Home > Resistance > objections. invitation or rejection

objections. invitation or rejection

All who train claim an objection is an invitation to give more information.Any new piece of information given to a client opens up discussion for a new decision. I believe this statement is true.

I also know that all objections never state they cannot pay my price. The statement made is I am unwilling to pay the asking price at the present moment.

By stating an objection the client has informed me that they cannot make an informed smart decision to own.At this time I must build more value,trust for the ownership exchange to move forward.

It is at this point sales professionals seem to find the road a little tougher to travel down. When I am encountered with objections I find out why the client feels this way towards my proposal, price and service.

My questions are designed to get the client to talk and for me to listen.What I find out during this process, the client informs me of the answers they need for the ownership exchange to move forward.

I can answer all concerns ,questions that allow the ownership exchange.

What have you found with the objections you receive? - by rich34232
What have you found with the objections you receive?
I rarely receive objections.

The reason for that is that I am extremely aware of the common obections to anything I sell--and almost all objections are common. Because I have categorized those objections, I deal with them BEFORE they arise.

All who train do NOT claim that an objection is an invitation to give more information. Some trainers do, however, and that's unfortunate in my opinion.

This I very much like:
"My questions are designed to get the client to talk and for me to listen.What I find out during this process, the client informs me of the answers they need for the ownership exchange to move forward."
That is a powerful and advanced way of selling. - by Ace Coldiron
Oh well..... I'll learn about this.... do this in word... do this in word... do this in word... do this in word.... do this in word...

The upshot... objections... the real stuff... leaves me sorta like losing an engine right after take off.... denial, disbelief, and depression... My usual action is "huh?"... that's good for 10 or 15 seconds... "Why?" (me) sometimes surfaces... "Would you care to elaborate"... (followed by hyperventilation)...

Invite... welcome to Hades … More like a discovery with the ex-wife’s attorney… the visit with the man-eater..

Opportunity… a chance to develop understanding and to reconnect (your severed psyche)

Rejection … Ya think? No I don’t want any.. are you nuts.. what’s the matter with you… I’m tired of you insurance guys.. G’wan… beat it… J

Objections.. Don’t get many but when I do.. they’re a lot of fun.. yeah right…. Like leathers and chains …

Have fun with it is my ownly advise…

Aloha… :cool: - by rattus58
I also know that all objections never state they cannot pay my price. The statement made is I am unwilling to pay the asking price at the present moment.

By stating an objection the client has informed me that they cannot make an informed smart decision to own.At this time I must build more value,trust for the ownership exchange to move forward.

If they have objections then they are interested in buying! - by jrboyd
If they have objections then they are interested in buying!
They keep saying that..... ;st I much prefer... "Ok I'll take it!"

There must be simpler examples rather than "huh" that someone can use with objections. Just what are some examples of objections that you all run into anyway. I could be having objections mixed up with something else.

For example... we do a presentation outlining the why and when to buy insurance through the worksite. We cover on the initial presentation that we are supplemental insurance that acts a lot like mechanical breakdown coverage, that we are a payroll deduction, that we have group savings of up to roughly 40%, that they own the policy, they can't outlive it, that we havent' raised our premiums of an existing product in 50 years, that benefits are paid directly to them, not some doctor or to pay them back for paying the doctor, they get it regardless whether they pay anything or not, and mostly the premiums are pre-tax, a tax benefit realized from the first deduction... not next April.... and they have a breakdown of policies, premiums, and a summary of benefits for each one. They all give me an interest sheet checking off what they might like to enroll in.

When they come back to see me, what I get as an order might be "Eh Brah... I like the Accident Plan but I going hold off on the cancer...!" If he's checked an interest in several plans and only takes one, that to me is not an objection. What I see as an objection is if he takes an accident plan and not disability coverage then resists me when I ask him why.

I'm not feeling the love when they resist... nope not at all... kinda like my courtin days all over again... :) Most of the objections I get are related to money. I have a priority list of my own... disability is #1. Accident, Hospital, Life Insurance... not necessarily in that order, but in order of claims that would be it. Cancer is a stand alone priority.... My whole family has been touched by it... it's #1 with me too... but not everyone is convinced that they are a potential 50/50 victim of cancer. It's too bad HIPAA doesn't let us give him proper examples.

