By Jeff Shore
If you’ve been in sales for any length of time you know that a customer objection is a problem… a problem that must be solved.
In my first blog, we discovered that the definition of an objection is the gap between the ideal that the customer is looking for and their perception of what is actually being offered. This dynamic happens in almost every purchase process. It’s a rare occurrence when a customer finds exactly what they’re looking for.
We determined that a customer without an objection is not a customer at all. Having an objection means the customer is actually engaged in the purchase process.
In my most recent blog, I talked about using the law of social proof to overcome objections. This law states that people want to do what people like them want to do. Customers are much more likely to deal with their objection and buy the product when they’ve heard the stories of previous buyers who had the same objection and made the same purchase decision – and are glad they did!
Now I want to add another tool to your objections toolbox. It’s a method I call the What Would You Do? technique. This involves intentionally guiding your customer down a path where they process and solve their own objection.
Here’s an example. Suppose you’re selling a home and the customer says, “You know I’m thinking about buying this home, but the yard is small and I’m not sure I could do everything in it that I want to do.”
Now, you could offer your own pat answers to this objection. Or you could share solutions that previous buyers have come up with. But what if you walked with that customer into the backyard and said, “Suppose you were already living here. What would you do? How would you solve this problem?”
The beautiful thing about the What Would You Do? technique is that, when the customer comes up with a solution, the solution will be more grounded, more thorough, and more believable because they came up with it themselves. They own it!
That’s a far more powerful and influential solution than anything you could come up with.
When an objection comes up, how can you put the ball back in the customer’s court? You could ask your customer something as simple as this. “Let’s try a little mental exercise. Suppose you already own this home. What would you do to solve that problem?”
Let the customer use their creativity to come up with an answer on their own. You may already know the solutions, but my recommendation is to give the customer the opportunity to come up their own solution.
You try the What Would You Do? technique. And the customer replies, “Well, I suppose I could do this and this and this.”
Right away you might add, “Those are all great ideas. I think you’re onto something. And you might also want to consider this… We had someone else in the community who tried it and it seemed to work really well for them.”
Now you’re laying solutions on top of solutions. The What Would You Do? technique turned a problem-sticky situation into a problem-solving situation.
Getting your customer into a problem-solving state of mind is a very powerful way to get them to solve their own objections. And if you can get them to process their own solutions you’ve found yet another creative way to overcome objections.