We all experience rejections early on in the sales process from time to time. But how we handle them is what defines us and dictates our ultimate success.
Dylis: Hi there, this is Dylis Guyan and welcome to the Inspired Selling Podcast, the place where business owners who sell to bigger businesses discover how to attract, convert, and keep more of their ideal clients on a consistent basis. I have got a spectacular guest for you today and that is we have Jeb Blount in the house. I’m absolutely thrilled.
So before we get into it, let me just tell you a little bit about Jeb. He is the best selling author of now ten books, including Sales EQ, Fanatical Prospecting, Objections, People Follow You, People Buy You. There’s another one, you can give me the right title in a moment about recruiting Jeb. But he is a true true expert. He is a sales acceleration specialist who helps organisations reach peak performance fast by optimising talent, leveraging training to cultivate high performance sales culture, developing leadership and coaching skills, and applying more effective organisational design. Through his companies, Sales Gravy, Chanley Q and Innovative Knowledge he advises many of the world’s leading organisations and their executives on the impact of emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills on sales, leadership, customer experience, channel development, and strategic account management.
Jeb, welcome. I’m absolutely thrilled to have you here and I just have to say this, you have been with me in my car, you have been with me in my bed, metaphorically speaking of course, while I’ve been listening to your books on audio. So, your audible books, which are magnificent, if anybody hasn’t downloaded them, they really need to and today I’d like to talk to Jeb about objections. If we could start by what is an objection and why does it arise?
Jeb: Well all an objection is, is someone who has a question or an issue or a concern whether they need to go think about something, they’re afraid to make a decision, the status quo seems a less risky proposition than moving forward to the offer that you’ve made to them. But that’s basically what an objection is. It’s just, in the sales process, a person telling you that they don’t want to move forward. In other words, they don’t want to comply with your request.
So there are basically four types of objections that you get in sales. There are prospecting objections, and these are the objections that most people are afraid of because they’re harsh, they’re sometimes direct, sometimes they’re just a phone being hung up in your face but that’s typically when you’re asking people for time. When we think about sales, you have to think about sales in two pieces. One is prospecting that’s asking for time, and the other is sales, which is asking for commitment and typically you’re asking for a series of commitments, maybe purely transactional, you’re asking for time and commitment in the same time basically. As you move into more complex sales, those commitments or those steps that you take get a little bit wider.
So you’ve prospecting objections, you’ve red herrings and red herrings are like false objections, they are things that people throw at you early in the sales process that you chase, that take you away from your core purpose. There are micro-commitment objections, and these are really not very harsh objections. These are, for example, Dylis, the next step for us would be for me to come tour your facility, and if you said, well, I don’t know why we need to do that, I already have all the information that you need, that would be a micro-commitment objection.
Then there were buying commitment objections. If you’re working with the government, there might be selection objections where for example, in the government the contracting and purchasing are going to make the final buying decision, but the group of stakeholders has to select you before you go into that particular space. That can happen with big, big companies as well, where the stakeholder group selects you as their vendor of choice, but then you have to go to procurement or to contracting in order to get all the way through, but those would typically be buying commitment objections. Those are going to be tougher objections because the person that is having to make a decision to change where they are.
Now, the two reasons why people throw objections at you are the human safety bias, which is our aversion as human beings to taking risks and this is something that’s baked deep into our DNA because throughout our evolution as human beings, human beings who took fewer risks were more likely to pass on their DNA. And then there’s the status quo bias, which is attached to the safety bias, which basically says where I am right now is better than where I might be. That’s just a simple human heuristic that says where I am the devil that I know is less risky than the devil that I don’t know. Which is why, for example, people will stay in dysfunctional relationships rather than move on to something else because they’re wedded to the status quo.
And those are the core emotional reasons why buyers throw objections at you in those four categories. All they’re doing is saying, I’m not willing to comply with your requests because all you’re doing as a salesperson or a business owner is asking them to do something for you, give you time, or give you a next step, or make a decision to select or buy your product.
Dylis: People are so fearful of these rejections, the possibility of rejection, which stops them picking up the phone, being proactive in terms of the prospecting and we have this situation as well, I’ll just rely on word of mouth, or I’ll put myself out and about on social media and hope I attract people that way. And so this fear of picking up the phone in case of the rejection paralyses them into an action and then in the call itself they get really often quite defensive. Talk to us around that Jeb.
