How to Handle Objections

 

In a perfect world, you could invite prospects to a conference call or give a sales presentation, and afterwards they would all be ready to buy or signup. There are two things wrong with this scenario. First, we don't live in a perfect world, and two, if all prospects bought without any objections, Ameriplan would not need you and there would be no opportunity.

 

Now as we go through this training I want you to keep a couple of things in mind.

 

First - Objections are a good thing. Most recruiters who don't know any better fear objections and see them as obstacles to closing the deal. In actual fact, the reasons objections are good is because they tell you how and what the prospect is thinking. If you know what the prospects issues are, you can address those issues.

 

Here's what I mean, letís say you follow up with a prospects and he enthusiastically says he loves everything he heard, but every time you ask for the deal he says don't worry, I'm going to do this but not today. But he won't tell you why he's not starting today. I hate that type of prospect because he won't give me anything to work with. Letís flip that around, the prospect says I love everything but I'm not sure I can afford to get started.

 

With this prospect, you know you have to address the money issue. As long as you can offer solutions to the prospect that address the money issue to the prospects satisfaction, you can close the deal.

 

So from now on, see objections as signposts that tell you what you have to do to close the prospect.

 

Second - In a way, objections give us an advantage. What I mean by that is this. Prospects use the same objections. They all say the same things. I want to think about it, I can't afford it; I have to talk to my spouse, etc. Itís almost like prospects go to an ďObjection to Buying SchoolĒ where they learn what to say to keep from making buying decisions.

 

Now, because we know what the prospects are going to say, we can prepare responses and procedures to handle those objections in advance.

 

We would be in trouble if every prospect you talked to invented objections you never heard before. So, we actually have the advantage, because we can use procedures that have been developed, tested and perfected to handle those objections we hear over and over.

 

Finally, keep this in mind. The worst thing you can do is to continue letting the same objection keep you from closing deals. I've heard recruiters say, ďthis one objection keeps shutting me down. I just can't overcome this particular objection. Iíve been recruiting for some time now and I have never overcome this one objection.Ē

 

These recruiters are like a lot of salespeople, they will not invest the extra time to sit down and develop procedures to handle that one objection. I don't care what you're promoting; you will consistently hear the same objections from prospects. Your job is to do the smart thing and develop 2-3 procedures for every objection you hear consistently. Test these procedures until you have 2-3 that work. Now, when that objection comes up, instead of saying Oh my Goodness! Here it is again, you will say to yourself, Bring it on Mr. Prospect! I am ready for that one.

Take the time to prepare your response and procedures, and the confidence you will have when talking to a prospect will increase 100%. When you project confidence, instead of fear, you will close more deals.

 

This is a six-step procedure you can use to create your responses to common objections. Take a few minutes and make a list of the objections you hear most often from your prospects. Pick the one that gives you the most trouble and use what the following six steps to develop 2-3 answers to that objection. Not one answer, you need 2-3 answers for each objection.

 

Here are the six steps

 

1. Listen

2. Show empathy

3. Restate the objection and turn it into a question

4. Isolate and confirm

5. Answer

6. Get agreement and close

 

Letís go over each of these steps so you will understand how it all works together.

 

1st Step - Listen - This is extremely important. When you prospect is giving you his or her objection, you need to let the prospect finish what he has to say. You may have heard the objection 1000 times and you know what the prospect is going to say, but if you interrupt the prospect, you're being rude. That is not the way to make friends and influence people. So, sit quietly as the prospect is voicing the objection and make sure he is done talking before you respond.

 

2nd Step - Show Empathy - After the prospect has voiced his objection a lot of recruiters will go on the offensive and actually start arguing with the prospect.  Challenging what the prospect just said. For example, a prospect says I want to talk to my spouse, the closer will say ďI donít know how things are where you come from but around here we donít say baby can I, we say baby look at what I did.  Ok that is a little strong besides it is confrontational and it will not help you close the deal. Instead, what you want to do is show the prospect that you are just like he is and you understand his issues or concerns. Letís use that same objection; I want to talk to my spouse.

