Objection Tracking….

This month in A Chip off the Block’s Blank Look Edition Tip #1 is

If you were to keep track of the objections you hear for one week, my experience shows there are 3-5 that keep popping up for you.

Here is a story about what an UpYourTeleSales.com coaching client figured out from the exercise (yes I absolutely love hearing result stories – so if you have one be sure to forward it along OR post comments here, which ever you’re most comfortable with).

Here is the list of what Ella heard for the week she kept track:

  • We have been using XYZ for years.
  • I’ve never heard of your company.
  • What we’re doing now works fine.
  • We’re cutting back, even closing offices.
  • Management isn’t convinced you can help.

When she looked at her business, she realized that the translation turned 4 of the 5 into two:

  1. I don’t trust you yet (I’ve never heard of your company & Management isn’t convinced you can help)
  2. Existing relationship = better than change (We have been using XYZ for years & What we’re doing now works fine)

When analyzing this Ella thought it might even be one single issue –

The potential risk of changing vendors is higher than any benefit I can imagine.

Now it was time to come up with her 3 step objection handling script:

Acknowledge the prospect has a valid point.

(smile – even though they can’t see me) That is interesting,

Tell A Storyget the prospect reengaged in the conversation.

… before I make any changes in who I do business with I have to see that there is an upside to the risk as well as the effort to get someone set up in our systems.

I know the last time we picked a company to be our printer we went as far as getting samples and then placing a small order first.

Ask A Question – to turn the prospect’s brain back on.

What process did you go through the last time you changed ________ vendors?

Now Ella is using that every time she hears an objection that sounds like it is about risk, playing with the word choice to make it sound conversational, plus tracking the results.

Don’t forget: the goal for objection handling is to keep the conversation going NOT change their mind.

random UpYourTeleSales.com note: To keep the client anonymous we used one of today’s popular names (as found on the internet).

“In Addition to That . . .” by Bob Burg

Hello the following is a post I saw over the weekend by Bob Burg and it is a great addition to this month’s objection handling theme. Enjoy!

In Addition to That . . .

April 14th, 2009 by Bob Burg

Often, in the selling process, we encounter an objection that, while it may be very legitimate, is not the true reason for the prospect’s hesitation. This might happen because the prospect is too polite to share their real reason and doesn’t want to hurt our feelings (even though we’d rather they did) or, he or she simply might not be aware of what their true reason is.

When you suspect either of the above, you must be able to isolate their true objection, otherwise you won’t make the sale, and your prospect won’t get to enjoy the benefits your product or service can provide them. And, just as importantly, you must be able to do this tactfully and non-manipulatively so as not to cause their feeling defensive.

In this instance, simply ask the following question: “Mr./Ms. Prospect, in addition to {their stated objection} is there anything else that would keep you from going ahead and taking ownership?”

Upon thinking about it, they might say “No, that’s it.” If that’s the case, then, if you can answer their objection to their satisfaction and alleviate their concern, you’ll have the sale.

What they’ll probably say is, “Well, I’m also concerned with the fact that . . . {their true objection}. Now, very gently determine if “that” is their true objection. When they say “Yes” now you’re in a position to answer it, make the sale, and have everyone come out a winner.

Issue 25: Blank Look Edition

Objection Handling – Revisited

to see the whole issue check out the web version of Issue 25: Blank Look Edition

In sales training classes, many times people twist the topic around to the #1 Issue they are having – and as salespeople are into instant gratification – RIGHT NOW.

Most of the time this brings up things like:

  • “. . . but they tell me they’re happy with their supplier”
  • “I keep being told they only buy insert what you don’t sell here
  • “Why do they keep saying they’ll think it over and never make a decision?”
  • “No one has any money”
  • “All day people say our prices are too high”

In sales (and in life) typically things keep showing up until we learn how to deal with them. The funny thing is that after we figure it out, it isn’t that the objections go away – rather it is they no longer bother or worry us, because we have figured out how to deal with them.

If you were to keep track of the objections you hear for one week, my experience shows there are 3-5 that keep popping up for you.

You have probably heard the Chinese Proverb

Give a man a fish and
you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and
you feed him for a lifetime.

The same is true of objections; copy someone else’s response to a specific objection and move on from that one, learn a process for objection handling and deal with them ALL.

So we’ve reworded the proverb

Give a salesperson a response and
they can handle one objection.
Teach a salesperson to create their own and
you eliminate objections for a lifetime.
Objections Aren’t Questions;
Don’t Answer Them!

Objections are always in the form of a statement, the prospect or customer has not asked us anything.

That being said, most salespeople begin to defend their position, product, or service… yup, sounds a lot like an argument.

PLUS, if someone says “my favorite color is blue,” you don’t respond with “no it isn’t it’s red.” Do you?

