How do you overcome the objection every time? Live by 2 rules:
- Treat every stated objection as a counter-offer in disguise – an implied agreement.
- The stated objection isn’t the real problem. It’s blocking for an emotional one.
1. Every stated objection is a counter-offer in disguise, an implied agreement and cry for help.
A cry for help is embarrassing – so the real reason will be guarded and delicate. This is why the military grade emotional intelligence skills of tactical empathy are so crucial.
Here’s an example of this in action at a major siege. Dwight Watson held Washington DC “hostage” for 3 days by driving a tractor on to the National Mall and claiming to be in possession of 4 bombs in 2003, just before the beginning of the 2nd Iraq war.
As the negotiators try to get him to surrender, he says: “You’re not handcuffing me!”
Does he actually care about handcuffs? No. Do we solve this by counter-offering flex-cuffs instead? No.
The best response? “So it sounds like if we don’t handcuff you, you’ll come out?”
What’s the real problem? Dignity. So once we navigated these dignity issues with Dwight, his surrender was accomplished.
2. The stated objection isn’t the real problem. It’s blocking for an emotional one.
In “Way of the Wolf” Jordan Belfort (The Wolf of Wall Street) says, “…objections are merely smokescreens for uncertainty…” On this, I’m willing to agree with Mr. Belfort.
What’s another word for uncertainty? Fear.
The stated objection is the IQ/reasoning section of the brain protecting our emotional EQ side. Think of the IQ as the blocker, protecting the real CEO of the brain, our EQ – what we truly care about, what drives us, what our passions are.
Here’s is an example of how a Black Swan student was able to get to the real objection and move things forward from a cold email.
Hi [Sales Rep],
I already use [current vendor/competitor] as my Investment Advisor. I appreciate your offer but one of my goals is to reduce fees and expenses by as much as possible so I would not be looking to incur additional expenses in the form of advisor fees, etc.
Hi [Potential Client],
Thanks for the note. It sounds like fees are your main concern. Are you saying [current vendor/competitor] charges lower fees than [potential vendor company]?
No I am saying I have an investment advisor with whom I have been working with for > 5 year who I like and trust. I am not currently looking for one to replace or augment them.
Hi [Potential Client],
I’m sorry. Thanks for clarifying. After reading your last email it looks like trust is your main priority. I understand! Certainly not asking you to replace your advisor without knowing me at all. How would you feel about having a low cost fiduciary like [potential vendor company] provide a no obligation analysis for you?
What happened here?
- When the potential client politely declined with their stated objection, our student used a label to continue the conversation.
- The potential client responded with their real objection – they have an advisor they trust.
- Our student labeled trust as the potential client’s main priority and demonstrated his understanding of its importance. This positioned him to offer a free no-obligation analysis as a way to work towards building the trust of the potential client.
When negotiating always remember to live by these 2 rules and you’ll increase your success rate.
1. Objections are counter-offers in disguise.
2. The stated objection is blocking for the real objection – which is emotional.
Label their responses and gently follow the threads to eliminate the uncertainty.