 

You could respond like this.

I understand, I'm also married and we like to discuss things before making any major decision.

 

Or

 

I appreciate what you're saying.

 

Showing that you understand and saying it will actually relax the prospect and this allows you to move on to Step 3 of the formula

 

Step 3 - Restate the objection and turn it into a question

The reason you want to restate the objection, is again, to show the prospect that you have heard him, you understand him and you are both on the same page. You finish this part of the formula by turning it into a question. The reason for this is itís easier to answer a question then overcome an objection. This helps the prospect see his concerns as an issue that can be answered as opposed to an obstacle to moving forward. Hereís how that might go, and again we will use the same I have to talk to my spouse objection.

 

So, what you're saying, Mr. Prospect is you want to discuss this with your spouse to make sure she supports your decision, is that correct?

 

You will have to learn how to do this step for each objection, you will hear the same objections over and over again, so take your list of the most common objections and practice restating the different objections and turning it into a question.

 

Step 4 - Isolate and confirm - This step involves isolating the prospects objection and confirming this is the only issue keeping the prospect from becoming a new broker. You don't want to be in a position where you handle a prospects objection, you're ready to close and he comes up with another objection. If there are additional objections, this is the time to get it out so you can deal with it also.

 

Here's how you use this step.

 

So, Mr. Prospect, in addition to discussing this with your wife, is there anything else keeping you from going forward on this? (Wait for answer)

This is the isolation question. It doesn't matter if there are, or are not, additional issues. You finish this step with the following.

 

Ok Mr. Prospect, if talking to your wife was not an issue; would you be getting started today?

 

If the prospect says, yes that is the only thing keeping me from going forward, move on to the next step. Sometimes this additional question will bring to the surface other objections the prospect did not mention when you were isolating.  

 

So, Mr. Prospect, if I could show you a way to handle this that would keep both you and your wife happy, there wouldn't be anything keeping you from moving on this, right?

 

Do you see whatís happening here? We are literally boxing this prospect into a corner. We have made him tell us what his objections are, we went a step further to uncover any other objections the prospect might have, and we got the prospect to say that if I could show him a workable solution, he would signup.

So, what we have done is made it difficult for the prospect to continue stalling as long as we provide a solution that works for him. We will now offer our solution in Step 5.

 

Step 5 - Answering the objection - Here is where we will address his concerns and work together to find a solution to those concerns that works for both him and us. Now again, you will be dealing with the same objections, so take time and develop these answers. I will provide a sample answer to the spouse objection here.

 

All right, Mr. Prospect, as I said I understand youíre having to talk to your wife. I run across this all the time and here is what typically happens. Most wives are concerned about money going out but not coming back in. What I'm saying is, following the company and our teams different business model, you will be in a positive cash flow within 48 hours. If you recall, With our comp plan you get paid daily. Here's what you need to keep in mind as you make this decision. Do you have a good work ethic? The reason I want you to think about that is this, if you will give this business 2-3 hours a day, apply what we teach, you can enjoy an average weekly  income of $1000 to start with.

Let me ask you, do you have a good work ethic? (Wait for answer)

Next question, would your wife object to an extra $1000 a week? (Wait for answer) Thatís my point, so with that in mind, it makes sense to get started, doesn't it? Good, all I need is your name as it appears on your credit card.

 

Ok, in that answer I actually added the 6th and final step.

 

Step 6 - Get agreement and Close - You will notice that I answered the objection then I said thatís my point, so it makes sense to get started doesn't it? Notice the tie down

.

At that point, as long as you get a yes, itís time to close. If you recall the 6th step was get agreement and close. If you ask the get agreement question and you do not get a yes, do not try and close. You still have work to do. What you will need to do is use additional objection verbiage you have developed to handle the spouse objection. This is the reason you want to have 2 or 3 objection answers to each common objection. Sometimes you need to address an objection a couple of different times using a couple of different answers to get the prospect to the point where you can close him.

 

So now you have the formula for developing answers to objections.

 

There is a saying, "Successful people do the things unsuccessful people won't do."