Jeb: I think that we go back to this, the prospecting objection all the way through the buying commitment objection. One of the problems that we have is that we keep waiting for the prospect to do the work for us. To set the meeting, to set the next step, to do the buying and that comes from our fear of being rejected. Now, the way I just described an objection is not rejection. You’re not being rejected. Rejection is when someone says get the hell out of my office you jerk. I would never do business with you. That’s rejection. That is someone who is saying, stay out of my life, get out of my way, I don’t want anything to do with you. Now prospecting objections can get that personal. They can move into rejection. You can get kicked out of someone’s office or get hung up on or have someone say, don’t ever call me again and that definitely borders on rejection.
If we go to what you’re talking about, the very top of the funnel, the prospecting objection, there’s no doubt this is the harshest type of objection. And it’s the one that scares people the most because typically you’re calling an invisible stranger and asking them to give you time, which is the hardest ask in sale because no one has time. Or you’re walking in their door and knocking on the door and you know, I say knocking on the door, if you’re selling business to business, you’re walking into their business and you’re engaging someone and you’re asking for time either then or at some point in the future. That type of objection creates the greatest fear and the greatest vulnerability for human beings.
So let’s break this apart. You posted something on LinkedIn this morning about how business owners, and you see it as epidemic, have this feeling that they don’t want to be too pushy and they, and they don’t want to go ask for something that they want. This isn’t like something that’s wrong with them. There’s no psychological issue here. This is human and it is human for us to try to protect ourselves from rejection and it’s something that is baked deep into our DNA.
I’m going to break this down for you because I believe that awareness is the mother of change. Si if you understand why this is happening to you as a business owner, you’re going to be able to get past that uncomfortable feeling of being too pushy. Because the fact is, if you’re going to sell something, you’re probably going to have to be a little pushy and you’re probably going to have to go interrupt someone that doesn’t know you and you’re going to have to ask for time and you’re going to have to do things that make you feel uncomfortable. But the problem is, is that we sometimes treat this feeling that we have inside, like get some sort of something that’s wrong with us and it’s something that’s not wrong with you at all. It’s normal.
So if we just go back to, let’s just say 40,000 years ago, this is when anthropologists tell us that the human brain formed in its present format. So, the way our brains are right now, about 40,000 years ago, the human brain came to its modern format and at the time though we were living in caves. So, let’s say that you were in the south of France, you were in a cave someplace, you know, with a fire, with your family around you, and you depended on a very small group of human beings to take care of you and by the way, that process of us being in these small groups continued for about 35,000 years.
We didn’t really get the first real cities and communities until about 5,000 years ago is when that really began to take its format, our present shape. So in this small group of people, you totally depended on each other. If you got banished or you got cast out or you got rejected and you got kicked out of the cave, it was a death sentence, you were going to die. So human beings who evolved a sensitivity to being too pushy or to crossing that line that might get them kicked out or rejected, those human beings were able to pass on their DNA. So the way that you feel when you’re approaching someone to ask for something, that feeling inside, and by the way this rolls over into negotiation as well. When you’re asking for something, that feeling is a natural feeling. It is part of your make up and it is a double-edged sword.
On one hand it teaches us how to deal and work with other human beings. We’re very sensitive to where the lines are drawn. We don’t want to get kicked out of the group. In fact if you go back and read literature from the very beginning of literature and especially ancient literature being banished or kicked out was almost worse than death. So, when we see that it allows us to work together.
On the other side, it gives us this feeling of when we’re selling that we might be too pushy and we get this feeling of I don’t want to be rejected or I’m afraid of being rejected. Now if we break this down, and a lot of people do this academically, they say, well objections are not rejection. Well that is true. The problem is is your brain doesn’t know the difference. Your brain looks at the objection, I don’t have time right now, and it treats it as if it’s rejection, even though it’s not. So the way that you feel is real and why you feel that way is real.
