There’s only one person who is qualified to handle a prospect’s stalls and objections, and it’s not the salesperson. It’s the prospect. If stalls and objections frequently come up in your sales calls, it’s a good idea to bring them up before the prospect has the opportunity. If you bring them up first, several good things happen:
- It helps your credibility when the prospect sees that you're not afraid to bring up stalls and objections, even before you're asked. This promotes a feeling of trust.
- You remain in control, not the prospect.
- You can save time and get down to business faster and easier.
Here’s how you can handle stalls and objections up-front:
"Art, sometimes when I talk to people about what we do – and it may not be the case here – sometimes they tell me one of the following: They see all vendors as being the same; they hate the idea of going through the process of whom to select to provide this product (or service); they had a bad experience the last time they tried someone new; or they’re not sure which direction or application will be best for them. Which of these, if any, Art, is a concern to you?"
The idea is to take three or four of the most common objections – those that you hear most often – and phrase them in a multiple-choice question that prompts the prospect to select one or more. This technique smokes out an objection that might get in the way of your progress later in the presentation.
When your prospect selects one of the objections, you then reverse by saying:
"Really? I’m surprised by your answer. Why did you pick that one?"
Probe a couple more times to find out the real objection. Then, decide if the prospect’s objection will be a problem, or if you can handle it later in the presentation.
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Excerpted from You Can't Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar, by David H. Sandler. © 1995 David H. Sandler. All rights reserved.