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Don’t you hate to hear your customer say “no”? You spend a lot of time and energy with a customer and when you get to the final stage of the sales process, the customer says the dreaded “no” word. You were all excited and hoping for a sale and then poof, the air goes out of your sails. The good news is that you can change from getting “no” answers to “yes” answers.
First, you must recognize that getting a “no” answer isn’t accidental or bad luck. When a customer gives you a “no” answer, it is systemic from a thought or feeling that occurred before decision time occurred. Although it’s not possible to get a “yes” answer 100 percent of the time, it is possible to improve your ratios tremendously by doing a little review.
Review the last 20 customers you have been with who said “no.” What were their objections? Write down all the objections. Categorize each objection. The good news is that objections only fall into a few categories. Once you realize that you face the same objections over and over, it’s easier to prepare for them in the future.
Now let’s dig into why the objection occurred. For all the complexity of human beings, we are pretty basic in that thoughts and emotions drive our decisions. Small companies, big companies, your country of residence, foreign countries — those things do not change human nature. As a salesperson, you must dig deeper, dig deeper, dig deeper. When you get to the core, you will find fear. What fear is the customer feeling? The overriding fear is of making a mistake.
When you receive an objection, you must now practice risk reversal. The fear has reached a crescendo and created a perception of extreme risk. Sometimes the easiest way for a customer to deal with risk is to say “no.” Customers object for only four reasons: to stall, complain, negotiate or make a valid objection.
Unfortunately, the majority of objections are also unspoken. You have to use your gut to feel the objections of your customers. You may listen to what the customer says, but you also have to feel what they are trying to say and also what they really mean. These three things can be very different from one another. Listening without feeling and understanding will only cause you to chase veiled objections. You will forever be trying to change objections without getting to a “yes.” Your objective is not to handle or fix objections, but to get your customer to the point of not only saying “yes” but feeling good about their decision. Notice I used the word “feel” once again.
Fears can be either intrinsic or extrinsic. The customer can have information given to them extrinsically that creates a fear around you, your product/service or the money. Or the customer can create fear based upon their own thoughts or feelings. Remember that perception is reality to the customer. What will change their fears, whether they are intrinsic or extrinsic? Confidence is the game changer — confidence that you can show and transfer to the customer. People want to feel confident. Usually, your confidence will come from competence. The more competent you are in listening, understanding, communicating, problem solving, persisting and creating a kindred friendship, the confident you will be and the confident your customer will feel. Your confidence will trump any extrinsic information given to the customer by another salesperson.
Try the following risk reversal techniques.
1. Re-demonstrate Your Product or Service — Move people back from their head with their heart. It’s hard for people to make decisions based upon logic only without creating fear around our logic. People tend to have more confidence and conviction around their emotions than their logic. Emotions are fun and logic is boring, scary, black and white, right versus wrong. Re-demonstrating your product or service renews the emotion that justifies logic.
2. Ask the Pointed Question — “Mr. Customer, if you had to pick one thing only that is keeping you from buying what would that be?”
3. Reduce the Scary Monster of Decision — “Mr. Customer, the hardest part of getting what you want is to make the decision to do so. That’s normal. The root meaning of the word ‘decide’ means to cut off from all other things. That can be a scary thing. Once you make the decision, all the fear goes away and you lift a ton off your shoulders. It’s okay to make the decision to have what you know you already want to do.”
4. Make No Mistake — “Mr. Customer, based upon what you have told me, based upon what you have said you want to do, what your goals are, what you are getting and accomplishing, you are not making a mistake.”
Just as the customer has to decide, you have to decide as well. Do you feel worthy of making this sale? Do you feel like you and your product/service is the best for the customer? When you do, you will go from more “no” answers to more “yes” answers.