OVERCOMING OBJECTIONS - THINKING LONGER AND HARDER

(Please Forward to anyone interested in a different view of Sales) - Copyright 2016 by Mike Stewart

The first step in overcoming objections is to recognize true objections. This is not as easy as it seems, but the Internet can make it easier.

The usual Expert Advice is to ask your prospect for his view about the weaknesses in your proposal. The hidden assumption is you will be given an honest answer that reveals the most pressing valid concern. Based on this concern, you should rephrase the objection so that your prospect knows you understand and sympathize. You can then reassure with facts why the objection is not valid.

But what if the hidden assumption is not true?

Before the Internet, personal communications was much more limited - examples include face to face, telephone, postcard. You could also talk at people with radio and TV Ads. Face to Face was considered the Gold Standard: you could read people's reactions to you and instantly respond. In Face to Face, one on one, you could not be easily ignored.

Today, with the Internet's multitude of ways to communicate with people, Face to Face is still considered the Gold Standard. Emails, websites, and other staples of the web are usually seen as support for initial prospect contact or as an easy way to provide details before formal agreement is reached.

There are cracks in this paradigm. Many today trade stocks without the help of stock brokers. If a sales professional wants to be the beneficiary, not the victim, of the Internet, he needs to think long and hard about this Gold Standard.

Is Face to Face necessary to Overcome Objections? I don't believe it is, OR, even if it is, with the proper use of the Internet, you can address the phony, not well thought out, or misleading objections online; leaving only serious objections. Then, a face to face meeting might be needed to address these objections, and, perhaps, another meeting to define specific needs. The significant point is that both the length of time and number of meetings needed will be drastically reduced!

To use the Internet to overcome objections, you must first understand what these objections are, or at least, what they are likely to be. There are several sources of this information.

If you use the Internet to support your ELEVATOR SPEECH or other networking situations, you will have personally met your prospect and will have had the opportunity for follow up questions by phone.

If your future customer asks either you or himself "Do I need this", he is really saying "I don't need this so I don't have to spend any money and I can get back to thinking about more pleasant things" or "I don't know if I need this or not and don't really care, I just don't want to be sold anything".

For this and many other objections, the true statement is "I don't want to be sold anything". Few of us want to be sold, yet we also don't want to be rude. Thus we often fib about our true feelings.

When you think about this, you realize online is often better than face to face. When you are face to face, both you and your prospect are trying to impress each other. Often emotions overpower logic and reason.

Your prospect may object to what you offer by saying he needs something similar, but NOT QUITE THE SAME. Both of you may think this is a positive - that the matter is open to negotiation, that we are moving toward a win/win solution.

The danger is you are being moved from a position where you can argue you are uniquely qualified to a position where you are one of many qualified vendors. Ultimately, you will wind up, after spending a lot of time, in a bidding situation where low price has an excessive influence.

If your prospect already knows why you are "uniquely qualified" and he is subconsciously giving this some weight because it is "on the web", you are in a position to claim that what he is asking for is exactly what you were saying you are uniquely qualified to do. You can thank him for pointing out the problem so you can make corrections and clarifications so others won't be mislead!

The candidate for your services may ask himself if you are competent or even have the strong objection "I think this guy is dumb and not trustworthy". If someone just doesn't like you (an emotional reaction), you can't exploit the Internet to change his mind - Or MAYBE YOU CAN?

We are all fighting being stereotyped all the time. People have to make judgments about many things including People (including You). They may not like you because of your gender. They may not like you because of your age. They may not like you because of your race. They may not like you because of your voice or accent. I could go on forever.

Most people deny they have these biases, even to themselves. If you even hint they may feel one of these viewpoints, their automatic, instantaneous response is "I'm not like that!".

Even the word "stereotype" has a negative connotation - that it is an attempt to assign you unfairly to a "bad" group.

We all stereotype. In fact, we all have to stereotype. We have LIMITED TIME. We don't have time to do an in-depth, exhaustive background check and analysis of every person we meet. So we make judgments on petty, unimportant characteristics.

What has all of this have to do with Internet Marketing?

