Here’s a tip I’ve learned in my travels through the sales landscape – words matter! The words you use help frame the situation. And how you frame the situation will either expand or limit your options in resolving objections and mastering negotiations.
Consider the negotiation process. There’s plenty of phraseology out there that highlights “battling” an objection. Now, if I’m trying to do business with you, I don’t know if we are necessarily going to do battle. I think the wiser choice is to first find out where we both agree.
I’ve watched a lot of high-level negotiators in my life. We’ve watched many sponsorships and naming-rights deals being done with stadiums. I can honestly say I’ve never seen high-level lawyers and salespeople battle with the client or customer. Our observations are that they find points of agreement.
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In many cases, I think there’s a lot of positioning that goes on, but that’s not a battle. If we’re going to do business with each other for a long period of time, battling doesn’t help either party.
When addressing an objection, we must first find points of agreement. We want to overcome the prospect’s indecision. Therefore, we need to create a compelling reason or a story to move ahead. If you don’t have a compelling reason for them to move forward, they aren’t going to move anywhere.
To Resolve Objections, You Need to Meet People in Their World
We don’t deal with objections, we deal with people. We resolve objections. In resolving the objection and creating a compelling reason for the prospect to move forward, we need to recognize that people process visual information faster than other information. So, we need to create a visual representation of the prospect’s issue resolved. But first we need to remind the prospect of their need. Then we need to remind them that our product or service can resolve their need. Finally, after establishing these two pillars, we can create a visually compelling reason for moving forward.
We don’t deal with objections, we deal with people. We resolve objections.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re the general manager of a hotel, and you’re looking to do a lot of restoration, big capital expenditure kind of stuff. You know you’re going to renovate all of the rooms, their fixtures, and appliances. Well, at some point, you’re going to have to deal with the carpet. But the carpet is a major capital investment. You aren’t going to start with the carpet, because you’re going to do so much construction that it might get damaged in the process. And the carpet isn’t necessarily bad. It needs to be improved, but it isn’t nasty.
Let’s say the biggest carpeted areas in your hotel are your banquet areas. And say, for instance, I was there selling you chairs. The chairs have to be updated, because they are the oldest items in your building, and they get the most wear from your guests. If I am selling you chairs and I find out that you want to replace the carpet over time while you are doing other capital investments, I could tie my sale of catering chairs to the overall project.
Leveraging the Diagnosis in Resolving Objections
I might say, “I learned in my evaluation diagnosis that you’re currently making some capital investments. In our conversation, you also prioritized your projects for the hotel. You want to update the furniture first, and then perform the construction projects. But you’re hoping to get at least two to three more years out of the carpets, because that’s the last thing you’re going to invest in. Plus, there’s going to be a lot of traffic on them as you work through the construction projects.”
You would naturally agree, because I’m just talking facts at that point. I proceed and say, “Let me show you a few of these chairs. What’s interesting about this particular chair is that it has a forty-five minute cushion on it. That means after about forty-five minutes, your guests will probably have to get up and re situate themselves. The really interesting thing, though, is that these chairs have four stainless steel discs at the bottom that actually rotate 360 degrees. They are also multi-directional, based on how you’re leaning when you’re in them. The four stainless steel discs allow the chair to glide across the carpet, almost like ice. It has less friction, which will cause your carpet less wear and tear. Let me show you how that works.”
At this point, I’ve answered the basic questions like what the chair is and how it works. And since I tied it to saving the carpet, I also made the chair a long-term capital investment, thereby answering why it’s important.
3 Steps to Resolving Objections and Gaining Commitment
Now, when I’m ready to negotiate, I’ll begin by restating your challenge as you see it and remind you of your need. Next, I will remind you that my product will address your needs. Lastly, I’ll create a visual presentation of you enjoying the benefits of the end result.
So, for the above example, when I’m ready to move to obtain a commitment, these are the steps I’ll take:
Remind Them of Their Need.
“You’re really looking to keep these carpets a little longer, right?
Remind Them That Your Product or Service Can Actually Address That Want, Need, or Gap.
“Would you agree that with some of the seating solutions we put in front of you, you’d be able to do that?”
Paint That Word Picture.
“So, let me recap, just making sure we’re on the same page. What you’re looking to do is give a thousand guests in this double-banquet hall here a great time, along with some chairs that endure a lot of ups and downs and being pulled in and out. What you’ll want to see after having this place filled with guests for three months in a row, is very little carpet wear during your busy season. And some stellar reports back from your maintenance people, is that right?”
I need to be able to use these visuals to make sure I’m on the same page with the prospect. That’s gaining the high ground.
Remember, this is not a zero-sum game. Your prospect is not looking for the same things you are seeking. So there is no need to go to battle over them. Instead, find points of agreement that you can leverage. Then use these three steps to resolve the objection and move them to commitment.
To get a better understanding of navigating and resolving objections, download the playbook, Seven Steps to Resolving Objections here and make objections work for you!
And Check out Lance Tyson’s book, Selling Is An Away Game, available on Amazon, for additional ideas on streamlining your sales process. Get your copy today!