The Single Greatest Answer To Every Sales Objection

by Claude Whitacre 18 replies
Guys; I just got off the phone with a guy that is selling consulting services. He was telling me that everything went well in his "interviews" until the prospect would raise a buying objection. He said that almost always that objection would be a variation of "We'll get back to you". He wanted to know the best way to handle that.

Let me say here that this is just for prospects you want to close right then. In many kinds of selling, you aren't looking to close in one call.

Anyway, this is what I sent him. It came out of (pretty much, with edits and additions) my book on one call closing. I thought it would be useful to many of you.

-----------

For years, I sold vacuum cleaners door to door. I pitched, and answered objections (until one of us simply gave up) and then closed.* I would work with other salespeople that were amazingly successful. I'd just work with them for a day, and they would work with me. We would usually both learn a thing or two. And I love watching sales being made. Anyway, this acquaintance of mine sold encyclopedias (Remember those?)

He taught me his one answer to every objection. And it's a whopper. Here it is.

"I can't afford it", "I have to think about it", "We don't buy the same day"..whatever the objection is.....

And here is what he would say;

"John, if there is any reason you would hesitate, you shouldn't do this. And maybe this isn't for you. In my business, I only want happy customers. I only want to place this library with people that are sure that this is for them....the customer who is so excited, they can't wait to get this library in their home. My question is, is that you?"

I changed it a little because I sold vacuum cleaners. When I started selling local online marketing services, it eventually evolved into....

"John, if there is any reason you would hesitate, you shouldn't do this. And maybe this isn't for you. In my business, I only want happy clients. I only want to work with people that are sure that this is for them....the client who is so excited, they can't wait for me to get started. My question is, is that you?"

And I've used it for years. My encyclopedia salesman friend used it as his answer to every buying objection. I started using it as the answer to the second objection that they brought up. And for me, about 40% say "Yes" and 60% say "No". And the 60% that say "No" would never have said "Yes". But you have to understand, that I only use it when I get a second objection...and I usually don't. So it's 40% of the prospects that gave a second objection.... Not 40% of the people I've seen.

It saves me an hour of answering objection after objection...And I can go home. Sometimes it's what I use when I feel I'm starting to lose them.* Sometimes I'll listen to their problem, feed it back, and answer it. If they bring it up again, the, "Is that you?" close is what I use.

Do you know why this works so well? Because if there is any glimmer of a desire to buy, it fans that flame by sounding like I'm selective...and taking the offer away. If they aren't interested, they usually say (after I've used this), "Well, right now....", and I know that it's not going to happen. When I'm giving this little dialog, I lean in a little. I may lower my voice slightly. When I say, "I only want to work with people that are sure that this is for them.", I'm talking slightly slower than normal. I say "Sure" like it's important.

Some of selling is theater.

Again, this is valuable if you are willing to force a "yes"or "No" at that meeting.

In my business, the way I sell in person, it pays better than going back over and over again. If I were selling over the phone, I probably wouldn't use it. It's too final.

And it fits with my personality. It may not fit yours. You have to make sure that the way you answer stalls to buying (if you do at all) are consistent with the way you have communicated up to that point. "Switching gears" will kill a sale. Believe me, I speak from experience.

And it's strong enough that you would not use it twice in the same presentation.

Eventually, if you keep records of your efforts, you'll find out where the point of diminishing returns is for you. Where it pays less and less (instead of more) to make repeated attempts at a sale...whether in the same sales call..or multiple sales calls.

The reason I stopped using it as my first answer to the first buying objection...is that sometimes (not often) the client just needs a little more time to absorb the idea of buying. And I don't always use it. It's just an arrow in my quiver.

If I think it's the right approach that second, I'll do it. But after saying it..anything other than "Sure, let's go ahead" is a "No" in my experience.
#offline marketing #answer #greatest #objection #sales #single
Avatar of Unregistered
  • good stuff claude!

    On the Phone : at the right time, in a take away selling position.

    Seems to me it can work.

    kirby
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11305859].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by kirbymarketingconcierge View Post

      good stuff claude!

      On the Phone : at the right time, in a take away selling position.

      Seems to me it can work.

      kirby
      To put my "Final answer to every objection' in a clearer light...

      In actual use (my use) it gets a "Yes' about 40% of the time.

      But this 40% are prospects that aren't going to buy.

