Why Do Salespeople Use Facts and Logic to Combat Objections?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Oct 17, 2017 @ 12:10 PM

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Image Copyright iStock Photos

The easy answer to the title question is that they have been trained to do that since they first arrived at sales kindergarten.  Whether talking points, bullet points, inarguable facts, competitive differences, ROI, value proposition, brand promise or cost of ownership, these words and phrases have been reinforced since day 1.

The problem is that while salespeople confidently spout off these return volleys, the only thing accomplished is to make it more difficult to sell anything.  When a prospect states an objection their resistance goes up.  When a salesperson attempts to counter the objection with logic or facts, the prospect hears the hard sell and resistance is raised some more.

Logic does not overcome objections.  So what does?

Agreement.

The first rule of dealing with resistance, even if it appears as an objection, is to lower the resistance even if it means agreeing with the objection.  For example, let's pretend that your prospect says, "Your company has a bad reputation."  Instead of arguing the fact, let's respond with, "Your right."

Watch the air get sucked out of your prospect's argument!  They will be speechless.  And their resistance will have dropped too.

Then you can say, "We had a terrible reputation.  That's why I'm here now and the person who was responsible for our bad rap is long gone and hard to find."

Don't expect your customer to ask, "Where do I sign?"  They might say, "That's good to hear."

And you should follow up with, "But in your mind, doing business with us is still carries a huge risk."

Expect them to say, "That's right" because nothing has changed - yet.

And you can ask, "Can we talk about that?"

They'll clarify their concerns and you can ask, "What if I could address  each of those concerns and mitigate your risk?"

Assuming that you hear some version of "that would be good" you can proceed to ease their concerns, one at a time, remembering that less is more.  Don't start selling.  Just make them comfortable enough so that they can buy without you getting their way.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, handling objections, using facts to sell, using logic to sell, bullet points, talking points, buy emotionally

A Perfect Way to Handle Objections, Challenges and Push Back

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Nov 11, 2015 @ 10:11 AM

We watched the GOP Debate last night (I know the photo is from an earlier debate). I remember saying to my wife, "This isn't a debate - all they're doing is answering the questions being asked."  And then, all of a sudden, a debate broke out, and what did the brilliant moderator do?  He said, "I'm sorry, we need to move to the next topic."  We finally got ourselves a debate and they want to stop it!"  

Consider the majority of salespeople and their single biggest skill gap.  Even when they are aware that today, a consultative approach to selling is necessary, and even if they actually use a consultative approach, all too often, this is what happens:  They ask a great question, the prospect replies with an answer, and then, rather than getting their prospect to expand on the answer (allowing the salesperson to get closer to the prospect's real issues and compelling reason to buy), the salesperson moves to the next question.  Gerard Baker, the British moderator, was widely praised for his performance, but in my opinion, he blew it - just like millions of salespeople blow it every single day.  Don't snorkel, go deep-sea diving!

Speaking of the debate, salespeople can learn something from Dr. Ben Carson, who unlike Donald Trump, handles criticism and attacks in a wonderful way.  Trump fights back with "great" attacks which achieve similar results to salespeople becoming defensive.  It raises, instead of lowers resistance!  

Carson, when asked why we should believe him, said, "You don't have to believe me."  That lowers resistance and it was beautifully delivered.  Then he followed that up with something along the lines of "check the facts" and "treat everyone equally."  Last night he said, "You know what? We should vet all candidates. I have no problem with being vetted.  What I do have a problem with is being lied about and then putting that out there as truth.  And I don't even mind that so much if they do it with everybody, like people on the other side. When I look at somebody like Hillary Clinton who sits there and tells her daughter and a government official, 'No, this was a terrorist attack,' and then tells everybody else that it was a video – where I come from, they call that a lie."

That is how challenges, objections and push back should be handled. Just perfect.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Consultative Selling, handling objections

Apply Jack Reacher to a Modern Sales Approach

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 @ 16:06 PM

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I'm a big fan of the Jack Reacher thrillers and movies. Perhaps you've seen one of them...

While reading Lee Child's newest Reacher book, "Personal", I saw a huge connection between how the Jack Reacher character survives and succeeds on all of his highs: high-risk, high-stakes, high anxiety missions; and how a successful salesperson survives and succeeds in the sales equivalent of a Jack Reacher story.

