The “sale” isn’t always the service or product your company provides. It can be the company’s preferred solution to the customer’s problem. It can be getting the customer to follow your company’s preferred payment terms, rather than their preferred terms.
The “customer” might not be a customer of your company. It can be anyone who can impact an outcome important to you. It can be the customer service agent you are talking to on the phone, or a friend or family member who doesn’t understand your point of view.
Overcoming objections seems to be a lost art in today’s tribal political world, but it needs to be front and center in any successful business. Here are some guidelines to overcoming objections…
Seek first to understand, then be understood. Overcoming objections gets easier if the customer believes they have been listened to, and you understand the pressures they are under. This, of course, is Habit 5 from Covey’s 7 Habits book.
Park your ego. Overcoming objections is like dancing together, finding the same beat. You need to be aware of the other person’s body language. It takes time. And while this should be obvious, never tell someone you’re “a great negotiator”, which would only serve to broadcast to others that you operate with a “win/lose” orientation thus putting your customer on the defensive.
Listen “actively”. Re-state your customer’s issues and concerns to confirm understanding.
Everyone is a salesperson at some point. We all seek to impact and shape people’s point of view. This can be an honorable undertaking if the outcome moves toward a worthy objective and people are not viewed transactionally.