By Jeff Shore
In this second blog on Creative Ways to Overcome Objections – you can see the first one here, I want to present a powerful tool that sales professionals can use to overcome customer objections: the power of Social Proof.
The principle of social proof states that people want to do what people like them want to do.
For example, let’s say you and I are friends and you tell me that you are going out for a night on the town and you’re looking for a good restaurant. You know that I’ve been to a lot of restaurants in the area so you ask me for a suggestion. I tell you (with enthusiasm) about a couple of my favorite places and you end up choosing one for your evening out. You trusted me, and therefore you trusted my recommendation.
That is social proof in action.
As sales professionals we can use this same principle to help our customers overcome their objections.
When a customer comes to us with an objection, the testimonies of previous buyers are an extremely powerful way to overcome that objection.
A customer comes to me with a concern, issue or objection. I can give that customer my opinion about the issue, but there will be much greater impact if I share the story of someone who had the same objection and bought anyway. Those people had skin in the game, and they are the real experts.
A good strategy for using social proof in the sales process is to collect testimonies from customers who had the same objection, but bought anyway. Try reaching out to these buyers and solicit their stories. You can say something like, “I know you had a concern about _____________, tell me what you’re thinking now.”
These are the stories you want to share with your prospect. They’re powerful because they’re not coming from you (as a salesperson) but from people who have actually decided to buy – and are happy they did!
I remember when a friend of mine bought the first version of an iPhone. I thought the guy was nuts because he was spending $700 for a phone. I looked at him and said, “That’s just crazy – $700 for a phone?!”
I was raising an objection. But I was raising it with a person who already made the purchase decision.
He came back and said, “I didn’t spend $700 on a phone. I spent $700 on a computer that sits in my pocket, that I can carry around with me, that’s not burdensome, that gives me access to anything that I need, to my files, to my email, to games, whatever it is… it’s all right there. And by the way, it makes phone calls.”
Guess what I did? I went out and got an iPhone!
It wasn’t Apple’s marketing that convinced me to make the purchase. It was social proof from a happy guy who already made the purchase.
So, I encourage you – use the principle of social proof. Help your current customer by collecting and sharing stories from people who’ve already made the purchase decision, and are happy they did.
Again, people want to do what people like them want to do.
Leverage the experiences of others to help your customers overcome their objections. Social proof is a powerful principle that can help you help your customer move past their objection and toward a satisfying purchase.