Now, let me add one thing to this, Dylis that’s important. Every single human being lives on an empathy scale. So some of us are higher on the empathy scale and some of us are lower on the empathy scale, if you’re lower on the empathy scale, you tend to be outcome-driven. So you’re much more likely to walk into a door, pick up a phone, you’re much more likely in the middle of a sales conversation to ask confidently and assumptively for the next step, but on the flip side, you have less sympathy for other people, you’re typically going to have a harder time making all kinds of friends and taking care of friends and you’ll have a harder time listening.
So you’re really, really good at a pure transactional ask for what you want, and get out and move onto the next thing. You’re really not that great at complex sales unless you develop intentional empathy. If on the other hand, you’re more empathetic, which by the way, the people that you described in your LinkedIn post this morning typically are more empathetic, then you’re much more likely to listen. You’re much more likely to be sensitive to other people’s feelings. You’re much more likely to be aware of how you’re impacting other people, which are all great things. Empathy is the meta-skill of sales. The only problem with that is that you keep waiting around for other people to do the job for you and in sales they don’t. So you have to be intentional about outcome.
You have to be intentional about asking for what you want. You have to tell yourself it’s okay if I’m a little pushy. You have to force yourself in some cases to be relaxed, assertive, and confident when you ask. Otherwise what happens is you have a business that feels really good and you’re working really, really hard and you really love working with people except that you’re not selling anything and your kids have no shoes on, right? So you have to recognise that’s where you are and we all fit on that scale someplace and oh by the way, you can’t change who you are, what you can change, is your intentions. So I’m working with outcome driven people, I’m focussing on helping them be intentional about empathy, intentional about listening, intentional about focusing on the human being in front of them, Sales EQ.
When I’m working with people who are really empathetic, I’m working with them on being intentional about asking for what they want. So in other words, you have to say to yourself, here’s what I’m going to do and here is what the outcome is going to be. So for example, if you’re going to do a phone block and you’re going to be prospecting people who are highly empathetic, I go make ten calls and ask for a meeting, then take a break, make ten more calls and ask for a meeting. Right? If you’re people who are highly, you know, outcome-driven, it’s like I have to make them get off the phone because all they want to do is go ask people for stuff because they checked that off their box.
So you have to recognise where you are. So that awareness that this is not a psychological issue, right? It is a DNA issue. It is biological, just who you are. You have to begin there. Once you begin there, then you can start deploying frameworks and mechanisms and techniques that allow you to get past this natural fear and be able to get what you want so that you can grow your business. You have to be able to do those things in that order but it begins with awareness because until that point, you’re walking around saying, I don’t want to be too pushy because I don’t want to sound like a used car dealer.
You’re saying that because you’re blaming something that’s in your mind about the way people are and you’re projecting the way you feel when you deal with salespeople on other people you’re projecting that feeling. You have to quit doing that and recognise that it’s nothing to do with being a used car salesperson or being salesy or being pushy. It’s none of those things. It is who you are on the inside. It is the way that you feel when you’re interacting with other people and the fact that you feel like you’re being pushy is a good thing, because you have a gift of empathy that’s important, but at the same time you’re going to go broke if you don’t learn how to be intentional about outcomes and getting past that fear.
Dylis: This is what I love about your work Jeb is that you give the why behind things. You give the science behind things that enables you then to really understand why you are doing what you’re doing and of course the other side of that is that often, and I think we’ve had this discussion before, where business owners in particular who are selling to other businesses are experts in what they do, but they’re not expert in the process of sales and marketing. This was from your book and it really echoed my thoughts that sales, is just a process. It’s do this, do this, do this, do this, do this. Have your understanding of who you are, the type of person you are, but then you have this process and I loved when you were talking about all of the science behind this and getting into this situation where you’re receiving objections either on the phone or in the meeting and you refer to a ledge that gives you that moment to just be able to settle. Would you share that with us?
Jeb: Sure. So when were….just a couple of minutes ago, we were talking about….once you have awareness of why this is happening to you, then you have to start deploying these techniques and frameworks and one of those frameworks is called ‘a ledge.’ All a ledge is what neuroscientists call the magic quarter of a second that gives you the ability to rise above the emotion.