Maybe our process eliminates most objections. If I see 30 workers, we might sit down with 12. Usually all 12 will walk away with something. The remaining 18 might have objections that we don't know about... they've definitely been internalized if they don't see us and in those rare rare instances where we do see everyone one on one, if someone says they're not interested, I usually let it go... and maybe THERE I am giving into the objection, because I'll generally not ask them "you mean you don't see anything we're offering that might help you in the envent you got cancer, broke a leg, had a heart attack, or couldn't come to work?" I have, but generally don't, I let em walk till next year.

Maybe I'm too easy. Maybe I should press a little harder for those that I let get away without some kind of involvement question... I usually engage the group meetings with involvement questions but not so much on the one on one when they tell me no.

Aloha... :cool: - by rattus58
If they have objections then they are interested in buying!
Not everyone is on board with that belief.

In many cases objections mean that you haven't covered what you should have covered. - by Ace Coldiron
But you would only object if intrested in buying. Would you express concerns or objections on an item you had no interest in? Chances are you would just ignore salesperson and keep walking. - by jrboyd
Invitation or Rejection............... both :)

When you look at the stats, should you have a 1 in 3 convesion rate, 2 out of 3 people are not convinced (or have a condition) that your product is better for them.

To me, that means 1 invitation and 2 rejections

So, handling objections (or pre-answering them) to reduce the rejections is imortant - by PiJiL
Rattus it may be the way your asking why in disbelief. Instead of why ; what concerns do you that you are hesitating with the disability insurance?
I find a lot of objections are not overcome due to how we respond to the client. It is not the meaning but the way it comes across. Not what is said but how it is said.

We must get over the semantics of assuming all as we know it never will cover all. Replace all with many or most.
Closing 1 out of 3 we may need to do a better job of asking more questions.imo - by rich34232
If they have objections then they are interested in buying!
If I said;

"I don't believe you can improve my profit by 15%!" You are saying this is a signal - that they are interested in buying? I would have to agree, however, this is not an objection ... !!!

It is clear that the definition of objection is being lost or misinterpreted in this thread.

Research done as far back as the 60's proved that Skepticism is a sign of interest because if the buyer was not interested they would merely show indifference at best, this is what I beleive also.

However, an OBJECTION is quite different, it is usually a misunderstanding but can be a perceived drawback of your product or service. If an objection is not handled your sale will not take place ...

An objection is neither an INVITATION to sell the prospect (or move to the next level like a demo) nor REJECTION - though the latter can occur if it is not handled correctly.

Price negotiation is rarely an objection but can be (if there was not enough value established prior to the attempt to close) if the buyer sticks on price and you can not establish more value by first uncovering more needs.

A prospects objection or Skepticism ... these are attitudes, they merely reveal what the prospect is thinking and feeling. If you like; it is a clue. A clue to understanding them and what we must communicate to them.

A condition is different yet again. If I bought a three year contract with a supplier one year ago I don't need to buy again for two years (or nearly two), that is a condition. No sales skill can deal with a condition. Sorry, this is neither an OBJECTION nor SKEPTICISM and certainly is NOT a display of an attitude ... !

We need to think in terms of a prospect's personality instead of trying to select words as terms (like INVITATION) for things that are really the way other people are acting/behaving. Perhaps these rudimentary examples will help;

(1) Can we say he acted like an INVITATION? Can we say she acted like a REJECTION? No and no.

(2) If we say "he objected" can we say "he INVITED when he objected"? No.

(3) If we say "she displayed skepticism" can we say "she displayed rejection" or "she displayed invitation". Again no.

Beginning to see it?

This is the English language. It is a way of communicating, as are things we call non verbal communication. Churchill said; "I can forgive a man almost anything except not learning the English language!"

Mastery of sales requires command of English or whatever language you speak when you sell. And, if you understand language, it is easier to have certain thoughts ... like what an OBJECTION or SKEPTICISM are indicative of and what a CONDITION means (no sale now, period!).

Unless we mean to change the English language I expect we need not make this any more complicated than what it is Dear Sales Professionals! - by Gold Calling
Steven, that is one brilliant and instructive post. I encourage everybody to read and re-read his words on this topic.

In addition, you are one of the few on this forum--perhaps the only one--who have introduced the topic of Indifference.

Put that stuff in your book. - by Ace Coldiron
... you are one of the few on this forum--perhaps the only one--who have introduced the topic of Indifference.
There are four main attitudes; acceptance, objection, skepticism and indifference. Most sales people think that objection and skepticism are the same thing and that is deadly - they are not, they indicate different complete mindset and are therefore dealt differently. But that is not all to understand about attitudes that is remarkable ....

