Living in the desert means living with some pretty nasty neighbors such as rattlesnakes and scorpions, and although they aren’t in my desert, not that far away is another desert resident, the Gila Monster. All of these are venomous, and although rare for the scorpion and Gila Monster, under the right circumstances they can kill a human. Fortunately, for us who live with these creatures there are specific actions we can take to prevent them from harming us and our families.
Also present in my desert—and in your area, no matter what area you work in—are objections to our efforts to sell. Like snakes, scorpions and Gila Monsters, objections are also venomous; but unlike the scorpion and Gila Monster whose bite is seldom lethal, objections are mass murders, killing tens of thousands–probably millions–of sales every single day.
Despite the fact that objections are deadly for such a massive number of sales, like the poisonous creatures above, objections need not be deadly if we simply learn how to prevent them from harming our sales.
A few lessons from how we handle poisonous creatures can be easily and successfully applied to handling objections:
- Keep the objections away. Our primary defense against our venomous neighbors is to anticipate the environment that would attract them and to then create an environment that would discourage their presence. We keep our lawns mown and gardens weeded not just so our home looks good, but to prevent unwanted creatures from having a place to hide. They hate being out in the open where they can be easily spotted and attacked by their enemies.
We do the same with objections by creating an environment that discourages them. We anticipate the typical objections we get and weave into our presentation the answer to the objection before it is asked. Just as we whack down weeds before they become problem areas where a snake or Gila Monster can hide, we whack down objections before they have a chance to grow into an issue of real consequence.
- Don’t let the objection linger. Once we notice there is a problem—we spot a rattlesnake or a scorpion nest—we take immediate action. We don’t let it stick around. Our question is never “do we address it” but “how do we address it.” Do we need to call in a professional or can we handle it ourselves? Do we need to kill it or find a way to move it somewhere where it—and we—can live safely?
An objection demands we do the same—acknowledge its presence and take immediate action. And just as we must decide how best to deal with our unwanted neighbor, we must decide how most effectively to handle the objection. Do we answer it fully now or explain that we will address it later at a more appropriate time? Whether we address it now or move it to a later time, we must let the prospect know we understand the objection and that we will in fact address it fully. If we let it linger without acknowledging it, we may as well take its poison and inject it directly into our veins.
- Address the objection and probe for others. When we find an unwanted visitor around our home, we not only have to eradicate it but we have to do a thorough search to make sure there aren’t any more around. At times we may be tempted to reassure ourselves that the one scorpion was all there were and we don’t have to bother with a detailed search. If we don’t make sure we got them all, we’re only setting ourselves up for a whole boatload of trouble a little later.