How Objections Are Gifts

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle

Apr 12
Gifts on gift wrap

Not all gifts come wrapped in pretty paper

Have you ever noticed how most people want to avoid conflict? Salespeople are no different. That is why it’s hard to appreciate that objections are gifts. After all, objections tend to come across as either rejections or as pending conflicts.

This is why traditional sales trainers teach you to prepare a list of all the objections you can think of that your prospects might bring up. Then develop strong counters to each one. Then, when your potential buyer raises one of the objections, you can quickly and smoothly defeat it.

See Sales as a Battle, Lose the Customer

The irony of that approach is that each victory you have over your prospect’s objections sprouts another objection. Eventually, unless you just happen to get lucky and find a prospect who wants to buy anyway, your prospect comes up with something like, “Well, let me think about it. I’m not ready to buy right now.” And so, with this effort to be polite, the meeting is over. It’s unlikely you will ever get back in to see that person or, if you are in retail, that he or she will come back looking for you to sell him again.

See with Your Heart to Find Objections as Gifts

The key to accepting objections as gifts is to take a heart-centered, soft sell approach: step outside our own personal feelings long enough to ask, “Why did this customer bring up this objection in the first place? What does she really want?” Change your viewpoint of sales calls and sales presentations from seeing them as battle where you either win or lose to exercises in developing friendships. People rarely create friendships with those who make them feel stupid or inferior. Of course, there are exceptions, like when it enables them to brag about their famous “friend” or to name drop.

When buyers bring up objections, they are willing to engage in a discussion. They’re interested to some degree or they would have found a way to leave without an objection. That’s why experienced salespeople know that if someone has no objections, unless he or she came to you specifically for what you are selling, you most likely have no sale.

When Connection with Your Prospect Is More Important than Proving You Are Right

Stop looking to beat their objections; start asking questions. The initial reasons are rarely the true issues. As people, we protect ourselves with better sounding reasons, often thinking that our real reasons sound silly or selfish. Sometimes we’re not even conscious of the real concerns ourselves. We just know that it doesn’t feel right yet. Your goal is to develop a connection before you ever start to sell. Get to understand why they feel this objection is important to them. What does it really mean? What are they truly looking for?

For instance, most people buy a drill to get a hole-maker. In reality, the hole is rarely important either. It’s what they can do with the hole that’s important. Use your heart-centered curiosity. Are they planning to mount a trophy or build a bookshelf or create a deck? Why do they want to do that? Seek to understand. Try to relate; then ask more. Thus you can help them solve their problems or fulfill their desires.

When you develop your heart-centered, soft sell sales skills, you’ll find it easier to understand how objections are gifts. They give you something you can discuss and ask questions about so you can understand. They enable you to connect, one human being to another. Once you know as fully as possible what their decisions mean to your prospects, you can help customers buy. The resulting sales will be fun, fulfilling and mutually rewarding.

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About the Author

My first Kindle eBook, How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses, went live on April 24, 2012. Until June 11t, 2012, it is available at its introductory rate of $.99. I've lived a lifetime of service and spiritual search so it's natural for me to incorporate these attitudes into my work. I believe that selling and marketing are spiritual service when done with a heart-centered, relationship selling approach. All of business success comes down to building strong relationships.