The Objection


“We can’t control the wind, but we sure can direct the sail.”

–  Unattributed

In professional selling, the objection is the point.

I mean, seriously, if there were no objections, we’d be completely obsolete.  “Why, yes, Pat, I would like to buy 100 of those widgets at full price!  Heavens, let me pay a premium, instead!” Ever heard that one?  Of course not!

In these lines, I’ve often stated that sales, by definition, is an argument, of sorts, and I believe that’s true.  It’s true inasmuch as a professional selling engagement is typically between two parties that have a different view of what the preferred outcome would be, if they could draw it up on the whiteboard, wave a magic wand, and have it happen.

It’s not, however, an argument that follows the ol’ “does not / does too!” structure.

The objection is the point — and the way we get to it matters.  Especially since the buyer doesn’t always know what their real objection might be.

The health club rep that identifies why we don’t go to the gym and addresses it in some way typically sells a membership that lasts longer to a buyer who uses and appreciates it more.

The professional services sales pro who learns why the problem exists, how the Client has tried to solve it before and what impact the problem has on the business day-to-day is in a better position to propose a solution that excites the buyer and unites the two parties in a shared vision of a clear outcome.

The objections might come from the east, west, north, or south.  In order to sail our boat to its destination, we’d better be able to tack — to direct the sail so it catches the wind that the market provides.

More on that tomorrow.

 


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