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Silver Bullets for Sales Objections (Part 1)
September 10, 2014

Silver Bullets for Sales Objections (Part 1)

Greetings Sales and Marketer:

Objections are a tricky thing, sales objections especially.

The longstanding stigma attached to the sales profession is that it is the art of persuading, manipulating and even deceiving people into buying something (whether or not they want or need it). Unfortunately, there are many sales professions and professionals who give this dark legacy life and the stereotype is thus perpetuated further. On the other hand, I want you to think about it from another perspective, from that of salespeople themselves.

Within the sales industry there is general agreement that the meat and bones of sales is overcoming objections and closing. A pitch is a pitch and anyone can rehearse and present one. However, at the end of the day the rubber meets the road the way you handle customer resistance and defuse their concerns. One definition of sales is that you are simply removing obstacles to a sale. While I agree with the thinking behind all of these points, I believe and I hope you will agree that what is required first and foremost is making sure you are a good fit for your customer by qualifying them and continuing to qualify them throughout the sales process.

In using these sales “silver bullets” keep in mind that they are most effectively used when you most ardently believe that you are best serving the needs of your customer. You can give the best sales “lines” to someone who has no idea how their product will add value to a customer’s life and they will most likely fail. On the other hand, someone with no knowledge of sales techniques and psychology will triumph in converting others to their cause through the sheer strength of their belief and passion. Therefore, take care to set yourself up by trying to understand everything you can about your customer and their situation before you try and win them over using these methods.

Silver Bullet #1: Agree and Redirect

When a customer voices an objection you can often simply acknowledge it and keep going like nothing happened (in the LAMA technique you listen, acknowledge, make a statement and then ask a question). Your script in essence is a staged presentation or discussion of taking them from where they are now to becoming a customer of yours and reaping those benefits. If you are discussing step 1 of the process and they object to something you can just acknowledge them and then go on talking about steps 2 and 3 or some feature or benefit as if what they said bears no importance on the overall discussion. What this does is avoid getting caught up in a back-and-forth argument which is what you want to avoid at all costs in any case. By ignoring the perceived obstacle you will diminish it in your customer’s eyes.

This silver bullet will work with “fluff” objections that the customer will throw out there as a reaction of being sold to. If they have a legitimate objection that deserves time and attention – and a logical response or rebuttal – then you will not be able to simply ignore it and move onto something else without building up resistance in the mind of the customer to whatever it is you are telling them. “Fluff” objections are the common objections that you hear from many customers that turn out to be no big deal in the end and you already know this. They are instinctive precautionary outbursts on the part of the customer but lack real substance; they are phantom objections which can be easily struck down or ignored.

You: We are going to switch you over and it will take 1 or 2 billing cycles before the service kicks in and you see the savings on your monthly invoice

Customer: I have to talk to my wife before making any changes to our service

You: That’s fine. The great thing is that this is not going to cost you anything and there is absolutely no risk to trying our service out. If your bill is not less you can simply switch back with one phone call. We have to process your application today in order for to you to take advantage of our free transfer offer. All I need is your confirmation and to read you some terms and conditions and we are set to go with no risk or obligation to you. Are you ready?

While this may seem like – and may be, in some cases – a bit of “high pressure” selling, the point is that if the customer really has to talk to their wife they will not let you continue your pitch. On the other hand, customers often make up any excuse that comes to mind or even outright lie in the face of perceived sales pressure. If you take such objections at face value you may get stuck and wind up losing a sale by trying to argue with your customer and saying things like, “if we could save you money on your current bill, wouldn’t your wife be happy?” On the other hand, simply act as if the objection has no relevance and many times it will turn out that this was exactly the case.


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