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The Ultimate Guide for Mastering The Art and Science of Getting Past No

By Jeb Blount
  • Read in 13 minutes
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  • Contains 8 key ideas
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Objections by Jeb Blount

Objections (2019) explores the secrets behind turning around common sales objections. Drawing on insights from both the business world and psychology, it shows how you can transform even the most reluctant prospect into an eager buyer. 

Key idea 1 of 8

Arguing with potential customers only leads to frustration.  

If you’re a sales person, you may have experienced the thrill of working with a prospective customer over a period of time, giving them several presentations on the benefits of your product or service, and smoothing over any issues as you navigate them through the sales process. Unfortunately, you may also have had this experience: right at the moment of truth, instead of signing on the dotted line, that prospective customer tells you that they need more time to think it over. 

Situations like this are hugely frustrating. You haven’t closed the sale, and you’ve been fobbed off with a vague excuse that doesn’t really explain your prospect’s hesitation at this late stage. 

As a salesperson, you want your potential customer to be as specific and truthful about their doubts as they can. If they tell you what the problem is, then you can tackle it effectively and continue on to the sale. 

But if not, and you find yourself in this taxing position, take a deep breath, think carefully before you act, and take the time to understand why your potential customer is being so indecisive.

To begin with, your prospect sees things very differently from you. They’ve probably had past experiences with pushy salespeople that argued, tried to prove them wrong, and pressured them into a purchase. With these experiences in mind, there’s only one thing they can do to avoid feeling pressured or even bullied by you: keep their reasons so vague that you won’t be able to pick them apart and begin arguing with them.

This distrustful state of affairs has arisen because of the common belief among salespeople that you “shouldn’t take no for an answer.” Although this tenacious attitude is important, the way that many salespeople put it into practice is by arguing with doubtful prospects until they eventually break down and buy.

Arguing with your potential clients is highly counterproductive though. Psychological research tells us that the more we tell people that they’re wrong, the more likely they are to stick to their guns and claim that they’re right. This phenomenon is known as psychological reactance and research suggests that the effect persists even when people are presented with strong evidence that contradicts their opinion. So the more you explain to your prospect that their doubt is misplaced, the more they’ll say it isn’t.

Fortunately, there’s a better way; one that allows you to address your prospect’s concerns without resorting to conflict. We’ll get into that in the following blinks.

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