Best Non-Sales Video Ever on Handling Objections

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 @ 09:12 AM


In the past few weeks, I have written a lot about some of the top articles of 2014, but today I want to highlight 8 top audios and videos from the past year.  There is a boatload of good stuff in these video/audio recordings and I strongly urge you to watch.  The best of the bunch is the last one, featuring Bill Whittle, on handling two real-world objections.  If you watch only one video all year, this is the one!

Jim Lobaito, host of BizTalkRadio, interviewed me about Sales Selection in this really fast-paced 30-minute podcast.

Dan McDade interviewed Koka Sexton and me about Leads and Lead Follow Up in this intense 30-minute video.

Evan Carmichal conducted a terrific interview of me in this video where I talked about The Pitch at the 18-minute mark.

Gerhard Gschwandtner interviewed me and we discussed a myriad of sales leadership topics in this short video below:

This video on SOB Quality won a Silver Medal for Top Sales & Marketing Video of 2014.

This Webinar on Mastering the Art of Sales Coaching won a Silver Medal for Top Sales Webinar of 2014.

This Webinar on How to Sell Value in Modern Times was top-rated by its attendees.

Finally, this last video was an after-thought in a 2012 post, but it's still the best video I've seen on handling objections.  It runs for 10 minutes, features Bill Whittle and this is what I wrote in 2012 to introduce the video:

Examples of Addressing Objections

I'd like to share a 15-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 was speaking to a conservative Republican audience.  Forget the politics because this isn't about that in any way, shape or form.  Instead, get the lesson on how objections should be addressed!  The point is 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 both 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 takes responsibility for what both were accused of.   At this point, it should go without saying that I advise you to first ask questions to better understand the objection.  Then, at some point, either the original objection or a 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.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales objections, bill whittle, Obama, romney, best sales video

John Robinson's Secret to Overcoming All Sales Obstacles

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Apr 24, 2012 @ 10:04 AM

john robinsonObjective Management Group just completed it's annual international conference for Partners.  Normally, I wouldn't write about it, but this event was different.  Not most of it, but one magical hour of it.

We have had great, world-reknowned keynote speakers in past years like, Guy Kawasaki, Dan Millman, Robert Kriegel, and Verne Harnish.  They've been thoughtful, entertaining, insightful and helpful.  But this year, we were fortunate to get John Robinson to speak.  Who?  Never heard of him?  Let me take a moment to introduce you to John.  First, please watch this 26-second video on YouTube.

John is a very likable, intelligent, entertaining, engaging, motivated, savvy, resourceful, determined, resilient and successful 42-year-old.  John is just like you and me in every way and exactly like what you want all of your salespeople to be.  As a matter of fact, he was a successful General Sales Manager at a television station in upstate NY.  He is just like us in every way except one.  He was born without full arms and legs - a congenital amputee - and has faced more resistance and obstacles than we could ever know.

Sure, you can get the obvious message that, "If he can do it, you can do it."  It goes much deeper than that.  You can even get the message, "After seeing John Robinson, what possible excuse could you possibly have for not succeeding?"  His actual message is, "Get Off of Your Knees."

But when it comes to sales success, I took away an even deeper message.

He said, "Every obstacle is an opportunity."  

The difference between John and everyone else is that he doesn't merely say an obstacle is an opportunity; he believes that they are opportunities and as a result, behaves as if they are opportunities.  Whether you think in terms of strategy or tactics, consider how an approach changes depending on whether you believe the target or subject is an obstacle or an opportunity.  For which would you rather plan?

If you simply eliminate the concept of obstacles, and approach all situations as opportunities, your entire world changes, doesn't it?

That is the real magic that John Robinson can manifest!  Thank you, John.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales challenges, sales objections, Guy Kawasaki, verne harnish, john robinson, robert kriegel, dan millman

Great Sales Opportunities That Don't Close

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Mar 02, 2010 @ 08:03 AM

If getting opportunities into the pipeline is the most universal sales challenge, then getting opportunities closed comes in a close second. I'm talking about prospects who aren't ready to say, "yes" but are still "very interested".  These calls pose problems for salespeople for several reasons:

  • Prospects go into hiding and don't take or return calls - from their prospective, the prospects don't need the salesperson right now because they already have the pricing, solution and terms.  Therefore, since they haven't made a decision, they have no reason to speak with the salesperson, have nothing to tell the salesperson, and as a result, simply don't take or return the calls. 
  • Salespeople go into desperation mode -  As their inability to reach this "very interested" prospect continues, they don't want to ignore a "good" prospect and don't want someone else to land the business either.  So they abandon common sense strategies and tactics, and call repeatedly without compelling reasons to speak.
  • Salespeople usually don't know why the prospect is hiding - even though it's usually for the same reasons each time, salespeople don't seem to learn from experience and understand that either they aren't getting the business, the prospect hasn't come up with the money, the prospect hasn't decided who to buy from, it hasn't yet been approved, or there isn't enough urgency to buy it now. While each of these reasons are different, they can all be lumped into the same category - nothing has changed since the last conversation.  In other scenarios, the prospects decided not to buy or they bought from someone else.  In other words, it's a "no" and the prospect can't justify the time or isn't comfortable letting the salesperson know.

