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  • Robert Farago

How to Sell Anyone Anything Pt 5 - Handling Objections

Getting past no

You asked the customer’s three likes and dislikes. You ditched their dislikes and presented your product or service based entirely on their likes. You showed them your product or service satisfies their likes. You’ve summed-up the likes and asked for the sale. They say no. Now what?

Now you need to know why they don’t want to buy. So… ask! “What else do you need to know?” Or “I guess I missed something. Please tell me what that is.” What words you use is up to you. As always, use the same words ten times before changing them.

Use the “summary to direct close” I recommend: I’ve shown you my product/service has , would you like to buy? Chances are you won’t have to ask why your customer didn’t buy. Nine times out of ten they will either say yes or give you the objection unbidden.

There is one and only one way to handle an objection: the “if… then close.” If the customer says “I’ve got to check with my boss ” you say “If your boss approves, then would you buy?” Either they’ll say yes or give you another objection, such as “It’s more than I wanted to spend.”

Stack ‘em up! “If your boss says yes and the price was lower, would you then buy?” Another objection? “I want to see what your competitors are offering.” Keep going! “If your boss says yes and the price was lower and my competitors can’t beat my offer would you then buy?”

A customer once told me “I’ve been diagnosed with cancer.” I said “If your cancer treatment is successful, then would you buy?” The customer laughed and I heard the word “yes.” And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

But I will say this: the “if… then” close is magic. For one thing, it gives you all your customer’s objections. For another, it’s non-confrontational. You’re not arguing. And another: the salesman hears the one word he/she/they needs to hear. Yes. They hear the word “yes.”

Objections gathered. “Yes” received. At this point, you have two choices. You can handle the objection(s) and ask for the sale again or… you can take a break, come back and try again.

Do not discount this option. If the qualification and presentation process took a while, the customer may well feel fatigued. Harangue, argue, bully – try to wear the customer down? You do not want to be that guy. Taking a break to “research” the answers to the customer’s objections shows you’re taking their objection(s) – and time – seriously.

If you take a break, come back with their likes, not their objections. The likes are what they like (obviously). People prefer to talk about things that make them feel good rather than problems that need solving – especially as they see the problems as risks. Once you’ve warmed them up, answer the objections and… ask for the sale.

What if you can’t answer the objections? You’re done. Your product or service isn’t what they want or need. Let it go. Stop. Move on to the next customer. Don’t beat them up. Or yourself. You know exactly why they buy and why didn’t/couldn’t buy. That’s a win.

Should things change and you can meet their objection(s), you have a good reason to try again. Hit them with their first like first. “I know you want an that has , I’ve got good news! We’ve lowered our price. Are you ready to buy?” If not, “if… then” them.

Objections are real. The struggle to satisfy them is real. But answering objections is not sales. Qualifying and presenting is selling. Answering objections is negotiation. The only power in negotiation is the power to walk away. If you argue and bully your customer in the negotiation phase, you’re surrendering your negotiation power.

If you can’t satisfy your customer’s objections, stick a fork in it — fast. “Thank you for your time, but it’s clear we don’t have the product/service you need.” The weird thing? At that point, a lot of customers will withdraw their “demands.” You’ll hear “Hang on, I’m sure we can work this out.” If you can, do. If you can’t, don’t.

And there you have it: the Farago Method. Warning! Don’t pick and choose from these instructions. It’s a process. And it works. Deploying the entire Method, a car dealership raised their conversion rate from 32 percent to 64 percent. The salesmen were happy. The customers – even those who didn’t buy – were happy.

That said, the Method is a lot like playing the blues. The blues consists of three chords in a strict progression. It takes a lifetime to become an expert bluesman. Mastering the Farago Method involves a lot of elements I haven’t raised, yet. Tone of voice, dress, word choice, pacing and more.

The next installment of this series offers tips on these variables, along with important psychological insights. For now, know this: successful sales mastery requires three (there’s that number again) areas of expertise. Technique, attitude and product knowledge. Congratulations! You’ve got a winning sales technique. We’ll work on the rest next.

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