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Your job is to outweigh risk with benefit. Objections such as, “I want to think about it,” are often nothing more than a request for additional informa- tion. Treat them that way and you’ll be successful.


Minefields: These are hidden ob- stacles prospects create to protect themselves from the risk of a buying decision. Minefields are also uncon- scious in the sense that the prospect is unaware he or she erects the same pattern of barriers or obstacles to the sale in every buying situation. A prospect who says, “It’s too expensive,” always says, “It’s too ex- pensive.” That’s part of the pattern of the Minefield. Your job is to success- fully recognize and disarm the mines. Most of the time, the best tactic is to get the prospect to open up and discuss what he or she really means. Again, the question, “Why do you say that?” will create a conscious airing of an unconscious reflex remark. Another common Minefield is cre- ated by the analytical prospect who needs absolute reassurance that you are the expert he or she expects you to be. To successfully negotiate the “20 questions” Minefield, demonstrate a thorough knowledge of your product/ service offerings. And, naturally, use strong benefit statements to tie that knowledge to your prospect’s needs.


DEALING WITH OBJECTIONS Here are four specific techniques to be effective in dealing with objections:


Anticipate and Initiate First, anticipate your prospect’s likely reactions. Preparation is better than inspiration, so bring up the potential objections before your prospect does – and then provide the answers. You can do this by using phrases such as, “You may be asking yourself...,” or, “Like many of our customers, your initial reaction might be...” By initiating the discussion of the potential objection, you project three important characteristics of a profes- sional: experience, confidence, and


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concern. You exhibit experience in showing that you have encountered and successfully dealt with similar situations to that of your prospect. You show confidence by not avoiding or appearing fearful of the objection being raised and discussed. And you show concern through your empathy to raise your prospect’s comfort level.


Rephrase


A second technique is to rephrase the objection in your prospect’s words. On a conscious level this conveys that you heard and understood. Even more powerfully, it unconsciously commu- nicates that you and the prospect are alike. The more your prospect likes you, the more successful you’ll be. In large measure, we all tend to like those people who are perceived to be most similar to ourselves. Prospects are no different.


Restate Third, restate the objection as a question. Remember: Many times an objection is really nothing more than a request for additional information. By restating the objection as a question, you will accomplish two important things. Number one, you’ll put the objection in its proper context, positioning it as your pros- pect’s expression of a need for more data, and not as a reason to avoid a buying decision. Number two, once


your prospect agrees that he or she is asking a question, you are thereby ap- pointed the expert with the answer. This technique should include the elements of restating the objection as a question as well as offering a benefit statement. For example, let’s say your prospect has objected to the length of a lease you are offering. You might say, “So what you are asking is, ‘How can I enjoy the lower cost per square foot and still feel comfort- able with the five-year commitment?’ Right?” When your prospect acknowl- edges that, yes, that is the question, you can deal with it by pointing out the sub-lease clause, the substantial savings, the unlikelihood of the term becoming a burden, or other benefit- laced responses.


Acknowledge Finally, a fourth technique is merely to acknowledge the objection and move on. This is particularly valuable if you feel you are being subjected to the pattern of your prospect’s Minefield. How do you do it? With a nod or an “uh-huh,” immediately followed by a benefit statement that relates to your prospect’s needs. In selling there are no guarantees. Even applying all these techniques will not assure 100 percent success in overcoming objections. But applying none of them will assure you of short- changing your potential. 


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