This story is hard to believe but it is true. I was working with a client several years ago and was out on sales calls with one of the reps. His philosophy on sales calls was simple; he wanted prospects to present as many objections as they could during the sales call.
I was thinking to myself that maybe this guy sniffed a little too much airplane glue as a kid! I didn’t say much when this rep told me that. The comment did make an impression because the majority of salespeople get cold and clammy when someone says “your price is too high.” Objections are meant to be avoided at all costs! Not with this guy however.
Sam (not his real name) felt that objections were just different ways for the prospect to show interest. What? Come on! So, that night I looked in the dictionary (not Wikipedia)-you know, that thing with paper and words on the paper. Objection is defined as “a feeling of opposition, dislike.” Exactly where does that definition read like interest?
Sam had it figured this way. Objections are:
- A prospect’s way to learn more details about the product
- A cautious way for the prospect to get information
- A way for the prospect to take control of the conversation
- A way for the prospect to get rid of the salesperson
Sam’s logic also concluded that if he was in front of a prospect there had to be some interest even though it might be marginal at best. Sam also knew that an objection should not be handled by trying to overcome it. A lot of sales training programs use the phrase “overcoming objections.” Think about it. As soon as the word overcome is used there is an inherent struggle about to happen. In sales, it means a struggle between the salesperson and the prospect.
When Sam hears an objection you can almost see a twinkle in his eye. It’s that I-gotcha-twinkle. After an objection Sam will either make a statement or, after some acknowledging phrases, he will ask a question. In his head he wants to make sure he understands why the prospect is objecting or raising an issue. That process will often lead to more information, which will lead to more dialogue, which could lead to a close. And if it doesn’t? Then Sam will disqualify the prospect. In other words a no is OK.
Change your perspective on objections! Go into a call hoping to get them.
The Final Thought: Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesperson-not on the attitude of the prospect. W. Clement Stone