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The Green Sheet Online Edition

July 23, 2018 • Issue 18:07:02


Building business one objection at a time

It would be terrific if sales calls all proceeded without a hitch, building rapport and momentum until a congenial, lucrative close. However, that is more fantasy than reality. Almost every sales call is peppered with objections. The way a merchant level salesperson handles these can lead to a thriving business; it can also result in an enterprise that is gasping for life.

Jeff Fortney agreed in "The secrets to overcoming objections," The Green Sheet, Aug. 13, 2012, issue 12:08:01. "No matter what your technique or how you sell, the time will come when merchants will raise objections to your pitches," he wrote. "All training courses recognize that how you handle objections may make the difference between success and failure."

How do you view objections? Do you see them as obstacles to overcome or as selling opportunities?

In Good Selling!SM: The Basics, Paul H. Green said an objection is better than a no because it provides an opportunity for dialogue. "Another great thing about objections is that the same ones come up over and over," he added. "That means you have ample opportunity to prepare."

Preparation for common objections is integral to the sales process. "Nothing defeats an inexperienced salesperson faster than an unexpected objection," Steli Efti wrote in a Close.io blog post. "Most salespeople invest hours perfecting their pitch without a second thought to what comes afterwards. But even a perfect pitch can be ruined by poor objection handling."

Green offered a solution he named with the initialism ARMS for anticipate, rephrase, make certain and show. Here's how he explained ARMS:

  • Anticipate objections. Anticipating gives you time to prepare answers before you meet with the prospect.
  • Rephrase objections. Rephrasing verifies that you understand the objection, lets your prospect know that you're listening, and gives you time to formulate your rebuttal. It also helps you discover the real objection. When you hear an objection that doesn't make sense, rephrasing it can force the prospect to clarify.
  • Make certain you hear every objection. Trust your intuition. If you feel there is something holding the prospect back, there probably is. Don't avoid that unspoken objection. Ask what it is; otherwise, it will stand in the way of the sale.
  • Show your prospects that you understand their objections, and more importantly, their position. If you can demonstrate that you can understand their perspective, you will increase their trust in you and the credibility of your service. If you don't understand an objection, ask the prospect why he has a particular objection. If he can't state why he feels a certain way, the objection doesn't really exist. If he can explain his feelings, you are better equipped to dismiss it and close the sale.

Fortney also offered an initialism used by a number of sales trainers: LREA. It emphasizes the following active listening skills:

  • Listening with full attention
  • Repeating the objection
  • Exlploring the merchant's reasoning
  • Answering to address the prospect's real concerns

This approach can build the kind of trust that fosters long-term business relationships. So next time you encounter an objection, remember this advice from Green: "It doesn't have to be a battlefield out there. Just be prepared." end of article

The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.

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