Handling objections: Give up the need to be right
By Sandy Schussel
Sandy Schussel, LLC
Have you ever been aggravated trying to prove to a prospect that his objection to your offer makes no sense — so aggravated, in fact, that you ended up in an argument with him and, of course, ended all possibilities of ever making him a client? Why was it so important for you to be right?
When she was little, my daughter Madi used to argue with me constantly.
"No, Daddy, you’re wrong! My teacher told me..."
No matter how misguided she was, she expended exhausting amounts of energy insisting that she was right. I tried to teach her to say, “Maybe you’re right, Daddy, and maybe you’re wrong,” and then follow up with something like, “Let’s see if we can find out” — but it seldom worked.
Then, one day, I just decided to practice what I was preaching with her. I stopped trying to be right. When she insisted that her misinformation was correct, I responded with, "I never knew that!" or, "I always thought it was the other the way around, but I guess I was wrong." The result? No more arguments and a lot more peace.
Yesterday, I watched a friendly conversation between two people at a fast food restaurant turn into an argument. The two men had begun to talk about global warming, and one of them was insisting that it was all “a lot of bunk."
Each man was busy trying to prove that he was right and the other was wrong. What struck me was how easily the interaction had gone from casual to hostile. The conversation became so loud and abusive that an employee of the restaurant had to ask them to leave.
Who was right? What difference did it make if they could not agree? Arguments don’t happen unless someone needs to prove another wrong. What if we could let go of this need — especially when dealing with prospective clients?
When your prospect is objecting, even if the objection is absurd, don’t disagree. You won’t change his mind — and instead, you will alienate him entirely.
Try starting out with something like, “I can see how you might think that,” and then pose a question that might get him thinking further.
“I don’t need any more insurance,” he might say.
“You’re probably right,” you can respond — without argument — although it’s obvious to you that he’s grossly underinsured and may be leaving his family in a catastrophic position. “Can I ask what you’re basing that on?”
“I just know we have enough,” he might reply.
“Well, just in case, would you be open to going through a simple exploration with me to see if you’re missing any coverage you could really use?”
Let go of the need to prove you are right from the get-go. Your life will be much less stressful, and your business will grow.