Indifference is the toughest to deal with by a country mile. And indifferent prospect simply has no feeling at all about what you are selling (or very little). And here is where this gets really, really interesting ... ready? Because this is how you prove that the central theme of one of the main sales training programs in the world does not deal with or encompass all that can happen in selling ...

Let's begin by understanding emotion. If I asked you what the opposite of LOVE is (give me one word), what would you say?

Some might answer sort of religiously, saying evil. Is there another answer that makes sense???

What is LOVE when it comes to selling? I love that car ... man I love what those guys did for us! We do get emotional when we buy, don't we? I mean some emote more than others (show it more0 but the feelings are there.

So, if you don't LOVE you would quite literally be said to be devoid of emotion. Which of the four attitudes most closely represents a lack of feeling?


If some one who is a prospective buyer does not have feeling you are in trouble. This is a tough sale to get and 99% of sales people are going to leave.

There is a strategy for dealing with this - not that it will work all the time, it doesn't. But it can work, has worked for me and others. The point is, you have a LOW REACTOR on your hands, a person who not only does not emote - they have little feelings at all (it is a wonder you are even sitting there!).

Now, if it were true that the close was a non event, as some sales training research attempts to prove, the indifferent prospect or LOW REACTOR disproves this. Because the ONLY way to get them IS TO CLOSE - it is called shock.

Now, please, do not misunderstand. An indifferent prospect is not necessarily a LOW REACTOR. A prospect could find out what you are selling, then not be interested and, though they react to you personally, they are indifferent about your product or service. Whereas the LOW REACTOR is an extreme case of indifference ...

Look, this is not the place to get into this in total detail. Suffice to say that there is no one theory on sales that is being circulated today that encompasses all that we face. The study of sellign is easily one of the most fascinating subjects you could ever embark on and everyone should. My point in this thread was to get all of the interested readers to realize that we oversimplify and cause issues.

Not that I want to make selling more complicated either. It is enough to master without interjecting complications (that don't exist). So that is not what I am about.

I used to say this is about truth but the word does not imply that sellign and the study of it should be about what works, not about TRUTH because what appears to be true for you is not true to someone else. This is why this forum does not work very well - at least not yet.

The VALIDITY of statements is another thing entirely to truth (as truth is opinion related). It is invalidto state that an Objection indicates either rejection or "invitation" ... and this is not my opinion. It has been proven, therefore we ought not to argue it - do you see what I mean?

If you want to understand this stuff we should have regular sales trainign events in a teleconference line. This is something I discussed with Jeff last night. But I think they ought to have several trainers, so they are not about me, Ace or Skip or whoever but about all of us.

We can kick this around and spend enough time to work through why things are invalid. And in so doing we can sell a lot of books, CD's and DVD's (to more wiling buyers - and I recommend things that do not benefit me). More importantly we can elevate you, your level of sales competence is in direct proportion to what you accomplish.

There are people who understand sellign in a way that you, the reader, does not. Accept this please. I may be one of them - this is for you to judge but "we" do exist.

"We" just want you to get it too. More than anything else that is all we strive for.

In this very forum, the man who just applauded my last post thought at one time that I was saying that I did not think I could learn about sales (or words to that affect0. This is clearly not valid nor do I think Ace feels that way about me any longer.

I did assert myself in this forum to help. And in this thread I felt I could not sit back and let the discussion go on without providing proof that the premise was not valid. And that does not mean the discussion is not valuable, as I am sure you agree.

Forums are weird. I had one with 44,000 subscribers, there were more people posting than in this forum. I finally shut it down so you must realize that this effort by Jeff is a huge deal - yes, I am off topic. But he deserves a medal.

He and the rest of us also deserve to benefit. To do that, there are times when a person must interject on a thought process and say - sorry for this unprofessional word but - BALONEY!

Clearly; an objection is an attitude displayed by a prospect that does not indicate an invitation or rejection. It indicates a misunderstanding or perceived drawback of your product. - by Gold Calling
I am with Gold as far as there are different degrees of objections however I do not believe you ,is an objection. Before I believe you I need proof is an objection.

Not all objections are buying signals they are signals to inform you to give more information. Not all conditions are real conditions. Brian Tracy makes a condition in a book and on cd where you cannot sell running shoes to a man with no legs. Is that a condition really? We must first find out if the purchase is for someone else and they are doing the buying.We must find out the condition of that condition before we can say the condition is real.

