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Objections; Build on Your Customer's Perceptions
Do Not Overcome Them

Nowhere in the sales process is giving up control more important than handling and preventing objections. Most sales people are experts at controlling objections by expertly answering objections that were not the real objection in the first place. Most sellers fall victim to perfectly handling objections by answering the wrong question with the right answer.

"Objections are irrational. They aren't anything more than transparent excuses decision-makers use to explain a negative feeling they don't know, understand and can articulate. That's why it is often irrational to answer objections. The typical objection is the irrational justification for an emotional decision that was made long before the objection was made. An objection is almost always an indication that the decision-maker has a closed mind. Therefore, the objection usually has nothing to do with what caused the emotional resistance," said Bill Brooks.

Do not be afraid to bring up objections because it is human nature that customers in most cases have a tough time verbalizing their own objections because they are so emotional in many cases. By bringing up objections first you take the thunder out of your customer bringing them up themselves. "You prevent objections by telling customers upfront the shortcomings of your offering. If they uncover objections on their own they trust the sales person less," says Jacques Werth. Full disclosure is what builds trust and sales momentum. All customers already know there are pros and cons to all offerings.

The true spirit of handling objections consist in building on your customer's perceptions, not overcoming them. When you want to answer an objection make sure you first include acknowledgment and then honor your customer's perspective and outlook. Look for ideas that link and connect, as opposed to ideas and responses that differentiate and separate you from the customer. When you recognize what links you to your customer's ideas you respect the differences. When addressing objections always give your customer the freedom to hold different ideas, and allow them to come to their own conclusions independent of your selling agenda.

"Describe the alternative that they're in favor of better than they can describe themselves, " says Stephen Covey. This captures the essence of the non-selling posture in relationship to objections. Customers trust someone who really "gets them." Be proactive and assertive with your stance of nonresistance. Regardless of the outcome, even when you go against your selling agenda, you will often make good headway with customers by being transparent and forthcoming.

The ability to influence, persuade and answer objections is done more effectively when it is indirect, instead of being direct. When you try to control objections and focus on always answering objections you perpetuate a process in which the customer is always on the defensive, not feeling in control and assuming a negative role.

At times nothing defuses customers resistance and their need to flex their will and object than agreeing with everything they say. In the real world of selling, nobody is right and nobody is wrong. Perception rules. This sentiment perfectly personifies the non-selling posture. Nothing strengthens your customers sense of ego, control and validation than being "right." When possible, strive to constantly make your customers "right." Sometimes it can be wrong to be "right." Let your customer always feel in the driver seat by being in charge.

A non-selling posture that cedes control relies heavily on a proactive nonresistance stance. When you let your customer experience their own answers, resolve their own objections, free of the limitations you would place upon them, sales and objections resolve themselves much more naturally and quickly.

We think we are in control of the sale, but we really are not. We think we know what is best for our customers and more often than not we do not. We think we can accurately interpret their lack of interest and we cannot so often. The good news is once you give up controlling behavior and realize so much of selling is out of our control the "great mystery of sales" is diminished tremendously. Remember, selling is generally out of our control when the customer has no problems, no means, no authority, no time and no motivation to change.

Richard Farrell is President of Tangent Knowledge Systems, a national sales development and training firm based in Chicago. He is the author of the upcoming book Selling has Nothing to do with Selling. He trains and speaks around the world and has authored many articles on his unique non-selling sales posture.

Phone: 773-404-7915
EMail: rfarrell@tangentknowledge.com
Web: http://www.tangentknowledge.com