Overcoming Objections in Your Sales Process with Social Proof

Years ago, I was selling newly constructed homes in a community that had – let’s say, “less than optimal size homesites.” Meaning the backyards were tiny! If I had a dollar for whenever I heard someone say, “The backyard seems too small,” I would be retired and living on a beach somewhere.

What my customers were saying was that they couldn’t visualize using the backyard space. Maybe they were coming from a bigger backyard and couldn’t visualize seeing all of their outdoor furniture, kid’s toys, and dog playing in that space simultaneously.

And believe me, I get it. We want to visualize maximizing the product or service we’re about to buy before we put down our hard-earned cash for that product or service. As a sales professional, how can we improve at overcoming objections in our sales process?

Lucky for me, I worked with a great trainer, Juliet, who told me I could use visual aids to help customers see how they could live in that tiny backyard.

Juliet encouraged me (a.k.a. “made me”) to find pictures of creative ways people designed their small outdoor spaces, including dogs, dinners, and relaxation. Then, she told me that anytime customers objected about the tiny backyard, I was to pull out these photos and show people visual examples of what could be – what they couldn’t see for themselves.

The first time I used the pictures and overcame the small backyard objection, I was hooked. I found pictures for every possible objection I could think of.

That was 16 years ago. Pre-iPhone. Pre-iPad. I had to go to Kinko’s to print out pictures and carry them in a three-ring binder. #oldschool

What about you? What about now?

We live in a different world. You have access to more visual aides now than at any other time in history. So what do you need to do?

  • Write down the top five objections you’re hearing right now.
  • Look for examples of how other people have solved those objections.
  • Find visual representations for those solutions and capture them via picture or video.
  • Show them to every customer that has those objections.
  • Ask them if that would work for them as well.

This is commonly referred to as Social Proof. The idea behind Social Proof is that customers are more comfortable moving beyond an objection if someone else like them has done so already.

Its possible, today, that you’re hearing objections relating to fear and uncertainty and you might be wondering how you can put that into visual form. The visual option may not always work for this but there’s another powerful tool you have access to. In fact, this would work in place of a physical visual in most cases. Of course, I’m talking about stories. Sharing stories and experiences from previous buyers can also paint a vivid mental image for your buyers.

So, the next time you encounter an objection, don’t try to handle it with a silver bullet. Simply share your best Social Proof and let other customers help you make the sale.


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About the Author: Ryan Taft

Ryan Taft is consumed with a passion for helping others achieve breakthrough results in sales, business and life. With a career spanning two decades training and coaching sales teams from call centers to new home sales to Realtors®, Ryan combines his knowledge of human performance, psychology and sales skills development to deliver extraordinarily engaging, energizing and insightful training experiences that drive peak performance at all levels.  Learn more at jeffshore.com and follow Ryan on Twitter.