One of Reacher's trademark expressions is, "Expect the best but prepare for the worst." That is very consistent with what I have always taught, "Be eternally optimistic about your outcome, but completely skeptical of everything you hear along the way." I believe that regardless of which expression or quote resonates the best, that mindset is essential for surviving and succeeding in sales. Without it, roadblocks, hurdles, surprises, and disappearing acts will knock you off your game as surely as white sticks to rice. That mindset provides a bonus gift too - it will prevent you from ever developing happy ears!

Another of Reacher's trademark expressions is, "The fastest thinker wins." This speaks not only to strategy, but tactics as well. It's not enough to "Let me see what I can do and get back to you tomorrow." You need to be quick on your feet, adapt as your environment changes, respond as your prospect challenges you, and demonstrate your agility on the fly.

Finally, as scary as some selling situations are for some salespeople, as intimidating as some prospects can be, as difficult as some prospects act, and as tough as some of the competition is, selling is not life or death. Although with the way that some salespeople respond to it, you might think it is. You don't need a deadly weapon - just your eyes, ears and mouth as ammunition. Add a modern, predictive and reliable milestone-centric sales process, a modern methodology, and a never-ending supply of questions, patience for listening, and the ability to carry on a conversation with your prospect that nobody else has ever had.

In the end, no matter how bad it seems, no matter how hopeless the circumstances, regardless of the position you are in, with these two expressions and your ammunition having your back, success is not a matter of if, but when.

Reacher is coaching a young CIA agent throughout the new book. I'll be hosting my annual Sales Leadership Intensive - absolutely our top event of the year - on August 27-28 in the Boston area. Check it out and join us for the finest training available on mastering the art of sales coaching.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Closing Sales, handling objections, great sales management training, complex sale, jack reacher

Two Fantastic Examples of Addressing Sales Objections

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Dec 05, 2012 @ 08:12 AM

objectionsI'm exposing myself to criticism again today.

It seems that each time I use a political example, I'm attacked for making a political statement.  However, I never made a political statement on this blog and never will.  I simply use examples, from both sides, to illustrate sales lessons.  If you don't need proof, scroll down to the last 2 paragraphs for today's examples.  

If you need it, I'll offer some proof that I don't make political statements.  As you read these, ask yourself whether I'm taking sides or simply pointing out good and bad things the politicians do and subsequently apply those lessons to selling.  Exactly 8 (including today) of the 985 articles, which I've posted to date mention politics or a politician.  By my count, 3 were favorable for Obama, 1 for Ann Romney and Chris Christie, 0 for Mitt Romney, and 3 that were unfavorable for Obama.  Can't get any more balanced than that!

Sales Force Lessons from Gates, Crowley and Obama  

Obama and McCain - Competing Salespeople Fighting for the Big Sale 

Obama and Friends on Stage - Implications for the Sales Force 

Did President Obama Do More Damage to the Image of Salespeople? 

How Dan Pink, The Heaths, George Steinbrenner and Kurlan Might Prepare Your Sales Force for Change 

Two Keys to Selling Success from Ann Romney and Chris Christie 

10 Keys to Solving the Sales Performance Issue 

Examples of Addressing Objections

With those examples out of the way, now I'd like to share a 10-minute video clip of Bill Whittle.  This is NOT a political statement on my part.  I'm simply sharing HIS two examples of how Romney and Obama should have responded to their critics.  Bill's speech is to a conservative Republican audience.  Forget the politics.  It isn't about that for me.  Just get the lesson on how objections should be addressed!  The point was that both Romney and Obama went on the defensive and attempted to hide information, and confuse people with their spin on the facts and history.  
  
These are GREAT examples!!!  In the clip, Bill handles the objections (in Romney's case - "you're too rich and can't relate"; and in Obama's case - "Benghazi was a disaster") head on and aggressively took responsibility for what both were accused of.   While it is still advisable to ask questions to better understand the objection, at some point either the original objection or the newly uncovered concern must be addressed.  It doesn't get any better than this.  It's worth the 10 minutes that it will take to watch.

Thanks to Rocky LaGrone for passing the clip along to me.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, handling objections, bill whittle, president obama, sales and selling

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About Dave

Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years.  Dave's Blog earned a Bronze Medal in 2016 and this article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016. Read more about Dave.

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