So we go back to how you feel when you’re confronting being too pushy, you’re asking for what you want or making a prospecting call, that fear of rejection. You can’t control that. That happens without your consent. You have no control whatsoever. The only thing that you can control is your response, but in that brief moment where you ask for something or you’re put into that situation, there’s this mechanism that kicks off inside of you called the fight or flight response.
Now the fight or flight response, we all can understand because for example, if we were walking through the woods and we saw a bear walk out into the path in front of us, we would instantly feel this fight or flight response. We would get ready to either run away or to defend ourselves depending where we are. What we don’t always think about is how the fight or flight response is kicked off by social threats. So we go back to the cave, getting kicked out of the cave, being rejected, being banished, that is a threat to us because getting banished at that point, in our world, we were in a cave, we could get killed or we could die out in the elements without anyone to help us defend ourselves. Our brains believe that they’re still sitting by a campfire in that cave and our brains haven’t evolved to a place where they recognise there’s a difference between the cave and somebody kicking us out of their door, it just feels like it’s getting rejected.
So the fight or flight response kicks off and in that moment, it’s hard to think, it’s hard to control your emotions. That’s why you get on the phone and someone tells you no, and you don’t know what to say and you’re blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You’re talking too much. That’s called fight or flight and what the ledge does is it gives you this magic quarter of a second that allows you to rise above that emotion, gather your thoughts, and then know exactly what to say.
So for example, if someone asked me a hard question, my ledge is typically, how so or tell me more or help me understand, so I respond with a question and by responding with a question, it gives me just a moment to say, oh, this person’s not attacking me, they’re asking a question, I can rise above that and manage my response. If someone says, I don’t have enough time if I ask them for a meeting, I just say that’s exactly why I called or that’s exactly why I’m here. The reason I say that every single time is that as soon as I say that, it triggers my brain to know exactly what to say next. So if someone says, I don’t have time, or I’m too busy, I say, that’s exactly why I called because I figured you would be and all I want to do is find a time that’s more convenient for you.
I say that every single time. So I don’t have to think through it. I don’t have to deal with the emotions. I simply rise above those emotions and the ledge is so powerful. It is one of the most powerful techniques that you can use as a human being when you’re in a situation where fight or flight is kicking off because it gives you that moment, just that moment to get your executive brain, your neocortex in charge of everything, and then you can handle it. And once you master that, it gets so much easier in those situations to know that you can competently deal with anything that someone throws at you because you have a simple statement or a simple question that you use every single time that gives you that very moment that you need to rise above your emotions and take control.
Dylis: So what if you get the objection, which is a common one, we already have someone who looks after that?
Jeb: Well that would be an easy one. If someone says we already have someone that looks after that what I say is, that’s exactly what I expected you to say because most businesses have someone who’s looking after that. All I want to do is sit down and get to know you better and see if what we do might compliment what you’re already doing and make it better. How about Thursday at two?
Dylis: Yeah. Fantastic. I know that you recommend that you list out those objections, the most common objections that you get on the telephone or the most common objections you get in the face-to-face meeting and start and think about putting that ledge together to give you the moment, to allow yourself to just settle back down.
Jeb: I think that what we have to recognise is that especially when you’re doing outbound prospecting, is there’s maybe at most fifteen ways someone’s going to tell you no. Now most people think it’s infinite because they treat every objection as if it’s a brand new objection. There’s only about fifteen ways and if we break that down, there’s probably four to five of those ways that people tell you no that you get 80 or 90% of the time.
So, the thing about prospecting objections in particular is that all prospecting objections can be anticipated in advance. We know what people are going to say to us. So what I recommend doing is write them all down and then rank them in order of the frequency that you get them. Then develop your ledge and then develop, and we use a three step process or framework called ledge, disrupt, and ask (LDA) and then develop a disrupt statement, and then ask for what you want and you have to ask confidently for what you want.