I am glad we hit on indifference. With b2c quite a few clients show indifference. What I have found with these type clients they normally have a huge wall built. This wall is built due to being sold a bill of goods by unethical sales people in the past.Now they just sit and stair with no emotion nor a care in the world.Especially when it is with a want instead of a need.

I am sure b2b, indifference may mean something entirely different then what I have seen over the past 36 years in retail sales, new home construction and now in the service industry.

The client is not inviting anyone. Invitation is from the sales professional to the sales professional.Inviting is meant for the sales professional to not give up and walk away when a negative action or reaction is given by the client. It invites the sales professional to follow through with the process to find out why,who ,when, what ,where and how along with any other phrase or questions you use.

I believe it is how YOU perceive it more than the client. - by rich34232
I am with Gold as far as there are different degrees of objections.
There are not different degrees of OBJECTION there are however two main causes (drawback and misunderstanding).

I am sure in b2b indifference may mean something entirely different ...
Nope, it is exactly the same. You are either dealing with someone who is devoid of emotion/attitude in terms of your product or service or a low reactor.

Low rectors are either those people who feel sales people are untrustworthy and are, as you so aptly put it, "behind a wall", or; simply those few people who are so taciturn in nature they rarely talk - don't say much. Both types are uncommon in terms of the percentage of the prospects you meet but you do encounter them. This might happen slightly more often in B2C (this is an opinion on my part, I have no numbers to prove it) but this attitude is not indicative of "something else" (than is seen in B2B).

I do sell both - B2B and B2C ... I prefer the B2B challenge more but I know both and these customer attitudes are caused for exactly the same reasons. - by Gold Calling
I think we are back to semantics and personal beliefs . You do make really great points for understanding. - by rich34232
I think we are back to semantics and personal beliefs . You do make really great points for understanding.
There is only one section of what I posted that is an opinion (unproven), that being there might be more people who are generally distrusting of sales reps in the B2C world than B2B ... that I cannot prove, it is a guess. Though it really is not important information, as it is what it is.

As for semantics, which I judge you to be referring to as two different ways of essentially saying the same thing ... I am like hmmmm ... !?!?!

I have two questions for you;

1) Which part do you feel is semantics? And;

2) Where you just saying you think our personal beliefs differ? If so in what way. - by Gold Calling
Being able to question the "why" behind an objection is the secret. Many sales reps fail in this regard and will take the first NO or objection and shut down. You're right in questioning but keep in mind that had you not established a proper relationship to begin with you wouldn't even be at this point to hear an objection. You were also right on the money when you stated that you ask then LISTEN. What a great skill to develope. Objections should be viewed as an invitation to question further.
Thanks - by martykapp
The I do not believe you is not an objection.Your building trust with a relationship they do not believe you then trust has not been built.Who has proven this?Unless I misunderstood you and it is an objection. - by rich34232
The I do not believe you is not an objection.Your building trust with a relationship they do not believe you then trust has not been built.Who has proven this?Unless I misunderstood you and it is an objection.
"I do not believe you." IS an objection.

It conveys an unwillingness to move forward because of an issue of trust in what the salesperson is saying. Theoretically if circumstances were such that the trust factor could NOT be resolved, it would fall under the heading of a Condition. - by Ace Coldiron
I agree Ace. I had to go on our other computer to dig up what Gold has stated as being fact. Kriss Barlow www.corporatehealth group discusses these same attitudes as what I call the different degrees of objections. They calll them client attitudes. To me this is six of one and a half dozen of another. The same insight spoken differently. One is not correct and the other wrong. Just a different way to look at and accept what you believe.Being proper it would be called reasons why people do not move forward with a decision to own.

I prefer to call them different degrees of objections as basically they all deal with the client not moving forward.An addition is how do I guide them towards moving forward. - by rich34232
"I do not believe you." IS an objection.

It conveys an unwillingness to move forward because of an issue of trust in what the salesperson is saying. Theoretically if circumstances were such that the trust factor could NOT be resolved, it would fall under the heading of a Condition.
A condition has nothing to do with us. It is a reason why the customer cannot buy, usually a pre-existing situation.

