092908 Overcoming Objectiones

In which we are reminded that "overcoming objections" is not consistent with collaborative, partnership, trustworthy selling.

Mom:  What are you planning to wear to the party tonight?

Daughter:  THIS.

 Mom:  You really shouldn’t wear THIS to the party. You’ll be cold. You should wear THAT.

Daughter:  THAT is ugly.

Mom:  What’s wrong with THAT?

Daughter:   It’s a gross color and doesn’t fit well.

Mom:   What do you mean it’s a gross color?

Daughter:   Looks like it’s made out of curtains from the 1960s.

Mom:   Well, how about if you wear one of THESE with THAT? Dress it up a bit.

Daughter:  How about not?

Mom:  Well, if you wore one of THESE with THAT, you’d have layers you could take off it you got too warm.


Easy to see “Mom knows best.” Mom thinks that, by varying her offer and suggesting other benefits, she can overcome her daughter’s objections and “PERSUADE” (i.e. overpower, overcome) her to wear the outfit Mom wants her to wear…because Mom knows best and Mom’s in charge. It’s an attitude.   


We don’t do this in sales, do we?   


Waal……… YES! Thinly disguised in Step Four of the standard face-to-face selling process. Overcome Objections.


The idea of “Overcoming Objections” is built on the idea that sellers, like “Mom” in the scenario above, know best.


Sellers PERSUADE buyers by acknowledging and understanding buyer objections or concerns, then OVERCOMING their objections by  (1) suggesting additional benefits to outweigh the concerns, (2) minimizing the impact of buyers’ concerns, (3) stirring up fear that induces buyers to overlook their concerns, or (4) reducing prices. The whole concept is persuasion and power driven by sellers’ needs, not buyers’ needs.  If you overcome something, you dominate it, squash it, or impose yourself on it.


What’s the alternative?


If we replace “persuade” with “collaborate” and call “Overcome Objections” something like “Customize Solutions,” it’s a different attitude.  Sellers hear buyer objections as new or changed requirements for a solution and respond with questions like, “What would that have to look like in order to work for you?” Sellers then facilitate collaborative discussion and negotiation of fit, value, and price from there.


The point is: Move from “I overcome your objection and I win” to “we redesign the solution together and we win together.” The discussion may cover the same points, and buyers’ experiences with us will be different.


Does this always work? No. Certainly not at my house. And it’s not always appropriate with teenagers. However, it raises our odds.



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