Objection Handling

 

The 'Working Week Sales Process ' 'W.W.S.P', describes a generic process that can be applied to almost any sales call or situation where you need some agreement. It is very common to be presented with objections to your offer. This phase of the call happens on Thursday. 

Working Week Sales Process

 

It’s in the Thursday phase of the sales call that we need to convince the customer and deal with any objections. I’m deliberately using the word ‘convince’ as I want to be certain that the customer is going to say yes to the close. If they are agreeing with you, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are convinced. You need a bigger level of commitment than simply agreement to close a sale. 


In my mind (I cringe easily), one of the most uncomfortable things to witness, especially if it’s on live TV, is a marriage proposal. A decision like this is a big deal. There is absolutely no way in the world I would want to be rebuffed on national TV. The only way I would pop the question and close this deal, is if I was absolutely convinced the answer was going to be yes! 

In fact, when I asked my wife to marry me, I was totally convinced she was going to say yes – I had spent plenty of time making sure any objections had been dealt with and the outcome was a foregone conclusion. This should be your aim in any sale. By the time you close, the outcome should be a fait accompli. 


One small but important point to make at this stage is, if at any point you feel the customer is ready to close the sale, with no objections, then go for it! Be proactive and ask for the business; don’t waste this golden opportunity. It can be quite annoying as a customer if you are ready to move the process along and the salesperson delays.

However, objections to a proposal are extremely common, especially if it’s a big complex decision. Your success is now entirely down to how well you cope with these objections. Get this wrong and you lose the sale! 

It is very easy to become defensive when dealing with objections, as they can feel like a criticism, or worse, an attack. However, an objection is often a great sign that the customer is serious about taking the next steps to close the sale. The customer is asking you to convince them why they should buy from you. You are almost ready to close! See an objection as a positive thing; I find it much harder if the customer remains quiet and seemingly apathetic following a sales discussion. 


This will enable you to deal with any objection, without getting defensive or into an argument. In fact, done well, it will intensify a customer’s desire to seal the deal making a close easy and logical. 

 

My template for handling all types of objection – The B.L.E.N.D.© Method.

The B.L.E.N.D Method

But why did I call it B.L.E.N.D.? It’s an acronym, right? I bet you’re saying to yourself right now, he said acronyms aren’t that easy to remember? Well they are, but only if they are related to something that has meaning, not something you’re trying to shoehorn the letters to fit. 


I came up with B.L.E.N.D.© based on my experiences in the Japanese martial art, Aikido (Aikikai, Hombu Dojo, Black Belt). I have been into martial arts from childhood and have spent the last twenty years practising Aikido. 

It struck me a while ago that the way you deal with an attack in Aikido is perfect for dealing with objections. When I applied this to my sales career, I started to find that even the toughest customers, who would just object to anything, could be won over. 

The basic principle is that you blend with an attack and influence rather than clash or try to win an argument. Here’s a short YouTube clip demonstrating this principle. 

 

In Aikido, rather than greeting an attack with a block or a strike, the idea is to get out of the way of the attack and then blend with it, making light contact and then moving in the same direction. Once you and your opponent are moving in the same direction, you are then able to lead them into a position where you can either neutralise the attack or respond with force. The point being, it’s now your choice what happens next. 

The B.L.E.N.D method, like any good method, takes time and practise to get good at. It is extremely difficult not immediately give your solution to the objection. If you remember to follow the B.L.E.N.D method, you will get the agreement you are looking for. 

You will learn and practice the B.L.E.N.D method, amongst others, on the 90 Degree Fundamentals of Selling Course. Book here https://www.three-sixty-group.com/courses-pricing#pricing

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