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Handling Objections: Watch Your Language

Handling Objections: Watch Your Language

If you are having trouble with objections, watch your language. An objection is always a sign of interest, so it’s best to get them out in the open and deal with them effectively.

But never become defensive. “Reverse” the objection (as you’ll see below), provide a response you’ve prepared and practiced, and/or use some humor. Some examples of objection (O) and response (R):

O: You have no experience in our industry.

R: That’s exactly why you need me. You need an expert in process and structure, not content.

O: You’re a one-person operation.

R: That’s exactly why I’m good for you. You have my complete attention and priority, and you’re dealing with the principal at all times. I’ve very responsive and my fees don’t have to support a dozen offices and overhead.

O: We have a long-time, highly popular consultant.

R: When consultants work for clients for a long time they become quasi-employees with the same politics, biases, and self-interests. Wouldn’t an occasional fresh look help to validate your beliefs about the business?

O: Your approach seems like common sense.

R: I’ve found that most clients know what to do, why it’s important, and even how to do it. Yet things still don’t get done. If it’s common sense to improve that, then that’s what I’m about.

O: You don’t deal with organizations such as ours.

R: That’s right, I have best practices from diverse clients all over the map, and I can bring these to you for the first time. Who else from your own business can do that?

O: We want a strong discount and very lenient payment terms if we are to work with you.

R: Do you accept those demands from your customers? If not, why should I? If so, then you need me more than you think!

O: We don’t pay much because we offer you exposure within our business and with our membership and audiences.

R: Thanks, but I don’t need the practice! I would think you’d want to provide your constituency with the highest value.

O: I think we have things well in hand. We really don’t need any help.

R: Then why are you even talking  to me?

O: The timing isn’t right.

R: It’s not about being “right,” it’s about being effective to make the changes. It seems to me that when things are busiest here you need the changes the most.

O: That’s a higher price than I anticipated.

R: Forget the price, look at the return on your investment—it’s over 10:1! Where else can you invest that money and get that kind of return?

O: I understand what you’re proposing. When do we discuss how you’ll do it?

R: As soon as you hand me a check!

O: We’ve never hired consultants here, let  me warn you now.

R: You’d be surprised how many of my best clients today began our first meeting the same way!

Note: You’ll find The Language of the Sale on my website on the following page. Scroll down to the 11th CD: http://summitconsulting.com/store/teleconference-2003-2004-info.php

© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 5

  • Deb Hunt

    June 29, 2011

    Thanks for the great comebacks to some of the objections I hear frequently from new or potential clients. Humor and truth are a good combination and you’ve captured that here.

  • Kurt Buehlmaier

    June 30, 2011

    This is great stuff. I have read “Getting Started in Consulting” and I am about half way through “Million Dollar Consulting” and I find your advice to be vital to me getting my new consulting practice up and running. It seems that so many businesses can get in their own way and I think that this is made evident through your dialog examples in this blog post. Helping them change their perspective is a service that you are providing them with before your “official” work begins.
    Thanks again from a displaced New Jerseyan.

  • Philippe Back

    June 30, 2011

    The one on common sense is really key. Things that not get done and your view on “resolve” really were pivotal to framing client’s challenges.

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