So all I did when you throw that objection at me and I didn’t know that it was coming, you shot that at me out of the blue. I simply used a ledge that gave me just a second to think about my response. Then I responded, we’re going to compliment what you already do because I don’t want to get in an argument about what they’re doing is wrong. We already have somebody so that’s fine and then I asked you for a time and I did that out of the blue with no prep, just because I understand how the process works and I can do that over and over and over again. Now what I could do with that is you threw that at me. I could probably come up with three or four different ways that I might handle that particular objection and then I would practice that and hone that so it sounded like me, my words, the way I speak until I had it completely down. So that anytime someone says we already have someone that handles that, I know exactly what to say. That’s exactly what I figured you might say, and the reason I’m calling is to get to know you a little bit better to see if what we do might compliment what you’re already doing and make it better. How about Thursday at two? So that was even better than the first time I said that because I took a couple of words out of it, honed it a little bit better, tightened it up, and then I practice, practice, practice until I have that down so that every time someone says that to me, I know what to do.
Dylis: Yeah. Can I throw another one at you Jeb?
Dylis: Don’t you just love this? So you’ve asked me the question and I say, actually, yeah great just send me a brochure.
Jeb: Well see. That’s the brush off of all brushoffs right. Send me some information. So there’s two ways that you can handle, send me some information. The first way is, and you have to be super I call it super froggy, right? But you gotta be like at the top of your confidence level. So you say, send me a brochure. I say, I’ll be happy to bring the brochure by because all the information comes attached to me. How about Thursday at two? Now you gotta be like at the height of your confidence, because here’s the two reactions you’re going to get, and there’s not going to be a middle ground. They’re either going to laugh and they’re gonna say, okay, come on by because they really appreciate your confidence or they’re going to hang the phone up on you. You’re not going to get anything else in the middle right, that is all they’re going to say.
So that works when you have a full pipeline, when you’re feeling really, really confident and when you’re feeling really, really confident, you can say purple cows, how about Thursday at two, and people will say yes to you because if you show any weakness, you’re not going to get by. One of my favourite ways to handle that is you say, send me your brochure. I say, that’s fantastic, I’m so glad that you’re interested in getting our information. And I say it as if it’s never happened before, like no one’s ever asked me to send them information. So see, that’s fantastic. Dylis, I’m so happy that you’re interested in our information, but the thing is as busy as you are, the last thing I want to do is completely overwhelm you with all of the information we have. So I’m just curious, what specific information would you be interested in seeing?
Now when I do that, there’s about a 70% probability they’re going to throw out another objection, I’m just not interested. We already have someone, I don’t have any time right now, we’ve got other things going on, I’m not the right person to talk about. I mean somewhere in there you’ll probably get another objection about 70% of the time and the reason that we use that is because the send me information is a brushoff. What they’re trying to do is get you to go away without conflict and in most cases you will because you don’t want conflict. Why? Because you don’t want to get kicked out of the cave. So if we bring that out, you just have to be prepared to deal with the next objection, but about 30% of the time they’re going to say, well, what I’d be interested in seeing is about ABC or I’d be interested in looking at this or I’d be interested in looking at this and no matter what they say, it doesn’t make a difference what they say. You say, that’s exactly why we should get together. That way I can learn a little bit more about you and then I can tailor a package with the specific information that you need for your unique situation. How about Thursday at two? So if they say, I want to see crows fly in the sky and you go, that’s exactly why we should get together.
So two different ways that you can handle send me some information, but arguing with them won’t work and so you can either go total confidence, all the information comes attached to me, how about Thursday at two? Or you can say, oh my God, that’s so fantastic, I can’t believe that you’re interested in our information! But then you have to change your tone, but as busy as you are, and this is so important, as busy as you are, the last thing I want to do is completely overwhelm you with all the information we have. I’m just curious what specific information would you like to look at and you do that every single time and it works.
Dylis: Perfect. Perfect and I think it’s also important that people understand that you’re not going to win them all.
Dylis: You’re absolutely not, but the more you practice, the more you hone your skills and the more you’re ready and prepared, the easier it is and the less scared you are, the less fearful you are in terms of just getting on the phone and being prepared for people saying whatever they’re going to say. Because most people, I don’t think I’ve ever had anybody put the phone down on me or swear at me. I don’t think I’ve ever had that. So it’s this understanding and practicing.