      In other words, if I just stopped before using this solution.....these people wouldn't buy at all.

      So here are some averages (from a faulty memory)

      I'm selling my local online marketing service.

      About 60% just say "OK, let's do this", after my first closing attempt.

      I may answer one objection by showing a feature of the program that should alleviate that fear. Let's say that gets me another 10%. Now I'm at 70% of the people buying.

      The other 30% really...aren't going to buy. Not that day, not ever. No matter what they promise, no matter how many objections I answer....

      So, this "answer to every objection" is given to the 30% that aren't saying "Yes".

      And 40% of those 30% are now going to go ahead and get started.

      These are rounded figures, because the total percentage that buys is about 80%.

      That may sound really high, but most of that isn't because of any "Magic close". It's mostly due to prospect selection and heavy qualifying and fact finding before the presentation...and at the beginning of the presentation.

      And that 80% doesn't include presentations where I just stop (usually toward the beginning), and decide not to continue.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11305885].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Dang, I need to go back and reread my copy of One Call Closing.

    Excellent application of take-away selling.

    Alex
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11306125].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Claude, you certainly share some valuable advice that can be used for multiple products. It has been many years since I sold a physical product on the phone or trained others to do so, and I know we had some similar techniques. IF I ever remember them, I will also share with this forum.

    Alex's comment of "excellent example of take-away selling" is so apt.
    Some people will instinctively reach out to grab it back, while others will slam the door. But increasing the no - yes ratio is what it's all about.
    Signature

    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Check out my site or blog for more info.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11306259].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by laurencewins View Post

      Some people will instinctively reach out to grab it back, while others will slam the door. But increasing the no - yes ratio is what it's all about.
      But that's just it...they never slammed the door.

      Out of 12,000 presentations, I've only had one person ever just say "No" when I asked them "Would you like to own this?" Everyone else that didn't buy from me would create a reason they couldn't buy right now...or give me a "Half yes" which was a "No" wrapped up in candy.

      And even after I used " The Single Greatest Answer To Every Sales Objection" they wouldn't get rude or even just say "I'll pass".

      I would still get "Well, we just have to think about it" or the deadly "Man, you're a great salesman!"

      The prospect would go to any lengths to be civil to me.... Any lengths to keep rapport. In nearly every instance, I was the one that had to cut them off. They weren't going to buy...but they would never say "I'm not going to buy".

      To an inexperienced salesperson, these rejections sound a lot like "Yes, I'll buy from you later". or "There is a 90% chance of a sale here...next Tuesday". But really they mean "No. But I'll smile as you walk out the door. So we can still be friends". Learning this difference can take years. In fact some salespeople never learn it. People don't want to be rude. They aren't lying exactly..they just want to stay in rapport.

      In my entire life, I've only had two people ask me to leave. And both were my fault.

      And I still hear from nearly every male (and some women) telling me a story about a salesman, "I threw that salesman out on his ear!". A lie that feeds their ego. A myth that will never go away.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11306927].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author cearionmarie
    wow! new learning indeed! this literally made me smile. Time to put this into my arsenals!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11306620].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Thanks for your post.

      My one line was always "That's not a problem".

      We can't afford it...that's not a problem we can set you up on easy payment terms.

      We already use another company...that's not a problem we can work with them.

      Let me think about it...that's not a problem. Use the product a few days and try it out.

      There's someone else that uses this line also...read about them some time ago but can't recall who it was.

      We all use different tactics and I appreciate you sharing yours.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11306728].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author R0b328
    Awesome stuff Claude! I think this is a great approach for this reason: you're not trying to sell to everybody and trying to do so can waste lots of time. super valuable, thanks Claude
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11306916].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JasonTheFreeman
    I wonder if this can be tweaked as a line to use in dates. To cut the time.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11307073].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author animal44
      Originally Posted by JasonTheFreeman View Post

      I wonder if this can be tweaked as a line to use in dates. To cut the time.
      I reckon I learned more about sales and marketing from dating, than I ever learned from a sales book...!
      Signature

      I stayed up all night trying to figure out where the Sun went.
      Then it dawned on me...
      What I do for a living

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11307250].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    Am I understanding this correctly? You have 30 people out of one hundred who aren't going to buy, no matter what, no how, no way. BUT when using this close on them, 40% of them (12 prospects) do buy, even though they were never going to buy, no matter what, no how, no way.