Your first internet connection with someone can have many causes. You may have sent them an email (hopefully somewhat personalized) with a link to a website. They may visit your website after seeing one of your expensive TV Ads. They may have found a link after visiting your LinkedIn Profile. They may have found you from a Search Engine Inquiry. Or you may have given them a business card after a brief meeting at a networking function.

Let's think a little Longer and Harder about some of these situations.

If someone has already met you and you feel there were "bad vibes", it may be hard to improve the situation. But it may be an opportunity to prove to others in the near future that you are unique.

Suppose you work for a company that sells gold. We've all seen the ads listing reasons to buy gold now - great hedge against inflation and bad monetary policies, looked at long term the price has been significantly rising for many years, great time to buy based on recent (short term) price drop, etc. The point is all of your competitors will be saying "buy now".

If you feel the price of gold may drop in the near future, you can tell the "bad vibe" guy by email that, although you shouldn't try to time the market, if it were your money you would wait a few months to buy. Or you could put this opinion on your website.

If, in six months the price is lower, you have proof that you are not like all the other experts, always saying "Now is the Time to Buy". If the price is higher, and anyone notices, you did say you shouldn't try to time the market.

Another situation is you make an Internet Connection with someone who has never met you personally. In this case, there are almost an infinite number of ways to creatively market your products or services. You can increase your chances of making a good first impression. You can increase your chances of guessing the most likely objections and being able to overcome them in a non-threatening way.

I used to see a commercial for a company named Tin Man Roofing that specialized in metal roofing. It included a video of a spokesman, the owner, who was a kindly looking older man. He also appeared on their website.

Later, I mentioned this to a roofer I know. He claimed he knew the owner and had no idea who the kindly spokesman was.

I don't know if the spokesman was the owner or not. I do know that on the Internet the Law of the Jungle seems to apply. You can't be sure what you see is true. Maybe many people believe not in "all's fair in love and war", but in "all's fair in love, war, and business". It does bother me that many individuals, small businesses, and giant conglomerates believe their actions are OK and even admirable; but if you do the same thing, you are corrupt, unethical, and generally a bad human being.

Maybe the real owner of Tin Man is a young woman who does excellent work. If she believes many of her prospects think older males are better roofers, is she so bad if she fights this unfair prejudice by hiding the ownership of the company?

I have a strong belief in fairness, but it is a slippery concept. When I design a website, what is right or wrong may play a part. I have no problem embracing my client's ethics - unless he goes beyond the pale.

Often in face to face meetings, you will hear "Let me think about it". Often this occurs right after you have addressed the question "How much does it Cost?".

You need to Translate each of these into the real thought process (objection) of your prospect and then handle it appropriately. "Let me think about it" could mean "You haven't convinced me so I want you out of here so I can ignore your phone calls in the future". Or it could mean "I like what you say and am excited about it. But I have learned I make a better decision when I think about it after my emotions have cooled down".

Some typical expert advice about this situation includes (1) show understanding "I can see why you wouldn't want to make a decision without due consideration", (2) show more consideration "we all know how important 'due diligence' is before any decision", (3) transition "before I go, I would like to make sure I was clear about one major benefit", (4) statement of NEW benefit, and (5) trial close (carrot and stick) "If we agree that we have covered all the bases, I'd love to have you as a client - I can make a limited time offer if we can finalize this today".

As far as it goes, there is nothing wrong with this advice. If you are an exceptional sales professional, you will enjoy this dynamic give and take with your prospect. You will naturally recognize a "just want to get rid of you" person, and will convert him to a "serious consideration" person. Then you can work your way to one or more trial closings. You will be successful more often than not. The only thing Internet Marketing can do for you is expose your wonderful personality to vastly more, qualified prospects.

My only criticism of this expert advice is that it almost self evident for the exceptional sales professional. He either naturally understood it at an early age, or found it easy to learn and APPLY.

For the rest of us, this is not true. We need proper Internet Marketing to mitigate our salesmanship weaknesses.

Usually a prospect will not ask, but will be thinking, "Can I do this myself for free?". In terms of an objection, this is "I don't need you, I will do it myself.".

Your common sense will tell you when this objection will not come up. For example, if you are a brain surgeon, you don't have to think "long and hard" about this objection.