Jeb: Yeah, I think well you mentioned something that we didn’t really talk about earlier, but let’s just go back to this, and that’s called obstacle immunity. So, when we think about how do we get past this fear of being too pushy or being rejected, especially in outbound prospecting. We have to think about the way that say the military trains soldiers to go to war or how Outward Bound trains people to deal with adversity in their lives or Spartan races train people to get past these horrible obstacles that they put in front of them, like at the worst part of their life or the worst part of the race or Olympic athletes or anyone who is trying to get past things that look like obstacles or adversity. What they do is they throw them against the obstacle over and over and over again until the obstacle begins to look small to them. It’s not the same big, huge, how am I ever going to get past that?
The same thing is true with rejection. Obstacle immunity allows you to face rejection over and over and over again until the rejection seems smaller. So, I love the order that you put this in. The first thing you want to do is to figure out a plan. So, we were talking about my book Objections, this is a shameless book plug, but read Objections.
Dylis: Yes absolutely.
Jeb: Because I give you all the frameworks that you need and if all the framework is a set of rails that you can run on that allows you to move inside a context. So it’s not a one size fits all, it’s just a process that you can run in. So first, get a plan together, figure that out, and then set yourself up so that you start facing this obstacle of the fear of rejection or the fear of being too pushy or the fear of interrupting strangers. You face that over and over and over again. My recommendation is do it in small chunks. So we call them HIPS or high intensity prospecting spreads.
So ten calls, fifteen calls or I can do fifteen minutes, fifteen dials, set one appointment and you just make as many dials as you possibly can in fifteen minutes with one objective, set one appointment. So you get into the habit of doing that a little block at a time and a little block at a time, a little block at a time and then you schedule that say an hour a day. If you spend an hour a day prospecting and you break it into maybe four or five small chunks inside that block and you just run those chunks, take a break, come back and do them again and you do that day in and day out and you’re consistent with it, what will happen is this obstacle of people telling me no or this obstacle of my own internal feelings of being too pushy or being rejected they begin to feel and look smaller.
So you start with awareness. This is why this is happening. Then you move to a plan and framework. So this is a system that I use when I’m in these particular situations. Prospecting, dealing with red herrings, dealing with micro-commitments, dealing with buying commitments, and then I put myself in a situation where I have to face this adversity, face this fear, again and again and again until it begins to look smaller and it becomes easier for me to handle.
Now, let me be clear about this as we’re talking to your audience. I am not saying that the fear or feeling that you feel right now is going to go away and I’m certainly not saying that it’s ever going to get easier. I’ve been doing this for thirty years and I’m an outcome driven person and I still feel uncomfortable when I ask people for things. I still feel uncomfortable when I walk into a negotiation. I still feel uncomfortable when I do things like jump out of airplanes or do things like get on my horse and ride through the woods as fast as I can. I still feel that fear. That’s a natural thing to do. All I’ve done is I’ve developed immunity so that I’m able to deal with that and still keep moving forward.
So I don’t say I’m going to get rid of the feeling. It’s always there. What I say is I have the ability and I’ve created the mechanisms and because I’ve faced this over and over again to rise above that particular fear and do it anyway.
Dylis: Yeah, yeah, absolutely and if people buy your book, Fanatical Prospecting, that will give them the framework of how to position themselves on the telephone, which will reduce the amount of objections that they get anyway.
Jeb: Well that’s exactly right. So if you get the messaging right and the process down, so you said sales is a process. So for example, buying commitment objections. So you’re asking someone to make a commitment. If you’ve done everything right in the sales process, you actually reduce the chance of somebody going to tell you no when you ask them for the sale. If you have the right messaging on the front end, if you use the five-step telephone prospecting framework that we teach in Fanatical Prospecting, the probability is that at least a third of the people you talked to, are just going to say yes to you because you said the right thing to them. So you won’t have to deal with the objection.
So the best objection is the one that you don’t get because you did everything right before you asked. Then when you do ask, you’re going to have people who are going to tell you no or say I need to think about it or have some type of maybe in there and the way that we deal with objections allows us to grab those folks and bring them into our pipeline or advance the sale forward or close the deal.
Dylis: Yeah, now Jeb, have you got time just to share with us? So, let’s imagine we’ve been on the phone, we’ve got the appointment, we’ve done all of our preparation, we’ve gone along, we’ve done the discovery, we’ve organised next steps, maybe going to meet some of the team or the people at the shop and whatever it is. Even if it’s a one-call sale that you’ve got to the end and you’ve done things as right as you can do them, but you’re still getting the objections. Have you got time to share your five-step framework with us?
