Overcoming objections. To me even the term is a misnomer. If your perspective is you need to overcome objections, I believe you put yourself at a disadvantage.
“Objections”, in my opinion, is a term for the courtroom, not one to be used or inferred when talking with a potential customer or client. It’s too antagonistic. It’s as though you need to prove your customer is wrong and your position is correct. You are trying to win a battle.
I prefer to look at it as addressing questions they may have or, at worst, their concerns. Your goal is to get your customer or prospect to openly address their questions and concerns and to feel comfortable in doing so.
Let’s look at it from this perspective. You go home, walk into your house and you’re greeted by your significant other. You immediately know something is front. You ask the perfunctory question “Honey, what’s wrong?” What is the worst answer you can get?
When I ask this question in any of my sales workshops, I always get the same answer. “Nothing.” Because, what can you do with nothing. You can’t resolve it until you know what “nothing” actually is.
That’s why I believe it’s critical for you to create a safe, welcoming atmosphere that encourages the other person to be open about their questions or concerns. If you look at questions or concerns as trying to overcome objections, then the other party is going to be reticent to speak their mind. They don’t want to do battle. They don’t want to engage with you so you can try and prove that “you’re right”. It will be a hollow victory.
Let me give you another example. When you go out to eat and the meal or atmosphere or service aren’t at a level that you’d consider returning, how often do you tell the wait staff or Manager you won’t be coming back? For most of us, that’s pretty rare. You provide your feedback by not going back. In fact, you can pretty much assume for every complaint you do get, there are ten others that chose not to speak up. Why don’t we? A key reason is we don’t feel the need to engage in what could become a conflictual situation.
So how do we change that? How do you create an environment in which your customer or prospect feels comfortable to engage openly with you and discuss their questions and concerns?
The first step is to change your own mindset. You need to view it as a question or concern. You need to look at it as an opportunity to find a solution that works for both of you. You need to feel like you don’t have to convince them of your perspective. You need to make them feel comfortable that all you want to do is engage in an open dialogue.
The second step, once you’ve changed your mindset, is to create the atmosphere and environment so they feel comfortable. Your body language, tone of voice etc… will let them know if you are welcoming their feedback or if you are going to try and prove you are right.
Your words should also be authentic and inviting. I might say something like “It seems like you have some questions (or concerns). Can you share with me what those are?”
Once you’ve created the atmosphere, you’re in a position to find out what “nothing” really is. I’ve developed a four step resolution process that I find highly effective in addressing questions and concerns. For more information about that process, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.