Conan the Barbarian was not known for his consultative sales approach.

When speaking with a prospect, we try using a step by step procedure, moving them from Step A to Step Z. Yet when we ask for the order and they don’t say yes, we often change tactics. Their reason for not saying yes is considered an objection. We pick up our sword or battleax to try and vanquish whatever is standing between us and the sale.

We can’t be consultative and confrontational at the same time. We need to treat the objection as legitimate and serious.

1. Trial closes. Earlier in the process we need to confirm we are still holding the prospect’s attention. These questions are closed end, expecting a yes or no answer. “does this make sense to you?” is a good example. The expected answer is yes. The logic is a string of yes answers shouldn’t be followed by a no when you ask for the order.

Let’s assume that hasn’t happened. They’ve said: “Let me think about it.”

2. They need more information. There are some unanswered questions. What are they? You need to draw them out. Maybe they are unclear what the costs will be. You might review the highlights and ask if you are missing anything. What questions do they have?

3. Risks outweigh rewards. They are comfortable with what they own. Taking the steps you recommend is seen as a step into the great unknown, sort of like the chasm scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. You can review how this recommendation meets a need in their strategy.

4. It’s too big a risk. They like your idea, but don’t want to put so much money on the line. This may become a negotiation situation. They don’t want to jump off the diving board into the pool but will wade in slowly from the shallow end. Can you establish an amount they would consider investing now? Once they see the investment performs as advertised, they may become agreeable to committing more money.

5. Someone else needs to be consulted. It’s logical that couples make decisions together. If they bring up this concern, it’s logical to say: “Let’s get them on the phone!” That becomes confrontational. In my opinion, your biggest concern is can they retell the story or concept to the third party well enough to get the key points across?” This may involve reviewing the bullet points with them or THEN suggesting you be brought into the conversation when they are together. You want to make this easy for them.

6. The money isn’t available now. They might not volunteer this as a reason. They are shopping around now for money that will be available in late January. You can explain many people don’t have the funds in hand at that moment. When will the money be available? You agree to circle back a week or so before that time to pick up the conversation.

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