October 14th, 2011

First, a little background:

  • Handle means dealing with an objection once it comes up… Commonly referred to as “overcoming” the objection.
  • Harnessing the objection relates to using the objection to provide the emotional juice and momentum that you can redirect to close the sale.
  • Reframing means putting their objection in a new context.  How can you reframe their objection (either before it comes up or after they raise it) in such a light that the logical and emotional conclusion is to buy?  (Or at the very least so that the objection melts away or is significantly diminished?)
  • Preempting an objection means you proactively design it out of the sales conversation so that it never comes up to begin with.

Here are 7 proven tactics to apply this knowledge to close more sales.  This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather to get your brain warmed up and thinking of the best solutions to sell more of your product or service!

  1. Feel, Felt, Found (A classic, and my least favorite!)
    “I can understand you feel like the timing just isn’t right at this moment.  In fact, you remind me of William Smith on of our customers.  William was just like you when we talked with him…he had so much going on and felt like his plate was so full that he ended up delaying coming on board with us for 6 months… you want to know what William told me about that decision to decision to delay–it’s a shocker…  In fact, let me SHOW you what he said in his words… let’s see, where is that letter, oh yeah here it is… ‘My decision to delay 6 months literally cost my company $72,000 in lost sales… To anyone thinking about working with Acme Direct Mail all I can say is do it now.  My delay cost me the equivalent of 5 years of working with them!'”
  1. Restate and Shift the Objection
    Prospect:  “It would just cost us too much to change.”

    You: “I understand Mr. Prospect… it’s important to keep an accurate eye on the real cost of any solution you use and there is a real cost to change that you’d have to factor in to make sure you make the soundest decision for your company.  I both respect that view and echo it.  May I ask you a few questions just so we can get clear on all the cost factors, both of switching over and the short term and long term costs of staying with your past provider?”

  1. Probe with the Objection

    “Tell me more about that Mr. Prospect… You mentioned that you feel like you’re tied in with your current vendor, may I ask you a few questions to better understand your dilemma…”

  2. Close on the Objection

    “I understand that you can’t do anything that doesn’t fit your budget.  Let me ask you Mr. Prospect, if we were able to find a way to solve that challenge and make this fit your budget, is there anything else that would stand in your way of owning this widget today?  Are you sure?  Great.  Let’s put our heads together and see if we can work together to solve this challenge…”

  3. Reframe the Objection

    Prospect:  “I can’t afford your product.”

    You:  “I understand Mr. Prospect that right now it would be very hard for you to afford our product.  Quite frankly, that’s why it’s so critical for you to own this product Mr. Prospect, you literally can’t afford NOT to have it… Imagine for a moment Mr. Prospect what it would cost you if you had an accident out in the middle of no where and had to pay to have your car towed for 100 miles at $20 a mile, what do you think that would cost you?  That’s right $2,000!  Doesn’t it make sense that $95 a year of “insurance” for your membership would be a lifesaver in that situation?”

  4. Script and Control the Conversation (Better script the interaction so the objection rarely gets raised)
  5. Preempt the Objection

    E.g. Credibility Issues
    –Build in credibility boosters into your pre-selling process
    –Improve your scripting to insert Marquee Client stories
    –Upgrade your sales collateral to show REAL USERS and their satisfaction
    –Set the sales stage better (upgrade your office, dress more appropriately, etc)
    –Leverage referrals and introductions for the “Halo Effect”

    E.g. Pricing Issues – Your product is more expensive UP FRONT then your competitor(s)
    –You introduce the term of “Real Cost of Operations Over 5 Years” so that you have a better frame to show how your product is MUCH less expensive over 5 years
    –Have a scripted “Question Cascade™” designed to help them reach this conclusion step-by-step themselves with you restating their discovery (vs you telling them)
    –Have a compelling VISUAL way to reinforce this frame of reference
    –KEY: YOU bring up the price issue BEFORE they do!

I hope that today’s ideas on how to use these 7 sales tactics helps you increase your sales.