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What do you do when they put up a roadblock?


Every time the least little obstacle appears in a sale or sales call, the salesperson refers to it as an objection. Personally, I prefer to call it a barrier. If poorly or not at all, it will prevent the sale.

You know the standard objections: I can get it cheaper somewhere else. Your price is too high. I’m satisfied with whom we’ve got. We’ve spent our whole budget. Business is slow. We have all the business we need. You’re not the right fit.

The only new objection in the last 100 years is people telling you they can get it cheaper on the Internet.

Often, these objections are flat lies.

The customers are saying they’re interested in buying, but not from you. Or they are interested in buying but you’ve shown no value to them, leaving them no alternative but to deal with the issue of price. Ouch.

Sometimes unstated objections lurk behind the stated ones. Someone may say, “I’m satisfied with whom we’ve got,” but what they mean is, “I’ve heard you’re no good, I don’t like you, I don’t like your company, I don’t like your product, we’ve done business with you before and you’ve screwed up,” or “I’m loyal to somebody else and there’s no way I’m switching.”

Here’s the real way to look at it. An objection is actually a buyer’s indication of interest. An objection is actually an opportunity to make a sale. And an objection is an opportunity for you to learn from this sale and prevent it from occurring in future sales.

But for most salespeople, an objection is a reason to gripe, whine, complain to their boss and quit in the middle of the sale. When the customer says, “Your price is too high,” he’s really saying that your perceived value to him is either too low, or not any different than the guy with the lower price.

Why do objections occur?

1. Because there are doubts or unanswered questions in the mind of the prospect.

2. Because the prospect wants to buy or is interested in buying, but needs clarification, wants a better deal, or must have third-party approval.

3. Because the prospect does not want to buy, at least not from you.

There is no business in this country (yours included) that has more than 10 objections to a sale.

Here’s a strategy that will work 100 percent of the time, but only 5 percent of people have the work ethic to make (and a ton of sales) happen.

Get a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side of the paper, list your objections: why people won’t buy from you; your barriers to a sale; their objections. List all of them. Here are some to get you started: price too high, satisfied with others, budget all spent, etc.

On the right side of the paper, list the things your customers are trying to achieve in their businesses. It may have nothing to do with your product, but list them anyway. What are their needs? Hint: more sales, better image, profits, loyal employees and customers, etc.

Think about this: If you helped them with their needs, what would happen to your barriers?

Think about this: What are you doing to help them with their needs and problems in order to eliminate yours?

Here’s the rub: With these objections known in advance, fewer than 1 percent of all businesses, including yours, have identified those objections, figured out the best way to overcome them, defined the scripts for those objections, offered several options to communicate those responses, and then taught them to their sales teams.

Come on. Doesn’t that seem kind of obvious?

Here’s the bigger rub: There’s plenty “here’s how to overcome this objection” information out there. Most of it is so old-world, so scripted, so stilted, so manipulative, so outdated, that it’s insulting to engage a customer in such a manner.

Want the real examples? Sure you do. They will appear in this same spot next week. Stay tuned.

FREE GitBit. Want to know the real objections to a sale? The real barriers? You may not like them. Go to www.gitomer.com. Register if you’re a first-time user, then enter BARRIERS in the GitBit box.

President of Charlotte, N.C.-based Buy Gitomer, Jeffrey Gitomer gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or by e-mail at salesman@gitomer.com.

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