 

This is an area you want to master. Your ability to confidently and smoothly answer a prospectís objections and concerns will make a tremendous difference in your signup rates. If you stumble and stall when a prospect expresses an objection, you have an excellent chance of losing that prospect. Your prospects can sense when youíre stumbling over an answer or youíre not sure about your answer.

 

This is an area where you do not want to wing it. You should know what the most common objections are.

 

You should take the time to prepare quality answers, and most important, those objection answers should be in writing and placed where you can read them if that objection comes up.

 

Like your invitation script, you want to spend a lot of time practicing the delivery of these answers so, although you are reading the answer, it doesn't sound like you're reading. The more you practice the better you will be.

 

Now you know how to start the follow up or closing call. In addition, you know how to respond to objections. With this knowledge you are now armed to help your downline close there deals also.  

 

 


 

                        Closing the Deal

 

If you don't close the prospect, all of the work it took to find the prospect, get him or her in front of your recruiting information, will be wasted. 

 

If you are having trouble getting the prospect to say yes to your offer, chances are you have been afraid to ask the prospect to make a yes decision or you have been asking the wrong way. It is your job to make it easy for the prospect to buy.

 

Letís take a look at what typically happens when you make the follow up call to a prospect after he or she has been to the conference call, or listened to a pre-recorded version of our recruiting information.

 

Letís use a guy named Joe, as the recruiter, and Jane, as the prospect. Jane has been to Joeís pre recorded call and Joe is now calling Jane to hopefully get a yes decision.

 

Jane answers the phone and Joe says,

"Hi Jane, this is Joe. So, what did you think about the call? 

 

That is absolutely the wrong question to ask, but that is exactly what the typical home businessperson says on the follow up. The reason thatís a lousy question to ask on the follow up call is the question is so broad Jane literally has to take a few seconds and think about an answer.

 

Now, back to Joe and Jane. Now what typically happens is Joe telling her all of the things he likes about the program, and when he is unable to get a decision and the call ends with Jane saying, "I want to think about it."

 

So, what happened? Jane seemed somewhat interested, but Joe couldn't get a commitment or decision. Instead he got a weak, I want to think about it, and in plain English, most of the time, that means the answer is no.  

 

How do I know that? I know that because Joe follows up a few times and either can't get Jane on the phone or Jane says she hasn't had time to think about it yet.

 

Now, I want to ask you, does any of this stuff sound familiar? Is this what you've been dealing with?

 

What went wrong on the call, in addition to the weak opening Joe used, was he never focused on the Janeís needs, likes, and desire, and therefore he never connected with Jane. I like to call this tuning into WIFM   Whatís In It For Me.

 

So, letís look at the right way to handle a follow up call.

 

Joe calls Jane, and says with enthusiasm,

Hi Jane, this is Joe. That was an awesome call, wasn't it?

 

Letís take a second and examine this technique. Joe is not asking Jane what she thought; instead Joe is taking a proactive approach, telling Jane it was an awesome call. Doing it this way, the message Joe is sending to Jane is, I know what you just heard was awesome call, everybody who hears that conference call thinks its awesome. This communicates to Jane that Joe has total confidence that his offer is the best thing since fried chicken. After Joe makes that statement, he ends the sentence by saying, wasn't it?

 

When Joe tacked wasn't it on the end if the statement, he was using a tie down. Tie downs make it easy for the prospect to say yes. Tie downs are also what some call mini questions and the person asking the questions is the person in control.

 

After Joeís question, wasn't it - the vast majority of prospects will say yes, it was a good call. After Jane says yes it was a good call, Joe continues on the offensive and says this.

 

So, tell me Jane, what did you like most about what you heard?

 

That question is so powerful. It accomplishes two things for you. First, Jane will take a second and think about what she liked, so all of the images and thoughts in Janeís mind right now are focused on the things she liked. That is exactly what you want a prospect to be thinking about on a closing call.

