My first Tae Kwon Do instructor gave our class a piece of advice that works equally well for martial arts, objection handling, and many other endeavors.
“If you don’t want to be hit, then don’t be in the place where the attack is”
From the Tae Kwon Do perspective, this advice is almost as good as rule number 1 (don’t block with your face), but in objection handling, the application can be even more subtle and more effective.
There are basically three ways that you can avoid being where the attack is, and all three make good metaphors for objection handling. I will explore each of the three in different blog posts, but to set expectations, the three ways are as follows:
- Prevent the attack
In this post, we will explore dodging.
In the first part of this series, we explored blocking. This means taking on the objection directly. Force against force. Effective when needed and if done correctly, but often painful, and sometimes not effective enough to prevent some serious damage from the attack.
Dodging on the other hand requires more skill, but if done correctly can eliminate contact and set up the defender in a good position after the attack (objection) is thrown and the dodge is successfully executed.
In sales, dodging is similar to the objection quarantine technique which works like this:
Sometimes you get an objection, and may not want to answer it right away. Maybe you are not sure if it is a real objection, or maybe you think there is a long list of problems to solve and you don’t want to get caught up in one only to solve it then have more to deal with later. These are good times for a dodge, or a quarantine.
To dodge or quarantine the objection, you may say to the prospect something like:
“OK, I understand, now if we could solve that problem / address that issue / answer that question to your satisfaction, would you be ready to move forward or is there something else that we would need to solve first?”
A yes or a no answer are both good for you here.
If the prospect says “yes” – meaning that if the objection is resolved then they will purchase, then you have a conditional close. All you need to do is to solve the one single problem that has already been identified then you won the sale.
If they say “no”, and tell you many more things that also need to be solved first, then you either have a more complex conditional close, or you may begin to realize that there are so many reasons for the prospect not to buy, that they never will, and you can decide or agree with the prospect that moving on without this sale is what make sense.
Either way, you focus the deal. Instead of chasing each objection as it comes, you lay out the complete set of conditions for an agreement, and move forward addressing the questions or the prospect with eyes wide open and all of the information on the table.
When you dodge well in Tae Kwon Do, you not only avoid the force of the attack but you position yourself to counter strike. Similarly in sales, if you quarantine the objection, then you put yourself in a more effective position to assess the deal, the potential for closing, and the likelihood of getting there along with the path to take from that point forward.
As you can see, dodging is more effective, yet requires more skill than blocking, which we covered last week. Next week, we will discuss preventing the objection as an objection handling technique – but rather than requiring more skill, it simply requires more planning, and in some ways, no objection handling skills at all – if the objection does not come, then you don’t need to handle it at all! Stay tuned for more on that next week.
Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)
So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.
If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:
The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.
Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.
The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.
If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.
Here’s to your success!