Posted on: Saturday, October 27th, 2012
Consider the two following scenarios:
Scenario 1) A customer comes into your office, but you’re busy with another buyer, so she goes to the model by herself. While she’s there, she finds something that is a deal-killer for her. She comes back through the sales office and can’t wait to get out. There’s nothing that you can do to convince her to stay.
Scenario 2) A customer comes into your office, but you’re busy with another buyer, so he goes to the model by himself. While he’s there, he finds something that he perceives to be a problem – let’s say railroad tracks. He comes back into your office with an anguished look on his face. He says, “Oh man, those railroad tracks are so close by. That’s a problem.”
In the first scenario, the problem that that the woman finds is a truly a deal-killer. Customers with deal-killers don’t stand around and describe them to you. They just leave.
In the second scenario, the problem that the man finds might just fall under his level of acceptable dissatisfaction. This is obvious for one reason: because he hasn’t left. If the railroad tracks were a deal-killer, he would have been gone just like the woman in the first scenario. If he doesn’t leave, you can assume that the railroad tracks are a problem, but not a deal-killer. The customer is giving you a chance, and what he really is saying is, “I don’t like the railroad tracks at all, but I like everything else, and I might need to accept the railroad tracks. This is something that I might consider in my acceptable level of dissatisfaction, but I need your help. Give me some assurance that this is a good thing to do.” The message this customer is sending you is “help me!” He wants to consider moving to the next step, but he needs your help to get there. The next move is yours.
When customers raise objections, they are telling the salesperson two things. First, they are saying, “I’m not comfortable with this compromise, and I need to talk through it with someone.” And, secondly, they are saying, “I trust you to help me.” In other words, the raising of objections by a customer is a powerful buying sign. The salesperson shouldn’t panic; he should be excited. He has three powerful phrases at his disposal: “Talk to me,” “Tell me what concerns you,” and “I understand – let’s talk about it.”