Jeb: Absolutely. So let’s just say I’ve done everything right and this is important because dealing with commitment objections, well buying commitment or a selection of commitment objection you have to have done discovery. If you go from hello to want to buy, the only thing that you’re dealing with is price and it’s very, very difficult because you have no place to go other than to lower your price in order to get them to buy from you. If you’ve done everything right and done your discovery, what it gives you is ammunition. It gives you all of the information, where their pain is, where are the opportunities that they seek, what their desires are, what are their wants, what are their needs, what’s happening in their business, what’s important to them?
So when someone says to you, “Well Jeb, I think what I want to do, is think about this.” Because that’s what you get a lot when you ask for a buying commitment. Literally they’ll say that or they’ll say your prices a little bit too high, either one of those things. Now it’s important to understand that sometimes when people say your price is too high, they’re asking to move into a negotiation but you need to clarify before you move into the negotiation. So what we do is the first thing we do is relate to them. Now this is essentially a ledge. So the relate is us being empathetic. I might say Dylis, that makes sense to me because…
Dylis: Dylis, by the way Jeb, just to let you know. It’s Dylis. It’s alright, I get all sorts of combinations. So it’s fine.
Jeb: Dylis, I’m so sorry. So I might say Dylis, that makes sense because I like to think about big decisions too. So all I’m doing is I’m relating to them as a human being. I’m not telling them that they’re wrong, I’m not telling Dylis that there’s something wrong with her or she’s stupid or any of those things. I’m just saying that makes sense. If I were making a big decision in this situation, like you are, I would want to think about it too. So the first thing I do is relate. That is by the way, a ledge.
The second thing I want to do is I want to isolate and clarify because what I don’t want to do is jump on, I’m not interested and start, start diving into that and there’d be something else out there or I don’t know what not interested means. So for example, someone says your prices are too high. I want to say how so because I don’t actually know what too high means. Like what does that mean to them? So I might ask the question, I might say “Dylis I’m just curious when you say you need to think about it, what’s worrying you about this proposal?” and I always say worrying because I want people…there’s something there that is bothering them, right? Oh what’s bothering you about our proposal? So I’d ask that question and you might say, well, what I’m really concerned about is there’s a contract here and I don’t really want to sign up for a long-term contract that I can’t get out of. I would say that makes sense. I can understand where you’re coming from. I’m just curious. Other than that, what else is bothering you? Because what I want to do is isolate that as the only issue that we’re dealing with. So she says what else is bothering her? She said, well, there’s really nothing else. I just need to think about whether or not I want to make this type of commitment. This is, by the way, the safety bias and the status quo bias coming right back because making a long-term commitment is risky because I can’t get out of it and I also don’t want to feel stupid because I’m making a bad decision and signed up for something that I’m going to later regret.
So at that point I’ve clarified and isolated what does not interested mean to you and is this the only thing that we’re dealing with? Then I need to minimise the situation. So when I say minimise, the one thing that you can’t do is argue another human being into believing they’re wrong. So if I go to her and say, well, you’re just wrong about this, you can blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. She’s going to dig in something called psychological reactance. If you’d like to go try it, go home, find your spouse or significant other or your partner and tell them that they’re wrong when they’re wrong, and see what they say to you. This is what happens when you argue with people.
So instead of arguing with her, I want to minimise that and I might say something like this, I learned this in discovery. Dylis, you told me that for your business to achieve its goals, that you have to get the software in place now because you’re bringing new people on and you’re being held back by all this manual work and I realise that this is a little bit longer commitment than what you were thinking that you wanted to do, but as we went through the process, you agreed that this was going to help you, this was going to help you, this was going to help you, this was going to help you. So it seems to me that it really makes sense for us to move forward and by the way, if we don’t perform, there’s a performance clause in the agreement that allows you to get out. So why don’t we go ahead and get this taken care of now?
That’s all I do. I just bring you back to the things that you already agreed to, the things that were important to you. I just minimise the fear of signing up for something long-term and most contracts, for example, have an out clause if something’s going wrong as a process there. I just point to that and then I’m going to ask again, and this is important, I’m not going to sit there and wait and stare at you waiting for you to come up with the answer. I’m gonna say, why don’t we go ahead and move forward? You have to do that assumptively assertively and confidently.
