Wednesday, September 22, 2010
By Richard Brody
In nearly every situation, when people get into a discussion, there are bound to be certain questions or objections. How one handles the situation, and responds to objections, often determines whether one accomplishes his desired results. It is important to understand that all objections fall into two categories, either (1) technical; or (2) emotional. If the initial presentation has been properly presented, the vast majority of objections are emotional. The main technical objection is usually financial, while it takes a finer "ear" to properly understand what each emotional objection might be.
The same five steps are used in all situations. The finesse comes with being comfortable with the concept, listening, and believing in these steps. All major sales and marketing organization teaches this to some degree. The five steps are:
(1) Restate the objection--- This is essential so that you are answering the true objection, and not opening up a Pandora's Box by addressing something that is not the objector's concern. An easy way to do this is to say something like, "So you're concerned about... " (Understand the concern may be about a guarantee, reliability, time commitment, ability, etc., but it is essential that you ask, and get a response and acknowledgment from the objector). Also remember the very important "ZTL" rule - - - "zip the lip." Do not speak until the other person answers your question, and if you are not sure of the meaning of the answer, ask again until you are! The ZTL rule says that the first person to answer "loses."
(2) Empathize (Don't sympathize). This can be simply done by saying something similar to, "I can perfectly understand how you feel, in fact I felt the same way, until i realized and understood a few things..."
(3) Answer the objection-- Calmly, conversationally, fully answer the objection...
(4) Restate the proposal - - - "So in light of this information, and in light of the fact that you've told me that you... "
(5) Re-close - - - "Doesn't it make sense to...?" Then ZTL! I repeat, under no circumstances speak. You must let the other person, agree, say maybe, or give another objection. If they now give another objection, repeat the 5 steps! Keep doing this!
Then, if you believe you have done this long enough--- and after a minimum of 3 times using the 5 steps, there is one more "fall-back" position - - - Say, "May I make a suggestion?" Then, again, zip the lip. Wait-- force yourself --- it almost never occurs that someone will say NO to making a suggestion while they may say "No," eventually to the suggestion, however. It is very important that you get the other person into that "nodding--yessing" mode, because this can be a great lead in (or "trial close") to eventually overcoming the objection, and acquiring a commitment.
I want to stress that this works. I have used it hundreds and hundreds of times in numerous industries, organizations, charities, and personal situations. I have taught thousands how to effectively use these techniques. It initially takes some coaching, and then some practice, but once someone has perfected this technique, their "closing ratio" improves incredibly!