On the other hand, for many of us, this is an objection we will face. Let me list a few examples:

(1) Suppose you train people to be effective public speakers. You may encounter the thought "I can buy a book and practice in front of a mirror".

(2) If you design websites, your prospect will have heard many "We can build your Website for Free" ads.

(3) If you are a Human Resources Expert who preaches the importance of "due diligence" in employee hiring, you may have to overcome this thought about you - "This guy is smart, but so am I. I'll just pick his brain, maybe read a book, then I can handle it myself".

(4) If you are a Copywriter, some think they can "find a competitor's best ad and use that after modifying to avoid plagiarism".

(5) If you are a Search Engine Optimization Expert, many think they can do as well as you if they make a few social media posts and view a video or two produced by Google.

(6) If you are a Graphic Artist, your prospect may be thinking "I'll find a Logo I like on the web and then change it using a free graphic design program".

One reason this kind of objection is hard to recognize, and thus overcome, is we have all spent a great deal of time becoming experts. We know the hours we've spent, the certificates we've earned, the mistakes we've made and learned from, and the special situations we now know how to address. To your prospect what you do often looks easy.

This is one of many reasons it is hard to design your own effective website. It is hard to put yourself in the mind of your prospect, recognizing and countering the misconceptions people have about your business. Strange as it seems, one major reason I think I can help new clients is I usually initially have limited knowledge about their business.

If you want to overcome this kind of objection, I would suggest a starting point. It is only a starting point because, my business, like yours, is more complex than most people would think.

I suggest that you write a one page synopsis to be posted to your website, included in emails, or otherwise shared with your prospects. This synopsis should describe why the prospect needs you. Emphasize why he can't do it himself - don't tell him he's too dumb (joke). Include your certifications, background, "you always put your clients first" and other boiler plate things - if only because people have learned to expect them. But don't expect drastic results from this. Do put a lot of thought into and emphasis on how your training, background, personality, world view, philosophy, whatever, makes you better qualified to serve your prospect than anyone else.

More THINKING LONGER AND HARDER. - Mike Stewart. - mike@esearchfor.com

OVERCOMING OBJECTIONS - THINKING LONGER AND HARDER

 

 
 

(Please Forward to anyone interested in a different view of Sales) - Copyright 2016 by Mike Stewart

The first step in overcoming objections is to recognize true objections. This is not as easy as it seems, but the Internet can make it easier.

The usual Expert Advice is to ask your prospect for his view about the weaknesses in your proposal. The hidden assumption is you will be given an honest answer that reveals the most pressing valid concern. Based on this concern, you should rephrase the objection so that your prospect knows you understand and sympathize. You can then reassure with facts why the objection is not valid.

But what if the hidden assumption is not true?

Before the Internet, personal communications was much more limited - examples include face to face, telephone, postcard. You could also talk at people with radio and TV Ads. Face to Face was considered the Gold Standard: you could read people's reactions to you and instantly respond. In Face to Face, one on one, you could not be easily ignored.

Today, with the Internet's multitude of ways to communicate with people, Face to Face is still considered the Gold Standard. Emails, websites, and other staples of the web are usually seen as support for initial prospect contact or as an easy way to provide details before formal agreement is reached.

There are cracks in this paradigm. Many today trade stocks without the help of stock brokers. If a sales professional wants to be the beneficiary, not the victim, of the Internet, he needs to think long and hard about this Gold Standard.

Is Face to Face necessary to Overcome Objections? I don't believe it is, OR, even if it is, with the proper use of the Internet, you can address the phony, not well thought out, or misleading objections online; leaving only serious objections. Then, a face to face meeting might be needed to address these objections, and, perhaps, another meeting to define specific needs. The significant point is that both the length of time and number of meetings needed will be drastically reduced!

To use the Internet to overcome objections, you must first understand what these objections are, or at least, what they are likely to be. There are several sources of this information.

If you use the Internet to support your ELEVATOR SPEECH or other networking situations, you will have personally met your prospect and will have had the opportunity for follow up questions by phone.

If your future customer asks either you or himself "Do I need this", he is really saying "I don't need this so I don't have to spend any money and I can get back to thinking about more pleasant things" or "I don't know if I need this or not and don't really care, I just don't want to be sold anything".

