When Overcoming Objections H.I.T. the Prospect

15
Sep

There are times when a prospect will give us an objection that catches us off guard.  We may not have heard this objection before.  We may have heard it before but did not handle it well in the past.  We may have heard it before but do not recall how to respond.  This is when a great sales technique of stalling for time is very helpful.

For example, a prospect gives us an objection and we immediately are aware that we are not prepared to handle it well.  We need some time to think … and … it would help if we had a little better clue as to meaning of the objection.  A good technique would be to say, “How is that?”  That is “H.I.T.ting the Prospect.”  The three word question asked, with quiet sincerity, will require that the prospect repeat what they said.  That will give us a few seconds to get our brain in gear to respond correctly.  Another wonderful result is that very often the prospect says the objection differently.  They usually say it in fewer words … and … they do a better job of clarifying what is on their mind.  This great sales technique has been taught for years by Bob Johnson, the phenomenal sales trainer from Australia.  However, Bob uses the words, “How do you mean.”

A similar word track has been around for decades.  It was created and taught by J. Douglas Edwards.  Doug taught that when we heard an objection and we were not completely confident that our reply would win the day, we should say the following.  “Mr. Prospect, you must have a reason for saying that, do you mind if I ask what it is?”  As in the previous example, the prospect restates their objection and very often it becomes clearer and easier to handle.  Ask any of the “old time” Professional Salespersons and they will tell you that this great sales technique has saved many a sale.

I believe this may be a good place to give you another great sales technique that should be used when handling objections.  It is called the “Spotlight Technique.”  In most cases it would be reasonable to expect that the first objection we get from a prospect has some realistic basis of misunderstanding and we should make a sincere attempt to handle it.  However, if we successfully handle the prospect’s first objection and then they give us another objection, it may be a clue that this prospect is just stalling.  It would be wise to try to limit how many objections we may hear from this prospect.  When we hear a second objection, before we use a word track to handle it, we should say something like this, “Mr. Prospect, is that the only thing that is standing in your way of making a favorable decision today?”  That “spotlights” the objection.  What will happen is that the prospect will respond in one of two ways.  If that objection is not of real concern, they will say something like, “Well, no that is not my main concern.”  What that tells us is that we could have used a great sales technique to overcome that objection … and … it would not have made the sale for us.  We should respond to this admission from the prospect by saying something like: “Well, what exactly is your question?”  We do not say what is your “problem,” “concern” or “objection.”  We want them to think in terms of what they do not understand.  That way we can answer their question so they can feel confident in buying now.  When we ask the “Spotlight Technique” question and the prospect says, “Yes that is the only thing standing in my way of buying today.”  We have just saved ourselves a lot of time and effort.  What the prospect is saying in reality is that if we can successfully answer this one question, he will buy.  He is in fact denying himself the right to raise other objections because he has told us that this is the only one he has.  Use this and the other great sales techniques to help a lot more prospects become very happy clients.


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