WHAT ELSE YOU SHOULD KNOW – Once someone has stated an objection, their brain has been turned OFF.

Yup, they haven’t hit the release button on their phone to hang up on you – but they sure have done that in their brain.

Not only are they no longer listening, every defense is up against anything you might come out and say next.

Your #1 OBJECTIVE needs to be, turning their brain BACK ON.

Objection handling is NOT about changing their mind… it is about keeping the conversation going. A conversation is an exchange of ideas, if their brain isn’t on – no exchange can take place.


Here is my easy three step objection handling technique:

  1. Acknowledge– the prospect has a valid point.I’m not saying agree with them, but it is CRITICAL that you let them know you’ve heard what they said. Prove that you’re listening, that you’ve heard them.
  2. Tell A Story– get the prospect reengaged in the conversation.Give an example of a prospect who later became a customer from the same situation. Use yourself and how you buy as a story. Don’t have your own story – borrow one from a teammate.
  3. Ask A Question– to turn the prospect’s brain back on.The question MUST be insightful, something they haven’t created an automagic answer to (you know those sales questions that are similar to the greeter at Old Navy who says “may I help you with something today?” – you already know your blow off answer don’t you!).

Sales isn’t rocket science, but it does take effort. A trainer when I first started in sales, Pete Morrissey, said that 1 in 10, yes that is only 10% of people in a training class actually DO ANYTHING with the information they’ve learned.

If what you’re doing is working – keep doing it! Before you decide that is true for you… how are you defining “working”?

If you have one objection that makes you stumble every time you hear it, take the time to go through the 3 steps and create your own way to handle it – THEN, use it every – single – time you hear that objection, until it rolls off your tongue with ease.

Of course at that point you’ll keep using it because it has become habit. The objection will no longer bother you, you’ll move on with your day and sell stuff!

Stop looking like a deer in headlights – that blank look doesn’t ever need to happen again when you hear an objection!

Foolish Errands

Here is a post that was my contribution to the Sales Bloggers Union April Fools discussion (and long ago 1st ever version of A Chip off the Block)

There are lots of jokes that our suspects and prospects customers play on us. When it’s not April Fools Day; we call them objections. Here are three common ones telesales people have shared with me (along with my own personal translation of what those pesky prospects might actually be saying):

  1. Send Me Some Information (I’m in the middle of something and really want you to go away)
  2. I Have A Vendor (It isn’t worth the time to learn about you because the people I work with aren’t screwing up)
  3. We’re All Set (I can’t think of anything I’m doing that sounds like what you just said)

How about our customers?

  1. If It Was My Decision (I don’t want to hurt your feelings and another vendor did a better job matching our needs with their proposal)
  2. Nothing Going On (Based on what we have done together so far, your solution doesn’t match my current challenges)
  3. Waiting To See About The Economy (I’m not sure your products are worth fighting any internal battles for money)

Now what? Well most telesalespeople (and salespeople in general) will either give up and hang up or blast right through without stopping. Which one sounds like you?

I’ve found that neither of these strategies work. Instead here is my patent pending (not really, it just sounded good) easy to follow three step process:

  1. Acknowledge – that they have a valid point
  2. Ask A Question – to turn their brain back on
  3. Tell A Story – to get them reengaged in the conversation

Instead of running off on a foolish errand, take a moment and actually listen to what your prospect/customer ISN’T saying and move on from there.  Plus since this process will work with any objection – take a few minutes this week and work through the ones you hear most frequently.

Don’t Be Derailed – Take A Different Train

Today I stand before you as an achiever… someone who at the end of the day needs (and I do mean needs) to see forward progress, I do after all get an odd sense of satisfaction crossing things off my ‘to do’ list (at times I even say TA DONE instead of TA DA).

Last night I wrote down my list for today of what I want to accomplish, got up this morning refreshed & ready to conquer the world!

Now I’m sitting here with technical issues that are blocking my way. Time tick, tick, ticking away – as I accomplish NOTHING *sigh*

In years gone by I would have had an emotional melt down or at least say some really bad words about the situation.

Today, I want to share with you the idea of always having a back-up plan on what you will do:

  • On a particular sales call
  • Any day
  • For your month
  • Quarter
  • Year
  • Career

“The most successful people are those who are good at Plan B.” ~ James Yorke

Instead of freaking out, I quickly rescheduled a conference call that I didn’t need any computer systems for. Figured out who I could cold call – as I had the numbers and names, plus didn’t need any research; then made those calls. Plus, took an early lunch to run some errands. Presto – here we are and the system issue is fixed (mostly) and I can get back to plan A.

Bad things will happen to your plan, be ready to pick up your own pieces and move on.