objection rebuttals

Avoid the Goofy Objection Rebuttal

I was in line at the local chain bookstore with several books. The counterguy started to process the transaction and asked the question I heard him pose to the three people I watched check out in front of me.

“Do you have one of our discount cards?”

“No,” I replied.

This is a card that they sell for $25 annually that gives you 10% off purchases. Being the math wizard that I am, I calculated that just the breakeven on the card is $250 worth of purchases yearly. I might already spend that amount at this store but I also buy a ton from Amazon, or whatever airport bookstore I wander into, so I had already decided I wasn’t going to get one.

And, I was in a hurry, plus there were plenty of people behind me I didn’t want to hold up.

“Would you like to get one?”

“No, I’ll pass, thanks.”

Then he used it: What I call the Goofy Objection Rebuttal Technique.

“Don’t you like to save money?”

My first, unspoken reaction was to say, “And don’t you want me to reach across this counter and smack you in the head?”

Instead, I just smiled and asked him to ring up the books.

Then, as he was bagging up the purchase he added, “You know, it’s a good deal if you buy a lot.”

At least he was persistent. I told him I was capable of doing the math.

When was the last time you felt endeared to a person who told you that you were flat out wrong, or otherwise said something that painted you into a corner, or made you feel stupid? It doesn’t happen.

Even though everyone resents being told they’re wrong–often getting defensive–most sales training suggests sales reps do exactly that: counter objections and resistance with slick–or sometimes outright goofy phrases or questions which inherently tell people they’re wrong.

You’ll never change anyone’s mind by preaching at them. For example, think about beliefs you feel strongly about: something political, moral, or even a favorite sports team. If someone simply started refuting everything you believed in, you would likely strengthen your stance, and think of why the other person is wrong.

You can, however, help someone to first doubt their beliefs, which is the initial hurdle in opening them up to your ideas. Get them to question their position regarding your offer or ideas. People believe their ideas more than they do yours. You can’t tell them they’re wrong and expect success, but you can help them to doubt their perceptions, which causes them to lower their guard and at least be open to what you have to say. You do this with preparing for objections, and developing doubt-creating questions.

Here’s how.

1. Select a common, real objection. For example,

“Your minimum order is too high for me.”

2. Brainstorm all the possible reasons why the objection could be stated. For any objection, you might have multiple reasons.

3. Develop opening questions to address the objection (after isolating it). Isolation question: “If it weren’t for the minimum, would you buy from us?”

If so, “Let’s talk about the minimum then. How much would you say all your orders over a month total, even with your other vendors?”

4. Think of their possible answers, and your next responses.

5. Continue the process. This looks like a computer programmer’s flow chart. Ultimately you can reach an understanding and agreement together, or you’ll determine there’s not a fit. And a very important point about objections is that you will not, and can’t, answer every one.

And in some simple situations, a statement and question might suffice. In the case of bookstore guy, a better statement and question to me could have been,

“It can save you money when you buy a lot here. You’re spending about $80 right now…how much do you think you’d buy in year?”

At least that would have had me thinking about how much I spend, perhaps even rationalizing a purchase of the card.

Approach objections in a non-adversarial way, and ask questions to root out the reasons. Go through this process, and you’ll be better prepared to ask the right questions to plant the seeds of doubt in their mind, opening them up to considering your ideas, therefore softening their resistance.

These are just a few points on objections that can help you get better answers, which will move you closer to your sales objectives. In my free ebook, Telephone Tips that Sell- 501 How to Ideas and Affirmations to Help You Get More Business By Phone, I share many more with you. Get it at the top of the page, or click here.