Two questions that must be answered are:

  • what can salespeople do to prevent this from happening? This is a very preventable outcome, although you would never think so judging by how prevalent this problem is.  There are several reasons why this happens:
    • the salesperson did not identify any or enough compelling reasons for the prospect to buy, and buy from the salesperson.  As a result, there wasn't enough urgency for the prospect to take action now - a guaranteed delay.
    • the salesperson was not thorough enough qualifying the opportunity so there were surprises relative to timing, availability of money, decision making, competition and communication left unresolved at closing time.
    • the salesperson presented a solution, provided pricing, and/or developed a proposal prematurely, arriving at the end of the sales cycle alone - without the prospect. 
    • the salesperson was uncomfortable asking tough questions about incumbents, competitors and money leaving a gap in his/her understanding of where he/she stands.
    • the salesperson didn't recognize the stalls and put-offs at closing time and gladly accepted the duties of following up because the prospect was "very interested".
    • the salesperson recognized the stalls and put-offs but wasn't comfortable pushing back and challenging the prospect because he/she didn't want to damage the relationship.
    • the salesperson understands the prospect's need to think it over because he/she would do the exact same thing in that scenario.
    • dozens more possibilities but this is an article, not a book!
  • What can salespeople do after this has happened to them - again - and what shouldn't they do? 
    • they simply must learn from their mistakes.  There is no excuse for this to happen more than once.
    • they must identify from the partial list above, why this happens and how to solve that particular issue. HINT - The solutions are in Baseline Selling.
    • Ask for help.  The salesperson must know how to effectively reengage this prospect.  There must be a compelling reason for the prospect to return to the conversation and it isn't to let the salesperson know if they've made a decision yet! Compelling reasons to reengage take the form of new information, new questions, changes and challenges.
    • don't offer incentives to get them to buy now.  If they will purchase because of an incentive, they would have purchased without the incentive and they'll jump to the next competitor that offers a nice incentive to switch.
    • don't get upper management involved.  Use them to get a difficult opportunity closed, not just to get someone back to the table.
What would you add to this discussion?

Topics: sales competencies, Dave Kurlan, sales management, Sales Coaching, Sales Force, Closing Sales, sales objections, sales tips, sales stalls

What Have Your Salespeople Been Listening To?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Oct 28, 2008 @ 00:10 AM

In my position as a sales development thought leader and expert I get to hear what many salespeople in many industries are encountering for resistance. In the last few weeks I've heard way too much about deals getting suspended due to spending freezes.  Have your salespeople been hearing this?

I've also been hearing about deals that have been delayed, requests for lower prices, appointments cancelled because projects were being put on hold, and closed deals getting cancelled.  What have you been hearing?

The worst part of hearing a lot of this talk is that it doesn't take long for B and C players to believe it, become demoralized and expect to fail.  You can't allow that to happen.  All of the discussions with your salespeople must be positive, must be about what you can control, and must celebrate something.  Is the economy lousy?  Sure.  But business is still being conducted, and even in companies where there are spending freezes, they are still making purchases.  In reality, there is no such thing as a spending freeze except for being something that top management tells bottom management.

While some of the things your salespeople are listening to are conditions that can't be countered, most of the things your salespeople are hearing can be! How much of what they are hearing is convenient, easy excuses, something prospects hope your salespeople will understand and buy into?  How many of the prospects are simply bluffing?  How many of these stalls, put-offs and objections can be overcome with more effective sales processes, better strategies and more powerful tactics?  How many of your salespeople are actually equipped to sell in an economy as difficult as this one?

While it's easy to fall into the trap of telling your salespeople what you need them to do, most aren't capable of doing more than they've done before, against greater competition and resistance, without changing something.  So what would need to be changed?  You'll have to evaluate the sales force to find out but there isn't a better time to do that!

What is your opinion?

(c) Copyright 2008 Dave Kurlan

Topics: sales competencies, sales assessment, sales, Baseline Selling, selling, Salesforce, objections, sales objections, Economy

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for eight consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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