In the first two installments we looked at the anatomy of the typical objection to a prospecting call, that is being an Interruption, and the Conditioned Response to Interruptions. I also told you how 80% of the time you will get one of five common objections:
- Status Quo
- Lack Of Interest
- No Time
- Bad Experience
- Wants to Know More First
These will come in different flavours, different rhythms, but they will come, and they will be one of these five. So let’s see how we can take away these objections, bringing to play the new view of Conditioned Response, and get to having some good meetings in the calendar, and prospects in the pipeline.
While all five have common elements, the Status Quo and Lack Of Interest, are more commonly linked. In both cases, it is as much about dynamics and managing those, than taking on the buyer, remember it is about handling the objection not the buyer, if you Take Away the objection, it makes it easier for them to get engaged.
Four step process:
A. Acknowledge – The goal of the exercise is initiate a conversation that for the field rep result in a face to face visit, and for an inside rep a sales call by phone. Conversations take two. When they give their Conditioned Response, address it. One reason people hate the mid-dinner telemarketing call is the one sided nature of the call:
Telemarketer – “if you sign up today….”
Me – “My house is on fire”
Telemarketer – “It will also entitle you for coverage…”
Me – “My daughter’s hair is aflame”
Telemarketer – “And if you switch your balance it will be interest free for…”
Address their issue head on.
B. Create Credibility – Different where there is a Lack Of Interest and Status Quo, but the goal is to leverage the momentum of having acknowledged their response, and moving to build credibility.
C. Involve – The credibility above should also involve the prospect, again leading to conversation.
D. Call to Action – Commitment – Always, I repeat ALWAYS end your response with a call to action, the last thing you want them to think about is the response to the call to action; if you engage them well with the above elements, you want them to think about investing the time.
While approaching both the Status Quo and Lack Of Interest in a similar pattern, there is a key difference between the focus of Create Credibility. In buyers who are Status Quo, content, the goal is to focus on what you can ADD to their current situation that would move them closer to their objectives. Remember, even if they were not 100% content, or even 50%, they are not going to discuss that with an Interruption, that is why you are going for credibility. More importantly, they have been conditioned by all the sales people that they have dealt with in the past, a vast majority of whom have come with “get rid of what you have now, and replace it with my stuff”. Frightening and costly. But if you can enhance what they have in place now, improve their investment in that, and more towards their goal, you have something that neutralizes their Conditioned Response and extends the conversation.
A lot of people I call tell me they have in-house training, or are working with someone already. I also know that no program is complete, and usually could benefit from rounding out, so rather than knock up against what is already there, here is how I respond.
“I am glad you brought that up” (Acknowledge)
“XYZ Ltd., was in the same spot when we first called, but once they saw how our program was able to get their people in front of more prospects, they got to practice Wham Bam Consultative Selling with more buyers, generating mover revenue and ROI on Wham Bam” (Credibility/Involve)
“Why don’t we get together Wednesday at 11:00 and I’ll show you how we did that?” (Call 2 Action)
The goal is to get the appointment not with dislodge the incumbent, once you are in the tent, you are in a different position.
With Lack of Interest, the focus is on value or benefit. The thinking is this, the main reason they are not interest is they haven’t seen the value or benefit a meeting with you would bring. But you have to be specific, not pie in the sky empty words they heard six times already this morning.
Identify where you have delivered tangible value to a similar company, a similar role, the more similar the better. For example, in a specific industry, a number of similar clients have been able to increase their retention of reps, and by extension client satisfaction, up-sell and retention, all because of my program. So when I call on others in similar scenarios, and they tell me they are not interested:
“I can see why you may feel that way, as the CFO at Red White and Blue initially had the same reaction” (Acknowledge)
“Until he saw how our program helped with increased revenue, rep turnover cost, and client satisfaction” (Credibility/Involve)
“I can show exactly how we did, how is Wednesday at 11:00?” (Call 2 Action)
Takes work, you have to know what their priorities are, how your strengths align with their requirements and objectives, and other factors highlighted above, but the payoff is immediate and lasting, and your engagement rate will increase measurably.
Execution – Everything Else is Just Talk!