For this and many other objections, the true statement is "I don't want to be sold anything". Few of us want to be sold, yet we also don't want to be rude. Thus we often fib about our true feelings.

When you think about this, you realize online is often better than face to face. When you are face to face, both you and your prospect are trying to impress each other. Often emotions overpower logic and reason.

Your prospect may object to what you offer by saying he needs something similar, but NOT QUITE THE SAME. Both of you may think this is a positive - that the matter is open to negotiation, that we are moving toward a win/win solution.

The danger is you are being moved from a position where you can argue you are uniquely qualified to a position where you are one of many qualified vendors. Ultimately, you will wind up, after spending a lot of time, in a bidding situation where low price has an excessive influence.

If your prospect already knows why you are "uniquely qualified" and he is subconsciously giving this some weight because it is "on the web", you are in a position to claim that what he is asking for is exactly what you were saying you are uniquely qualified to do. You can thank him for pointing out the problem so you can make corrections and clarifications so others won't be mislead!

The candidate for your services may ask himself if you are competent or even have the strong objection "I think this guy is dumb and not trustworthy". If someone just doesn't like you (an emotional reaction), you can't exploit the Internet to change his mind - Or MAYBE YOU CAN?

We are all fighting being stereotyped all the time. People have to make judgments about many things including People (including You). They may not like you because of your gender. They may not like you because of your age. They may not like you because of your race. They may not like you because of your voice or accent. I could go on forever.

Most people deny they have these biases, even to themselves. If you even hint they may feel one of these viewpoints, their automatic, instantaneous response is "I'm not like that!".

Even the word "stereotype" has a negative connotation - that it is an attempt to assign you unfairly to a "bad" group.

We all stereotype. In fact, we all have to stereotype. We have LIMITED TIME. We don't have time to do an in-depth, exhaustive background check and analysis of every person we meet. So we make judgments on petty, unimportant characteristics.

What has all of this have to do with Internet Marketing?

Your first internet connection with someone can have many causes. You may have sent them an email (hopefully somewhat personalized) with a link to a website. They may visit your website after seeing one of your expensive TV Ads. They may have found a link after visiting your LinkedIn Profile. They may have found you from a Search Engine Inquiry. Or you may have given them a business card after a brief meeting at a networking function.

Let's think a little Longer and Harder about some of these situations.

If someone has already met you and you feel there were "bad vibes", it may be hard to improve the situation. But it may be an opportunity to prove to others in the near future that you are unique.

Suppose you work for a company that sells gold. We've all seen the ads listing reasons to buy gold now - great hedge against inflation and bad monetary policies, looked at long term the price has been significantly rising for many years, great time to buy based on recent (short term) price drop, etc. The point is all of your competitors will be saying "buy now".

If you feel the price of gold may drop in the near future, you can tell the "bad vibe" guy by email that, although you shouldn't try to time the market, if it were your money you would wait a few months to buy. Or you could put this opinion on your website.

If, in six months the price is lower, you have proof that you are not like all the other experts, always saying "Now is the Time to Buy". If the price is higher, and anyone notices, you did say you shouldn't try to time the market.

Another situation is you make an Internet Connection with someone who has never met you personally. In this case, there are almost an infinite number of ways to creatively market your products or services. You can increase your chances of making a good first impression. You can increase your chances of guessing the most likely objections and being able to overcome them in a non-threatening way.

I used to see a commercial for a company named Tin Man Roofing that specialized in metal roofing. It included a video of a spokesman, the owner, who was a kindly looking older man. He also appeared on their website.

Later, I mentioned this to a roofer I know. He claimed he knew the owner and had no idea who the kindly spokesman was.

I don't know if the spokesman was the owner or not. I do know that on the Internet the Law of the Jungle seems to apply. You can't be sure what you see is true. Maybe many people believe not in "all's fair in love and war", but in "all's fair in love, war, and business". It does bother me that many individuals, small businesses, and giant conglomerates believe their actions are OK and even admirable; but if you do the same thing, you are corrupt, unethical, and generally a bad human being.