The great sales people of the world get "in" when there is very little set up or yet understood about what they are selling and then go to work - they sell. In such situations conditions sometimes arise - slightly more often than when you have already established that a buy is going to take place, like;

"We are interested in a photocopier for our new division."

Look, I have never had a prospect say "I don't believe you." And, I think it is clear that this is likely due to the fact that my training began at age 16 and my father is a master trainer. But I seriously doubt those words are used very often.

This, on the other hand, has happened many times to me;

"I don't believe you can improve on our manufacturing process!"

If you said "that is not an objection" you would be perfectly correct. This is a display of Skepticism, which was why I introduced in this thread that I believe Objection and Skepticism were being mixed up.

Now, if you want to know "who has proven this" you can begin by looking up the definition of Skepticism in any credible dictionary . If Funk and Wagnall or Wikipedia are not appropriate proof sources or you want more affirmative info to support this I can take you back to the late 60's to research done by a company which was subsequently bought out by Xerox and become known as Xerox Learning Systems, then International Learning Systems. Or we can show you the research done by Neil Rackham (over 35,000 sales calls they sent a live person to chart the call), who was hired in 1977 by Rank Xerox (a different company than Xerox).

Want even more ...? I am eminently qualified to give you several other sources on human behavior that provide amazing proof of this. But there is another way to do it too, in fact there are two ways;

(1) Yesterday I was the sales coach on a live call with the president of an International process improvement engineering firm, calling on a company that made brake parts for Magna who then assembles them as brakes for Toyota's main U.S. and Canadian assembly plants. This guy liked us fine, we got on like a house on fire, which I will explain.

Even though there was excellent repor, he was certain that there was no way that the part could be [a]made, [b]measured & visually checked by a robot (quality control) and [c] polished in less than 90 seconds. It was our job to show him we could improve the process by over 10% ... which would amount to over a million a year in extra capacity from the same line. A fairly serious benefit, wouldn't you say?

In other words, if we could engineer that line to spit that part out 9 seconds faster on average, they would get rich!

In fact, we could not only do that but decrease waste/rejects from 1.3% to .6% ... worth about $100,000 a year extra!

He did not believe in this claim, which we run into commonly, even though we are extremely gregarious, out-going, friendly and much better than average at building relationships

I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, at the very highest level sales is done at, with two of the most distinguished professionals from their professions across the desk from this prospect (me in sales and the engineer I was assisting), that we had established excellent repor. Heck, we were already there for a total of 1:45 minutes, been through a full plant tour, been offered three beverages (I had two coffees) ... we went the whole nine yards ... he liked us, trust me. No one spends that much time with you professionally unless they feel extremely comfortable (we would not have gotten the tour had he not felt at ease).

Skepticism is not about YOU ... it is about what you claim your company, service or product can do. It is that simple.

Note what I said - it is about your company, your service or your product.

It has been proven beyond doubt by a psychologist named Neil Rackham (and his team), also by the company who at that time had the single most profitable invention known to man (from 1961 until the PC and microchip more than 20 years later!) and by others. Get this and please get it good;


In my example above we had already spent more than an hour and a half building repor when I stated in the meeting that the 2nd main benefit was we could also improve their existing efficiency. Right then, instantly, he crossed his arms (this is classic) and leaned right back in his chair ...

(2) This is not semantics. We are not saying the same thing as each other two different ways. In fact, you are displaying Skepticism yourself, by saying "I do not believe that is an objection" (even though I was not saying it was, I was saying it was Skepticism - you simply misunderstood that part).

You don't even know me. You are in "question or doubt" of my sales training examples, which is awesome, I love it, literally. As I get to display that my understanding is greater than most people in this forum and improve your sales ability too. Thanks for that.

Here it is - has this happened because I did not create a relationship with you? Because that is what you claim is the cause for the customer attitude.

Or might it just be that you question my explanation of this hypothetical sales situation? Because if so, you just proved that neither an Objection nor Skepticism is due to relationships (or lack there of)!

It is not me. It is the information that you doubt. And that is about as clear as it gets.

If I showed you a research survey from an Internationally accepted psychologist who had been hired by some of the biggest Fortune 500 companies in the world that has proven that this is not about the sales rep, then would you believe me? - by Gold Calling
I will stand by what I said. "I do not believe you." IS an objection.

That statement can be expressive of more than one thought. For instance it could be used to express "I do not believe your claim." Or it could be used to express a general distrust of the salesperson.

In common usage, "skepticism" slides back and forth in a very grey area.

