SIX CONCEPTS YOU HAVE TO GRASP WHEN RESPONDING TO OBJECTIONS: WHAT YOU HAVE TO KNOW BEFORE YOU HEAR “SEND ME SOME INFO”, “WE ARE ALL SET”, “CALL ME BACK”, “I WILL MEET WITH YOU BUT CALL ME IN SIX WEEKS”, “TELL ME WHAT YOU DO” AND “I GET 20 CALLS LIKE THIS A DAY”.
Let’s assume that you are prospecting efficiently and having a good number of conversations directly with decision-makers for every hour invested in prospecting.
You are now seeking to improve upon your conversations to booked meeting ratio.
You must understand and appreciate six concepts, not only to effectively craft the most effective responses to the most common things you hear on the phone, but also to muster the intestinal fortitude to use them. The biggest mistake you can make while prospecting is to allow people to waste your time. It is far better for productivity and your own mental health to determine that someone is not worth following up on, rather than concluding that after you have called back 15 times and gotten nowhere.
Let’s quickly review the six concepts you have to know then review a format for responding to things you tend to hear the most on the phone while prospecting.
FIRST: YOU ARE FIGHTING GRAVITY.
The normal natural knee jerk reaction to a request to schedule an appointment is “no”. Your target’s immediate thought when they realize they are being prospected is “I am not going to do this’.
For you to achieve the purpose of your call, you must reverse gravity. In order to break free from gravity, you must project a force, which is sufficient to resist the natural order of things What you say and how you say it must contain enough energy to overcome a decision makers normal natural reaction not to schedule a meeting with you. You will only do that if you use winning formulas, take calculated actions, are prepared and practice.
SECOND: WHAT YOU HEAR ARE NOT SUBSTANTIVELY “OBJECTIONS”.
The people you speak to on the phone don’t know you, don’t comprehend or appreciate what you do, and at this early point of the sales relationship don’t trust or respect you. What they say is not based upon familiarity and knowledge of your offerings and abilities. They respond to you with words that sound like objections, but are substantively different, and must be treated that way.
When you get an initial sales appointment, go back a couple of times, present a proposal, and have a number of conversations on the phone with your prospect, you must fully satisfy the prospect if you wish to achieve your sales objective at that stage of the process, which is to close a deal.
But when prospecting, our objective is not to close the deal, it is to schedule a sales appointment with the top decision-maker at a qualified company. At this stage we don’t so much overcome objections as respond to resistance. While in the process of closing a deal nothing can be left unsaid which may help us. During prospecting, what we purposely leave unsaid is just as important to achieving our objective, scheduling an appointment, as what we choose to say.
THIRD: THE #1 REASON WHY PROSPECTS DON’T AGREE TO MEET WITH US IS THAT WE DON’T GIVE THEM ENOUGH REASON TO MEET WITH US.
The reasons prospects should meet with us have to be delivered at the first meeting. Additional conversation is an opportunity for you to provide more benefits they will receive at your first meeting. No matter where they want to go with the conversation, you always want to steer it back to restating the benefits they get by spending time with you and asking for the meeting. Which brings us right into the next concept.
FOUR: YOU MUST ALWAYS MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE CONVERSATION.
Once you lose control of the conversation you will be caught in “maybe land”. Once the conversation drifts away from your agenda, which is to book a meeting, you can only lose. Why? Because at best you will conclude with a send me info, call me back or put together a proposal or quote type result. That is very low productivity place to be.
Most successful conversations last 2 ½ to 3 minutes. If you let the conversation last longer without accomplishing your objective, you will probably lose. Talk too long and answer their questions and they don’t need to meet with you. Remember also that gravity is working against you. Your target assumes that they will decline your request. When you keep talking you are bound to say something which rationalizes that result in their mind.
Always steer the conversation back to your agenda, re-affirm or provide new benefits which will be provided at the meeting, and ask for the meeting. Always again ask for the meeting.
FIFTH: EVERY WORD COUNTS.
You must ruthlessly eliminate unnecessary or wishy washy words. Eliminate mean nothing, waste of breath, just fill up space when I can’t think of anything meaningful to say type phrases. Anything that is non-specific and not related to communicating a benefit they will receive at the first meeting should be eliminated.
Once you have given it your best shot, you are better to be silent, then to fill space with wishy washy meaningless words.
SIXTH: IT IS NOT ONLY WHAT YOU SAY, BUT HOW YOU SAY IT THAT COUNTS.
You are calling from a company capable of providing high quality goods and services. It is the most normal and natural thing in the world for you to be calling companies and seeking a meeting. It would be the most normal natural thing in the world for them to agree to meet with you.
When you think and plan out in advance what words you will use to achieve your objective, and you deliver those words naturally and confidently, without hemming and hawing, without hesitations, without uh, uh, uh, without needless and meaningless words, you greatly increase the odds that people will conclude that it is worth their valuable time to meet with you.
When you seem to be searching for words, hesitating and not quite sure of yourself on the phone, what do you think is going through your prospects mind? “Well if this person isn’t quite sure of what they want to say on the phone, how worthwhile would it be for me to meet with them”?
Best wishes for prospecting success,