Then finally, if you said, I totally understand what you’re getting at Jeb, I really, really, really want to sign this up and I just need a little time to think about it, then, I have a fall back, right? So my fall back position might be, okay well I totally understand that, but that doesn’t need to hold us up. Why don’t we go ahead and set up your call with our implementation team so we can do an initial assessment? Or why don’t we schedule time tomorrow at two o’clock for me to come back by and we can go through that with you? Or why don’t we do this? Or why don’t we do that?
So I always have something in my back pocket, some ask to get some commitment rather than walking out with a, I want to think about it call me maybe where then you can never get them back on the phone again or get them to meet with you again. So I just simply go through that five-step process. The key here though really is relating so that you have a moment to breathe and then clarifying, isolating and minimising and if you can do those things, typically the objection will go away because it’s almost always a fear objection.
Now, if it’s an objection hey I need to go talk to someone else, you have to look at your qualifying process. Did you miss that early on and even in those cases, it’s what would they object to? What would they want to know? So at that point you have to shift into helping that person do the sell for you if you can’t level up to that person, to the higher decision maker. But the most important thing is go back to discovery. None of those things are possible if I didn’t do a very good job of interacting with you, engaging you, getting you to talk about what’s important to you.
Here’s what’s beautiful. Remember when we were talking about empathy and outcome? People who are high on the empathy scale are fantastic at discovery. So you already have everything that you need inside of you to be fantastic at dealing with buying commitment objections. Just because you’re naturally a great live listener. You’re gifted at understanding other people’s emotions. You’re gifted at getting people to talk and if you just go through that process, then you’re going to be great at getting people to sign the agreement to ink the agreement in the end.
Dylis: Fantastic. Oh Jeb, I know we’ve talked in the past and again, I could talk to you for hours. Thank you so much for that. It’s been so helpful and I know that the audience will really appreciate this. I’ve got it here my book, it’s the wrong way round of course, Objections. I’ve got Fanatical Prospecting Sales EQ in hard back and in audio and I’m going to download your Recruitment book. That’s my next listen. So again, I’ll have you in my car, in my bed next to me. Where can people get in touch with you Jeb?
Jeb: Well, Dylis, see, I got it right this time.
Dylis: Thank you! I remember listening to you on someone else’s podcast and they introduced you as Jeb, Jeb Blount.
Jeb: That’s right.
Dylis: Actually it’s Blount.
Jeb: Dylis the easiest way for people to get in touch with me is a couple of ways. You can go to www.salesgravy.com which is our main website, www.jebblount.com, you can go there, and find me. I’m on Instagram @salesgravy, Twitter @salesgravy. I’m on YouTube/salesgravy. I’m on Facebook both a fan page, Jebondemand and my personal page. Of course on LinkedIn you can follow me on LinkedIn. I don’t think I can actually connect with anybody else anymore because I have too many connections. They tap you out about 30,000, but you can click follow so you can get all my content. Then my email address is pretty simple, it’s firstname.lastname@example.org. So you’re welcome to send me an email if you’ve got questions, short questions. Sometimes people ask me for like a paragraph long question.
So any of those ways that you can contact me, get in touch with me and of course, you can grab all my books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble. If you’re in Europe, whatever the biggest bookstore is in the UK or Europe, you’ll find them there, and they are also on Audible, Google Play and iTunes.
Dylis: Yeah and also I would just like to mention that you narrate your own books and they are, it’s actually been the most enjoyable listen of any, and I’m a big Audible fan now, but maybe because I know you, but you just, your heart and soul goes into it Jeb so thank you very much and maybe we can do this for a third time.
Jeb: Absolutely. You know how to get in touch with me and get these things set up and Lisa is your biggest advocate.
Dylis: She’s great. She’s great. Okay.
Jeb: She was messaging me at seven o’clock this morning. You’ve got Dylis and you don’t miss that thing, so she make sure you are there for her.
Dylis: Thank you so much Jeb, and see you next time. Have a great day. Bye for now. Bye.
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