Last week I wrote about how I handle price-based objections and I hope you learned something from it. If you did not learn anything new, that just means you are just as smart as I am or maybe it is the other way around. However, in this post I would like to write about my own analysis of why I think that particular model works for me. I will do that by simply explaining what reads between the lines in the different steps.
Last week I wrote to this step, that: “It is paramount that we always start of by acknowledging the fact that their objection is valid and has been heard”. Which is exactly what this step is about and nothing more. I sometimes hear sales professionals say; “I understand what you are saying”, “I understand where you are coming from” or simply “I understand you”. I find it very hard to believe that any sales professional can ever understand me, when no person ever has. No, what you want to say – between the lines – in this step is; “I have heard what you just said. The message was received at my end of the line. So when I’m going to talk in just one second, I’m actually addressing what you just said, I’m not talking over your head or ignoring your objection”.
To recap what this step was about, I can simply say; this is where we rephrase what the costumer said, into what the costumer meant. The reason we do this, is that most people are not proactive nor positive minded. When costumers object they usually object with a rather airtight closed objective, such as; “I can’t afford that”. That objective is hard to overcome if you address the exact words: “well this is actually a machine that prints money. So, although you do not have the money right now, you can print new dollar-bills to cover for the shortage of money from today”, the costumer will still be able to answer; “that’s tomorrow, I still can’t afford it today”. Therefore, we need to re-frame the situation, by rephrasing the objection of the costumer from something closed (can’t afford) to something open (seems expensive). The costumer however cannot remember what he or she just said, so they will not complain about you put words in their mouth – although to them it is somewhat the same – but instead they will only find you likeable for trying to understand their position.
This is the step where you have the opportunity to show “what you’re made of”. This is the salesman’s club, where it is all about selling. As I wrote about 2 weeks ago, selling is about building value. So, if we bring back the old column diagram from that post we see how the price is to high relative to the perceived value that the costumer in this example experiences. That makes this step the most important, since we now have the opportunity to build on value, so the value-column will grow at least just as big as the price-column. That is the main job that this step serves.
Argument & Part agreement
Making an argument in this model’s case is actually more about getting a yes in the “Part agreement”-step, than actually making an honest argument. I know it sounds stupid. However, the most important thing in sales is mostly to close the sale. The argument is only valid if the costumer actually finds my product valuable. As an example, I can simply make this argument and then get the part-agreement: “Now that I’ve shown you how this product is truly made for you and can solve all your problems, and agreed to sell it to you for 1.000$ instead of the 1.200$, I would risk to say that it would be easier for you – taking in mind that you told me that you weren’t the richest man in town – to pay now that it’s 200$ cheaper?” I know that was a bad example and probably not something you would say anyway. Nevertheless, the example is for argument sake. You would agree that it would be easy to say yes to my question above – right? Well I could have just asked; “can you agree that a 1.000$ is less than 1.200$?” and the yes would be just as easy. It is the yeas that is important, is what I am trying to say.
I hope my blog post has given value to you.