 

Before we move on to the other thing that questions accomplishes for you, let me show you an example of a variation of this technique that you will be familiar with. Anytime you buy a new car, have you ever noticed the salesperson always insists you test-drive the car? What you don't know is, if you were to say to the salesperson, I'll buy that one I don't need to drive it, when the car salesman goes to his manager with the paperwork, the first question the sales manager asks the salesman is, did the prospect drive the car? If that salesman says, ďNoĒ, but they want to buy it anyway.Ē That salesman will be told to go back and have the prospect drive the car. The manager wants that prospect thinking about that new car smell, the smooth ride and cold air conditioning and so on before the negotiations begin. (I know this to be a fact as I was general manager of a new car dealership). You want your prospect thinking about all of the things he liked on the call, before you actually attempt to close. Your prospect will be thinking about things like being able to work from home, quit that JOB, retirement, residual income, immediate income, financial freedom and maybe for the first time in that prospects life, having the money to do the things he or she really wants to do.

 

Now, letís look at what else this question does.

When Jane answers the question, she is telling Joe what she liked. This is ammunition Joe can use later in helping Jane go ahead and say yes.

 

For example, letís say Jane answered, ďWell, I liked two things. I like the fact that I can enjoy immediate cash flow and I like the fact that I can create residual income.Ē

 

Later when Jane says, "I'm not sure I want to do this yet." Joe can say, ďJane, I understand. Let me ask you this, would you like to make real cash now while building the long term, lifetime residual income?Ē

 

Joe took the information he got from asking that question to push Janisís button and close the sale.

 

Now, do you see why itís important to focus on what the prospect likes about your company, not what you like, about the your company?

 

Letís review. Joe started the call with, ďHi Jane, this is Joe. That was an awesome call wasn't it?Ē

 

Next, Joe says what did you like most about what you heard?

 

Now so far, we are heading home with this prospect, but don't jump the gun yet, we want to take one more step before we ask for a decision.

 

When Jane is finished telling Joe what she liked about the call, Joe's next question will be "Thatís interesting, why is that important to you?Ē

 

Now this is what we call 2nd level data. When Jane answered the second question and told Joe what she liked, that was first level data. Sometimes thatís not enough. By asking Jane why those things are important to her, chances are good you will get the real data you want, so don't skip this step. You will be amazed sometimes at how the prospect will open up and tell you what they are really feeling. If any objections come up while the prospect is answering, just make a mental note and don't respond to the objection yet. You will learn that many times prospects will deal with their own objections and you won't have to, so resist the temptation to respond to any objections just yet.

 

Now that Jane has told us why what she liked is important to her, letís go for the first close. Here's how Joe will handle that.

 

So Jane based on what you've told me, it sounds like it makes sense to get started, doesn't it?

 

Did you notice that tie down, doesn't it, again, tie downs make it easy for a prospect to say yes.

 

When Jane says yes, it makes sense, Joe says great; all I need is your name as it appears on your credit card.

 

Notice what Joe did here. He did not say do you want to get started, which only gives the prospect the option to answer yes or no. The reason you don't want to close on a yes or no question is because we live in a negative world and itís easier for most prospects to say no.

 

Now you know how to close. This simple four-step procedure is highly effective. But let me caution you, no technique, no matter how powerful or effective, will work 100% of the time, but if you use the technique properly you will find that you will close more prospects then you ever have in the past.

 

Now here's what you need to do.

 

Practice, drill and rehearse this procedure until its second nature and use it. Start using it today.

 

If this were a perfect world, all of your prospects would close after this simple procedure, but itís not a perfect world. Some prospects will have questions, objections and issues.

 

On every follow up call one of three things should happen.

 

1. You close the deal.

 

2. The prospect shows that they are brain dead.

 

3. You do a three way with someone on the team.

 

Always remember, we are a team and no team ever becomes number one without working together! I cannot help but to remember the LA Lakers of 2003, they had the best talent money could buy however they did not work together and therefore they never became number one. 

 

At first this type of recruiting may put you outside your comfort zone. Always remember a great Quote by Greg Arnold, ďALL GREATNESS IS ACHIEVED WHILE PERFORMING OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONEĒ.

 

For your success

Jeff Osness

 

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