While in Europe, I became fascinated with the pub lifestyle that is integral to the English culture. The number of “Public Houses” per capita is staggering, and each is christened with an intriguing moniker such as The Eagle, The Mitre, The Flying Pig, The Coach and Horses, The Lion and Rose, The Rat and Parrot, The Snail and Lettuce, … (I could go on for days). I am convinced there should be a pub especially for those of us in the sales profession called The Stall and Objection.
Yes, The Stall and Objection would be more popular than Cheers, offering a warm, leather-wrapped swaddle. This refuge from the harsh realities of selling would have drinks garnished with VERY-low-hanging-fruit, and the sales ales would be legendary with names like The One That Got Away and Bitter Dog and Pony Brew. It would be a place where blurry lighting, brim-filled pints and sympathetic conversations would ease the frustrations caused by these evil quota-spoilers.
Capable of tempting even the strong and seasoned to go fetal, reach for a Snuggie, and proclaim all prospects villains, it’s no wonder that stalls and objections are consistent topics of sales meetings and sales books. So, here’s my question: Why do these well-know enemies of sales forecasts and profit margins continue to surprise us? Typically, it’s because we missed something during the sales conversation. Either:
- The prospect hinted at a concern, but we didn’t want to bring up a negative
- We talked past an overt expression of concern
- We believed we could overcome the stall or objection later with our persuasiveness, value, features, benefits, closing skills, etc.
- We qualified poorly, asking questions that were 1 mile wide and 1 inch deep
- We are inexperienced and don’t yet know the typical concerns and reservations
- The stall or objection seemed reasonable on the surface, and we believed it would be resolved with a little more time, negotiation, follow-up, etc.
I have two strong beliefs: (1) Stalls and objections which aren’t addressed proactively during the sales conversation are often the reason we lose deals to the status quo or to less-capable competitors, and (2) over 90% of stalls and objections are predictable. Don’t believe me? Make a list of the excuses or reasons people don’t buy from you. I bet you can do it in less than 5 minutes. Given that, would you rather hear the stall or objection AFTER multiple sales meetings, proposals, presentations and follow-up calls or during the initial sales conversation? When do you have the best chance of dealing with it?
Simply put, here are the choices: Give the prospect the opportunity to address the stall or objection during the sales call or order a round at The Stall and Objection!
SELLect Sales Tip: Understand the difference between a Stall and Objection.
SELLect Sales Tip: Anticipate and listen for the Hidden Objection which is often disguised as a Stall.
SELLect Sales Tip: Quit being surprised or discouraged by Stalls and Objections. Learn the skills to address them proactively during the sales conversation.