By Ed Lamont
Sales objections are like dust; they’re everywhere! You hear objections when setting appointments with a new prospect. Once in, buyer’s often object when asked to provide underwriting information. When presenting protection plans, expect objections to price, plan design, and recommendations.
How can you prepare for sales objections? Do you “wing it”, or do you pre-think of ways to respond? What’s your plan to revive selling efforts once the objections begin?
To blow life back into your selling efforts when faced with deal killing objections, employ OBJECTION C.P.R. Confirm understanding. Probe with purpose. Resolve by agreement.
When you confirm understanding of an objection you build rapport. How? By showing the buyer you’re listening and trying to understand the true meaning of the objection. People want to be understood.
You also save time. What if a prospect says, “Your price is too high.”? Do you know exactly what that means? Is your cost higher then last year; not competitive with other proposals in hand; outside the buyer’s budget; top heavy in down payment, or just a bluff? You don’t know. If you attempt to resolve an objection before confirming your buyer’s meaning, you often end up going down the wrong road, or worse, opening up an objection that didn’t exist already in your buyer’s mind.
Play back your understanding of an objection in your own words. You’ll usually get a “Yes” or “No” from your prospect as to whether you truly understand or not. If you get a “Yes”, great! You’re on the right track. If you get a “No”, you’re buyer has stopped you from going down the wrong track of understanding.
PROBE WITH PURPOSE
After you confirm understanding, probe with the purpose of uncovering specifics, acceptable conditions, and solutions your buyer will buy. Pre-thought questions help you lead a buyer to the specifics, conditions, and solutions they’ll accept. Questions allow the customer to do most of the talking and you’ll end up doing most of the listening. That’s good!
Start with “What…”, “How…”, and “Why…” questions. Open ended probes help you gather more information and greater depth of understanding. Closed ended questions that yield “Yes” or “No” are valuable when pinning down specifics and conditions necessary to gain agreement. Use a combination of open and closed ended questions to gain enough understanding to resolve the objection.
RESOLVE BY AGREEMENT
When you’ve confirmed understanding and probed with purpose, you create the foundation to handle all objections. You may not overcome every obstacle, but you’ll have taken all objections to a logical conclusion. Best of all, you’ll have done so by allowing your buyer to provide the specifics and conditions necessary to resolve objections and come to an agreement.
When you employ OBJECTION C.P.R., you build rapport and save time. Buyers offer solutions instead of you forcing ideas upon them. Best of all, you’ll have a professional plan that enables you to handle any objection arising at any time when marketing, information gathering, and presenting protection plans.
Ed Lamont CIC, CRM is founder of Lamont Consulting Group, Inc. in Palm Beach, FL. He wrote STREET SMART SELLING: The Beliefs, Strategies, and Management Ideas of Successful Insurance Professionals. Ed’s sales and marketing ideas can be read regularly in AMERICAN AGENT & BROKER and RESOURCES magazines. He’s led scores of sales, marketing, and sales management webinars as well as hundreds of one-on-one consultations with insurance sales professionals. Contact Ed 561.737.7388 www.lamontconsultinggroup.com