When Arguing with a Stupid Person Make Sure They are Not Doing the Same Thing
The general rule of thumb is the more you keep your mouth shut while selling, the more difficult it will be to invite misunderstanding, resistance and objections.
Asking provocative questions, intently listening, having no preprogramed selling agenda, and judiciously and sparingly giving out information, are the hardest things for a customer to refute and object to.
Because sales people falsely believe that they enter every sales engagement with a heavy burden of proof and a foolish goal of trying to change the hearts and minds of their intended audience, they give out all their information prematurely, lose control and leverage in the sales cycle, and invite a barrage of senseless and silly objections.
What they work so hard to prevent (objections), they actually create. Their need to control the flow of information opens up the flood gates for objections and resistance.
Answering objections is a slippery slope, a zero sum game. The problem with answering objections is it becomes more personal for the customer as you answer objection after objection and the customer becomes all that more defensive, intolerant and resistant.
Often the more we push for agreement, the more we will tend to get disagreement. Objection handling is like quicksand. The more you fight it (answering their objections), the deeper it causes you to sink.
Strongly held positions and opinions by the sales person tend to invite strongly hell counter-positions by the customer. The more you are willing to step down from your pedestal of authority, the more your customer is willing to feel less compelled to challenge and object to your positions.
It is difficult for your customer to object and challenge your position when there is no hardened and entrenched position to shoot at.
So instead of answering objections, especially when it is too late where you are going to inevitably lose momentum and credibility anyway, bring out objections and hurdles early on. Customers appreciate sales people who take a balanced and realistic perspective, are willing to ask questions counter to their sales agenda, and do not seem to be steeped in self-interest.
Both extremes of an objection reflect one another. Do not choose one vantage point of an objection. Learn to objectively look at both sides and seek a common ground.
Get real! When you are open and actually invite objections for the sake of clarity for all parties, without judgment of yourself or your customer, you actually are not fearful of them and you do not feel rejected when you get them.
Getting real is when you do not depend on your customer's approval of your offering. If they object that is fine. Their objections or lack of support does not impact who you are as an individual. Feeling rejection from objections is minimized when you do not invest heavily in your ego, and you are able to step back realistically and see the pros and cons of your offering and how it fits for some, and does not fit for others.
Do not try not to answer objections because customers rarely vocalize their real objections. They give you symptoms. They mask real objections with inane and frivolous statements to throw sales people off from learning what they are really feeling and thinking. This essentially happens because they do not trust sales people.
Objection prevention will always outperform objection handling. Sell with less information, rhetoric and dogma and get fewer objections.