Maybe the real owner of Tin Man is a young woman who does excellent work. If she believes many of her prospects think older males are better roofers, is she so bad if she fights this unfair prejudice by hiding the ownership of the company?

I have a strong belief in fairness, but it is a slippery concept. When I design a website, what is right or wrong may play a part. I have no problem embracing my client's ethics - unless he goes beyond the pale.

Often in face to face meetings, you will hear "Let me think about it". Often this occurs right after you have addressed the question "How much does it Cost?".

You need to Translate each of these into the real thought process (objection) of your prospect and then handle it appropriately. "Let me think about it" could mean "You haven't convinced me so I want you out of here so I can ignore your phone calls in the future". Or it could mean "I like what you say and am excited about it. But I have learned I make a better decision when I think about it after my emotions have cooled down".

Some typical expert advice about this situation includes (1) show understanding "I can see why you wouldn't want to make a decision without due consideration", (2) show more consideration "we all know how important 'due diligence' is before any decision", (3) transition "before I go, I would like to make sure I was clear about one major benefit", (4) statement of NEW benefit, and (5) trial close (carrot and stick) "If we agree that we have covered all the bases, I'd love to have you as a client - I can make a limited time offer if we can finalize this today".

As far as it goes, there is nothing wrong with this advice. If you are an exceptional sales professional, you will enjoy this dynamic give and take with your prospect. You will naturally recognize a "just want to get rid of you" person, and will convert him to a "serious consideration" person. Then you can work your way to one or more trial closings. You will be successful more often than not. The only thing Internet Marketing can do for you is expose your wonderful personality to vastly more, qualified prospects.

My only criticism of this expert advice is that it almost self evident for the exceptional sales professional. He either naturally understood it at an early age, or found it easy to learn and APPLY.

For the rest of us, this is not true. We need proper Internet Marketing to mitigate our salesmanship weaknesses.

Usually a prospect will not ask, but will be thinking, "Can I do this myself for free?". In terms of an objection, this is "I don't need you, I will do it myself.".

Your common sense will tell you when this objection will not come up. For example, if you are a brain surgeon, you don't have to think "long and hard" about this objection.

On the other hand, for many of us, this is an objection we will face. Let me list a few examples:

(1) Suppose you train people to be effective public speakers. You may encounter the thought "I can buy a book and practice in front of a mirror".

(2) If you design websites, your prospect will have heard many "We can build your Website for Free" ads.

(3) If you are a Human Resources Expert who preaches the importance of "due diligence" in employee hiring, you may have to overcome this thought about you - "This guy is smart, but so am I. I'll just pick his brain, maybe read a book, then I can handle it myself".

(4) If you are a Copywriter, some think they can "find a competitor's best ad and use that after modifying to avoid plagiarism".

(5) If you are a Search Engine Optimization Expert, many think they can do as well as you if they make a few social media posts and view a video or two produced by Google.

(6) If you are a Graphic Artist, your prospect may be thinking "I'll find a Logo I like on the web and then change it using a free graphic design program".

One reason this kind of objection is hard to recognize, and thus overcome, is we have all spent a great deal of time becoming experts. We know the hours we've spent, the certificates we've earned, the mistakes we've made and learned from, and the special situations we now know how to address. To your prospect what you do often looks easy.

This is one of many reasons it is hard to design your own effective website. It is hard to put yourself in the mind of your prospect, recognizing and countering the misconceptions people have about your business. Strange as it seems, one major reason I think I can help new clients is I usually initially have limited knowledge about their business.

If you want to overcome this kind of objection, I would suggest a starting point. It is only a starting point because, my business, like yours, is more complex than most people would think.

I suggest that you write a one page synopsis to be posted to your website, included in emails, or otherwise shared with your prospects. This synopsis should describe why the prospect needs you. Emphasize why he can't do it himself - don't tell him he's too dumb (joke). Include your certifications, background, "you always put your clients first" and other boiler plate things - if only because people have learned to expect them. But don't expect drastic results from this. Do put a lot of thought into and emphasis on how your training, background, personality, world view, philosophy, whatever, makes you better qualified to serve your prospect than anyone else.

More THINKING LONGER AND HARDER. - Mike Stewart - mike@esearchfor.com