Object Handling Made Simple

Objection Handling .… made so very simple

There seems to be an anomaly for professionals in all matters relating to objection handling.  The bottom line is that many sales trainers and business coaches alike seem to believe it’s all about having ‘smart’ replies to deliver, with a smile and expression of self-assurance when faced with a client objection.  Maybe it’s time to set the record straight using the WE’RE OK concept.  As a professional, you would probably want to steer clear of any type of sales patter when dealing with client objections that may make you sound like a used car salesman.

I totally concur, because if I was in your shoes, as a professional advisor I’d always want my clients to know they were dealing with a professional rather than a sales person.  If I were to tell you there is a simple and subtle way of handling every objection, every single time, would that be useful?

If you’re still reading this, the objection handling tool has worked yet again, because I’ve just used it on you.  Quick rewind of the 3 steps …

  • I totally concur
  • because if I was in your shoes, as an adviser I’d always want my clients to know they are dealing with a professional rather than a sales person.
  • And if I were to tell you there was a simple and subtle way of handling every objection, every single time, would that be useful?

Expanding upon the Steps

1.  Welcome the ‘objection’ (WE for WELCOME)

2.  Offer rapport and empathy. (RE)

3.  Ask a question that leads to an ‘OK’ or agreement.  It may be using the word okay, or something similar - more about this in a moment.  However, it can all be summarised neatly as WE’RE OK which is also easy to remember.

For years now, it’s been accepted by psychologists that the best way to deal with conflict is to welcome a discussion of any barrier that’s potentially in the way of a resolution.

If instead you tackle it head on, then all you do is to create conflict that may never be resolved, so welcome any objection immediately.  Next, you need the other party to feel that you genuinely see their point of view; being at all defensive is a big mistake.

Thirdly, in order to open up their thinking, ask a left brain question where the response automatically leads to a definite ‘yes’, because responding ‘no’ would make no sense logically.  Get to this stage and you can try again to make your point with the other party, who will be ‘all ears’ now.

The ‘left brain’ ideals with making sense of things, being analytical and using logic.  If something is logical it will get the other person nodding rather than shaking their head.  Does this make sense?  (I just asked you a left brain question).

The other thing about this approach is that it’s not about having stock answers or ‘smarty pants’ replies, which unquestionably alienates rather than connects.  So let’s try this on a popular objection: ‘It sounds expensive’.

WE - welcome

“I’m so pleased you mention this and thanks for being so honest.”

RE - Rapport & Empathy

“If I was looking for professional services as you are, I might be thinking the same thing.”

OK?

“If you’d allow me to explain exactly why it’s the amount stated and the reasoning behind it, would that be OK?”

Notice two things here.  Firstly, I said “I might be thinking the same thing” not “I would be thinking the same thing.”  The former implies that I empathise, yet not necessarily agree with you.  The second thing is, I ended the question with ‘… OK?’

I could also say:

 - make sense?

 - be helpful?

 - be of value?

 - be useful?

All these question endings are left brain.  By the way, in contrast the right brain is more about creativity, imagination and feelings - rarely attracting a YES/NO line of thinking.

Once you start to use WE’RE OK, then you suddenly feel confident about any rebuttal, and such confidence will strengthen your overall approach to any objection because you have a framework to use.  A good way to begin deploying this model is over the phone. This is because you can have the formula there in front of you, allowing you to ensure that you’re using all of it rather than part of it. The other thing to bear in mind is that it’s so easy to welcome the objection and then head straight for the end question, leaving out the middle part.  It’s like making a sandwich with no filling. The ‘glue’ in this methodology is the rapport and empathy that fosters an open mind of the objecting party, and without connectivity in place the overall outcome is unlikely to be alignment and mutual agreement.

When people come across this nifty little tool for the first time, the number one objection that they seem to come up with is - but this doesn’t address the objection itself. This is a really good point and I always welcome this question.   When you’re being quizzed by a client they need more than to be simply placated.  I’ve certainly been there many times.  If you think about it, the first step is getting them nodding and agreeing with you, regardless of what it’s about.  True?  Once you’ve got that initial nodding and agreement, then by all means you can move forward to deal with the objection itself. The difference is that they’ve probably now moved into ‘Yes Mode’.  Their mind is more open and their thinking is more likely to be: “we’re on the same side here, so let’s work this out together.”

Finally, what about if another objection comes up a few moments later?  Do you use the same template again?  Yes, you may.  The only tweak is to change the words so it doesn’t sound like a script, which it’s not intended to be.  If you’ve never heard it being used before it simply means it’s been used well, in a subtle manner.  Perfect for the advisor who wants to avoid being seen using some sort of sales technique.  Of the many objection handling tools out there, like KLARDOC for example (you may wish to ‘google’ this), WE’RE OK is the shortest, simplest and easiest to remember.  It’s based on pure psychology and feels perfectly natural to use.  Here’s wishing you great success with it.

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