My comment on Condition was merely in reference to irepairable distrust. - by Ace Coldiron
So Gold.... did you make him rich and save him 100,000 a year?

I've never had the crossed arms, but I know what it means... it's equivalent to the hands on the hips with my wife. - by rattus58
I will stand by what I said. "I do not believe you." IS an objection.
The important thing I feel Ace, is for you and I to get across to rich34232 that this is NOT caused by lack or relationship building, that is very clear.

As to whether or not it is skepticism or an objection there is a very easy way to understand which attitude you are facing, which I will explain, in an instructional way. But first, I have to say a couple of things here.

Degrees of an objection is one of the oddest sales notions I've ever heard (sounds like someone has been too busy using common sense again). It is like saying "I object more strongly" - this not only odd but an irrelevant distinction (even if it does exist) because we deal with the two types of objections we face using a technique specific to each type, regardless if that was a misunderstanding or a perceived drawback, who would care if it was more strongly felt unless it is harder to deal with, which comes up any way, this is simply not worth worrying about in your head while on a call.
Yes, they are road blocks to decisions. Not doubt.

You see, what is happening in this thread is a misunderstanding. I am saying one thing, Ace or whoever, is saying another. Since our definitions of the words are not the same, it is really quite difficult to carry on a discussion, which is partially why a forum is a poor medium of communications for training.

Understand that you may relate - the you being any reader - to the word objection or the word skepticism differently because you have a notion of what that word means. And by differently I am saying differently than my interpretation and those of my peers who put together one of the greatest sales training programs that ever was - a worldwide standard for more than 20 years.

This notion of two meanings for the same word I accept, as any sane person must.

Just because I state this comes from one of the greatest training programs in the history of business does not mean that their definition is correct. But I will say this, in direct refute of one of Ace's comments, skepticism is a real attitude that is NOT in a gray area at all, the two (objection and skepticism) are very different indeed.

So, how do we get from here to there and have agreement on the meanings of these words so we can learn how best to deal with the attitudes themselves? How can we generate acceptance within a forum such as this?

Truly, that is what my involvement in this and several other are threads is mostly about. But I will carry that on outside of this thread and return to the argument, which is a very exciting one in my opinion.

Please, before this proceeds, can I say and have all readers be aware that am not attacking anyone. These are just ideas we are debating openly and this is an area that I am very clear on indeed, from a master sales person's and master trainer's standpoint.

That statement can be expressive of more than one thought. For instance it could be used to express "I do not believe your claim." Or it could be used to express a general distrust of the salesperson.
The issue here is what do we do next? The prospect said "I don’t believe you" and you think that meant "I do not believe your claim" but you don't know? Ask a closed probe; "Do you mean that you do not believe we can improve your profits by 10%?" Or "What do you mean by that. <don't pause> Were you saying that the claim of increase profits sounds unreasonable?"

That is a closed probe. Bingo, they tell us and we now know how to proceed. However, in terms of this thread, that does not answer what it is, an objection or skepticism.

If we relate this using an example, assume you are the prospect and I am calling on you saying that as a sales coach I could improve your sales closing ratio without increasing the number of appointments you went on by a total of 30% and you said;

"I don't believe you!"

I would say "You mean you are not confident that I can make that level of improvement in your skills?" If you say very affirmatively "Yes!" I now know that you were likely skeptical ... this is how I would proceed (S = sales person. P = prospect);

S "So, if I understand, you believe it is possible you could improve and that I could help you but that percentage of improvement is a little unreasonable?" Closed Probe.

P "Yes, I sat down with you because I believed I could improve and you sound like you are able to help me but 30%, come on!"

S "Let's get back to the amount of improvement we can generate in a moment. First, let me be sure here. I think what you are saying is; you would be happy with less improvement than 30%, is that right?" Closed Probe.

P "As long as you can help me improve, yes I would." Affirmative response

S "You are absolutely right to beleive change is possible. And, having talked with you, let me assure you, there is no doubt in my mind that I can help you improve your performance and income, none at all." Support the need.

P "I like the sound of that!" Accepted the benefit.

S "Getting back to the percentage, I want to say that I understand exactly how you feel, 30% does sound outrageous. In fact, when I started doing one on one coaching, after having been a sales trainer for large groups for many years, I thought a 10% improvement of a top producer might be ambitious. In other words, I felt the same way as you. But then I found through time and experience that top producers were actually the best people to work with, that they are more apt to get the needed change and apply it. The improvement I have seen with people who I believe were even less capable of change than you was nothing short of astounding ... 30% is indeed not only possible but reasonable too!" Support the need.

