like them, but I’m just going to walk around the mall and I’ll come back and get them before I leave.” But exactly what is it that you need to think about while you’re walking through the mall? Price? Comfort? Maybe you don’t love them, so you want to see if there is something better elsewhere. Or perhaps it’s a question of whether or not you really need them.
Well, your customers are going through that exact same scenario, regardless of what you’re selling them! And they’re going to use some excuse to either get you off the phone or buy some time for them to think through what they really want. You’ve got to be proactive about figuring out their real concern so you can address it and keep your pipeline moving.
In the end, you’ve got to make sure you’re engaging with prospects rather than just handing them an FAQ sheet or sending them a pdf in an email. Reaching out and sending information is not enough. Take the time and do your due diligence; nobody likes a dial dummy!
After sending an informational email, you need to secure next steps. Follow up with a note of, “Let’s walk through this email together so you can let me know what your questions are” or even before sending it, say, “I’m going to send this email over, but when can I circle back with you?” Set a firm time to really hear them out and answer every single question they have.
Once you’ve rooted out the true objection, you can use the Feel, Felt, Found technique to address the issue and secure the business.
Until next time—go sell some stuff!