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I Love Objections


When you buy clothes, you try them on before you buy. When you buy a car, you take it for a test drive and compare other makes and models to decide which you like best. I dont know anyone, (including me), who makes a major purchase without at least some reservations. Usually the larger the purchase financially, the more perceived risk you face, and the hesitation level increases.

In sales, be very leery of the prospect that signs on the spot without hesitation, or without any reservations. When that happens, one of two things is likely in play. Either youre leaving money on the table because the purchase isnt significant enough for them to worry about, or they are just trying to get rid of you and they will cancel after you leave.

I welcome objections. Actually, I love objections. That probably sounds weird, unless you define objections the way I do. Objections are buying signs. Think about it. If a prospect has no interest in doing business with you, they will simply say, No. The fact that they have reservations and share them in the form of objections means you have their attention and they want to move forward, but at some level theyre uncomfortable.

All objections can be classified in one of seven categories:

1. The Value Objection:  Perceived value of product or service is not worth the price or will not solve the problem.
2. Status Quo Objection:  No urgency to grow or do better.
3. I Cant Compete Objection:  Feelings of inferiority to competitors.
4. The No Budget Objection: Money is spent, budget is tapped.
5. Risk-Averse Objection:  Afraid to try something new, safer to do nothing.
6. The Power Struggle Objection: I want to do this but my partners wont go for it.
7. "Ive Had a Bad Experience With Your Company" Objection

The key is to prepare answers, information, and documentation to help you with responses for each category.
So how do you identify what objections fit in what category? A formula I developed years ago is a simple acronym for how to handle objections. I call it C.R.A.M.  I like the name because most of the time you picture a seller getting an objection and cramming information and answers back at the client. I once heard a sales trainer call it the Shorty George Dance. Im not a good dancer so I never did the Shorty George. I did face objections head-on with C.R.A.M and really enjoy the process.

C - Clarify:  This is my favorite part of dealing with objections. Whenever a client gives you an objection, resist the temptation to either agree or disagree or answer immediately. Instead, ask a clarifying question or questions.
  What do you mean by that?
  Can you tell me more about that?
  My price is too high compared to what?
Clarifying questions are questions that cant be answered yes or no. They allow you to dig deeper into the thought process of the client and what is really holding them back.

R - Restate:  Once you understand the true objection, repeat it back to the client. Be careful to do this with sincerity, not with sarcasm.
 "Jim, you indicated that you worked with Bill in the past and he was a jerk, so because of that you dont want to do business with our company. Do I understand you correctly?"
 "Sue, youre not going to buy this Mercedes because, compared to a Kia, the price is too high. Is that correct?"
What usually happens when you restate the objection is the client feels awkward. Hearing their objection spoken back to them will cause them to either change the objection, give you more information, or recognize on their own, that its not really a valid objection.

A - Answer:  Once you have clarified and restated the objection, you are prepared to answer the objection.
  "Jim, I understand youve had a bad experience with our company. What is the statute of limitations on your withholding business from us because of that experience?"
  "If I could come up with a way to assure you that your next experience with our company and specifically with me, will be a great experience, would you at least consider doing business with us?"
  "Sue, I understand when you compare the cost of a Mercedes to a Kia the Mercedes is much more expensive. May I show you some key differences between the two vehicles?"

M - Move on:  Once you have clarified, restated, and answered, you can move on to the next objection or start the business relationship by making the sale.

What these simple steps do is help you further understand the thought process your prospects are going through. They allow the prospects to feel heard and respected. You are validating their concerns by listening carefully, asking for clarification, and then repeating those concerns back to the prospect.

Welcome, anticipate, and look forward to objections. When you get them, it means youre getting close if you handle them properly. Try the C.R.A.M. technique next time you hear one and Ill bet you get more information, better information, and get one step closer to the sale.

Think Big, Make Big Things Happen!

Jeff Schmidt is EVP and partner with Chris Lytle at Sparque, Inc. Jeff and Chris believe that training is a process not an event, and people should buy training based on a desired outcome. If you want to explore ways we can help develop the people that develop your profits, wed love to talk. You can reach Jeff at,
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(11/19/2013 11:11:47 AM)
Ew! That's cold. I mean - the porcelain. :)

- Ronald T. Robinson
(11/18/2013 10:20:22 AM)

I like your column, but..gotta tell you..that picture looks like you're sitting on the throne in the boy's room.

- Max

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