If the amount comes up again, if this is not an accepted benefit (more improvement than they thought was possible), then there is an attitude. Why? Because they agreed to receive up to 10% but not 30% ... believe me, this is not an objection. There is no misunderstanding or drawback. There is disbelief of a claim .... (this definition to follow is direct quote) the customer "questions or doubts a benefit."

Let me play this out for you ... as if the need for 30% improvement was not accepted ...

P "I am sorry Steve, I could believe 10% but I am still having a problem with 30%." unaccepted need - clearly expression of doubt - it is undeniable that it is not me but the claim that this prospect can't believe.

S "Again, I am right there with you. In fact, I could have been satisfied with 10%, set up some sessions to help you see how you can affect change and some sessions to come on sales calls with you, then left it at that. But, I know better, I know there is more on the table, that you can get more out of your profession and the rewards that go with that, so first, forgive me if it seems I am harping on this <don't pause>. Believe me, this will be a worthwhile to explore for a moment longer <don't pause>. Now, the last thing I would want you to do is accept my word. I have with me letters from three top producers in their respective sales businesses, do you know Canon?" closed probe - I am trying to confirm which letter is most likely tom have an impact on him/her.

P "Yes, I know a couple of guys who sell for them actually." Affirmative response

S "well, great, then as you probably know, they have 79 sales reps <don't pause>. And there number two rep last year is my client, his name is ______________. His letter shows that he was able to improve his numbers last year by 27% and he notes we started working part way through the year. Had we started eerier, as the letter says, we would have achieved even more!"
Handling he attitude - yes it is skepticism.

<Hand the letter over and wait while they read it.>

P "That is impressive." Confirmation of attitude handled.

S <said a bit tongue in check> "Is there any reason in your mind why you would not shoot for 35%?" closed probe - this is actually a closing question

P "No there isn't" unaccepted need.


The prospect doubted the benefit. And, since the salesperson wanted a better reference - i.e. a client with 30% improvement instead of 10% - he pressed on. Dealt with the attitude and got the order. And, by the way, the time needed tog et 30% rather than 10% is higher, so the order ends up being for slightly more consulting time - billable time.

Now, (what follows in quotation marks is a direct quote from PSS) the prospect who "opposes something about your product or service" is displaying the attitude of objection.

It is not doubt.

Suppose for a moment I was up against another personal sales coach. That this prospect was very familiar with them and leaning toward hiring them on but wanted to at least hear me out ... now let's assume that prospect was heavily suggesting the benefit of audio tapping this prospect's sales calls and playing them back, as apposed to wheat I do, which is different. The sales might go like this;

P "So you don't audio tape me when I am in front of the prospect?"

S "What is it about audio tapping you that you feel is so beneficial?"
Open probe.

P "Well, I am convinced that if I can hear myself I will pick up a lot of great things I do not know I am doing."

S "I take it there is another party that has suggested handing your sales coaching this way?"
Closed probe.

P "Yes, I thought all of you guys did this!"

...... I am now dealing with an objection. The type is a perceived drawback. The client believes that it is more effective to have him recorded because another coach suggested it as a benefit. The sales rep in this position knows that it is not a good reason ... is not necessary for the success of the call and creates issues legally for the other person being recorded, this Prospect's prospects. Which is a can of worms, to say the least.

If this was me, I would also know that the recording would tend to make my prospective client that I wanted to coach a little self conscious, that they would tend to behave differently, which is counter productive ... what do I do?

The answer is I must find needs that I address that outweigh the perceived drawback. Once I manage that, through probing and supporting, I can then come out with a comment about research showing that people tend to behave differently when being recorded. Only I would prefer not to do that until after I have gotten to the point where I am beginning to win them over a bit first, as it is like a put down of the competition.

A misunderstanding is slightly different. But without going into that, as this post is ballistic-ly long already, skepticism is when you know you have their respect … you sense it is not you, it is the concept you are trying to put forth. The idea, the actually benefit, it sounds like too much or improbable.

An objection is not the same at all, it is like when you service does not include something that they perceive is important (even if it is not). It may also be the prospect thinking you do not have part of what they need, which is a misunderstanding if, in fact, you do. - by Gold Calling
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