“I would love to do this but I have to first clear it with my wife,” or “I can’t really commit to this right now,” or “My son has never really stuck to anything for any period of time and I don’t want to waste my money,” or “I just don’t have any time right now.” No matter what the situation, the list of objections goes on and on. I am sure you have heard many objections, and I’m here to tell you there is a way to get past them.
Objections are a form of client communication. When prospects don’t commit to a particular item, sale or program, they are telling you that you have not sold them yet: that you have not communicated the benefits and touched the reason why they came to you in the first place. If they walked through your door (after all this is the hardest part), then they are interested in joining your Martial Arts school or buying your product. So if they walk out with out signing up, then for some reason you have not connected with them.
An objection is a way for prospects to say “I am not quite sold yet.” If you have answered all their questions, there is still a chance that they may not want to join your school or buy your product. Many times when this occurs, you have said something that doesn’t appeal to them. Or maybe you have not listened hard enough to what the client is looking for. Diagnostic selling is basically the method of listening to the prospective clients and then presenting them with solutions to the objectives that they want to accomplish. No matter whether the objective is to lose weight or gain self-confidence, you need to appeal to their desires. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do and how cool you are, if the prospects don’t see the benefits to themselves then it is a lost cause.
Here are some staff training and mental sales training exercises to help you overcome objections and close the sale:
Drill One: The Benefit Game
This exercise is effective in preparing you for any objections. Write down all the objections that you have heard in the past and then write an appropriate response to each one. After you have done this, practice the responses. Get used to speaking to clients about their objections, using the responses you have developed. For example: a mom tells you that she wants to help her child develop patience. She asks what you can do to help her child. Tell her specifically what components of your program help this situation.
After you have answers for all of the objections you’ve documented, you and the staff can drill this on a consistent basis and become masters at conveying the information that prospective clients really need to know. Most importantly, don’t do it simply for the sake of a having an answer: make sure that you believe in the answer you are giving and practice responding from the heart. Don’t be a salesman, be a solution provider.
Drill Two: Become a Better Listener
Learn to listen when someone is objecting, and then restate the objection so that you can be sure you understand the person correctly. I have been in the situation where I restated an objection back to a client and the client said “Well that’s not really what I meant,” and so the client then explained the objection differently. It is so important to listen to what the client wants. Always give clients your undivided attention so that you can be a specialist and a problem solver for the sake of the clients.
One of my favorite responses to a client who is not sold is “In a perfect world what could I do right now to convince you to sign up? If there was one thing that was holding you back, what would it be and how could I eliminate that obstacle for your benefit? After all, our goal is to help our students.” This usually gets the client to think about his or her objections and open up a bit. A sale is always possible as long as we continue the conversation.
Once a potential client walks out the door, the chance of a sign-up is drastically reduced. Take the time to listen to the objections of prospective clients and then explain to them wholeheartedly that participation in your school is something that can help them achieve the things they want. To ensure a sale, the decision must not be about you or your school; it must always be about the client.