    The other 30% really...aren't going to buy. Not that day, not ever. No matter what they promise, no matter how many objections I answer....

    So, this "answer to every objection" is given to the 30% that aren't saying "Yes".

    And 40% of those 30% are now going to go ahead and get started.
    Signature
    "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11307457].message }}
    • Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      Am I understanding this correctly? You have 30 people out of one hundred who aren't going to buy, no matter what, no how, no way. BUT when using this close on them, 40% of them (12 prospects) do buy, even though they were never going to buy, no matter what, no how, no way.


      Welllll........................................

      You already know everything I'm going to say.

      I didn't mean that 30% had no interest at all. I mean that they were going to just put off the decision..and not say "Yes" that day. They will make promises (that they may actually believe), They may want to set a later date to make a decision (Maybe thinking that they will really think it over).

      And when I say "Never going to buy" it's because their interest doesn't increase in your absence. They aren't more emotionally involved...later.

      This "answer to every objection" separates the people who really believe that they are going to buy later...or think about it and give you a call....from the people who are just being nice, and have no interest.

      Some people who say they are going to think about it, actually believe they are going to think about it, and are genuinely interested in your offer. This technique will separate many of them out from the people that have no interest, and just can't come out with a hard "No".

      But you and I both know that if they aren't buying right then...when their desire to buy is at their peak, they almost never buy later.

      I discovered this selling vacuum cleaners and then selling local online marketing services.

      I only included the people I said this to, to get the 40%. If I could tell there was no real interest, I just wouldn't say it. Even if, to most people, it looked like they were really going to buy later on.

      Again, I know you know all this.

      And even after I said the "Answer to every objection", some would still give an objection....but the direction they were going in (not buying) is reversed. So this "close" didn't flip a light switch from OFF to ON....it just changed the dynamic enough that the people who could be sold (by me) would now raise their hand.

      None of this is turning a "No" into a "Yes". It's revealing the "I'll buy it after I think about it" people that really thought they were really going to think about it.

      And the people who were dead (as far as any interest in buying) would also let me know the direction they were taking.

      And like I said elsewhere in he post you quoted, these were highly qualified prospects. And this is when I was selling my local online marketing service.

      When I was selling vacuum cleaners cold calling, the percentages were different. It may have caused 5% of the 60% that said they were really going to think about it...they gave their word...they swore an oath to God....to change direction, because in that case, "Maybe" almost always meant a hard "No".

      But my online marketing service? I was known to them, and they really were interested in hearing about what I sold. And I didn't have that selling vacuum cleaners, knocking on doors.

      My closing percentage on a cold call selling vacuum cleaners was about 40-45%, even at my skill level. But referrals? Back up to 80%. Selling my local online marketing service? About 80%. This was even with cold calls, because I had to have a real interest from them before I would even talk about my service.

      But for some reason, no matter what they said at the beginning...even "I swear, we are going to do something. And if we like what you show us, we can decide today...while you are here"....I could never crack more than 85%.

      And over a 90 day period, my closing would even out to about 80% if they were highly qualified.

      That 20% would keep me awake at night. It was like I was a surgeon, and 20% of the people died on the table.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11307483].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author misterme
        No, I really didn't understand that nuance, that's why I asked, so thanks for the clarification, I see what you're saying now. You're getting the ones who would buy but who defer to stalling, to step up.
        Signature
        "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11307489].message }}
        • Originally Posted by misterme View Post

          No, I really didn't understand that nuance, that's why I asked, so thanks for the clarification, I see what you're saying now. You're getting the ones who would buy but who defer to stalling, to step up.
          Exactly. Only I said it in a much deeper, more manly voice....that attracts lots of women.

          And these people that are deferring to buy later (as you know) for the vast majority of salespeople, these prospects are gone, never to buy from them.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11307501].message }}
  • only way to know, esp. in 2018 is to test it.
    look at the #'s, and retest, etc..,
    to retest better solutions (what to say or not).
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11307460].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author wandabell
    This is very useful topic. I think that with such experience and confidence you can feel yourself like the lord of the ocean of marketing
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11311455].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Connann
    Great answer with a lot of pnl involved in that senteces you adjust for your online business!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11311828].message }}
Avatar of Unregistered

Trending Topics