Work with objections is, by and large, a set of measures aimed at ensuring that the dispute with a client doesn’t take place at all. The emergence of a controversial situation can occur at any time of the meeting, which means that you must always be prepared for this. No matter what the client says and whatever facts or arguments he uses, the task of an employee is always to stop the symptoms of a dispute before it develops into a conflict.
The first rule of work with objections is – never argue with the client. This is an unquestioned rule that should be guided by every self-respecting specialist. You as an employee of the company know that the client is always right, which means that you will never initiate a dispute. At the same time, a client who also knows that he is always right often acts as an initiator. In case that he succeeds in drawing you into a dispute, consider that the meeting is failed in advance, regardless of who won. If you managed to outargue the interlocutor, he will feel dumb and his desire to purchase a membership card will drop to almost zero. If he prevailed in the dispute – in his eyes your authority as a specialist falls, which also greatly reduces the likelihood of closing a deal. What to do in such a situation? Let’s get it straight.
How to work with objections
After the client has expressed his opinion, argument or counterargument, the work immediately begins on its interpretation and processing. It is divided into three stages: acceptance, clarification and argumentation.
- Acceptance. Work with objections, first of all is highly depends on the emotional component of the dialogue. When a client puts forward a hypothesis, for example, “Your gym is pretty mediocre”, he literally contrasts himself with the interlocutor. In turn, your task at this moment is to show him that you are actually on his side. Your first argument should resonate with the opinion of the client. If you start arguing, a protective mechanism of rejection will work for him, allegedly you are trying to convey to him that he is a fool and that he is wrong. The essence of this stage is that you are agreeing with his position, but not with the argument itself.
- Clarification. At this stage, your task is to find out how real the objection is and to determine the criteria by which this verdict was issued. If we are talking about stations, you ask the question “Tell me, what exactly do you mean?”. The question is asked in order to find out what is the essence of the problem, if any. As I have indicated above, the client can use such a generalized objection to cover up the true reasons for his discontent, unwillingness or refusal. Depending on his response, it will be possible to assess the reality of the objection. If it is fake objection, the client will be bewildered. Not because of you, but because of himself.
- Argumentation. Regardless of whether the client clearly substantiated his objection or began to mumble nonsense, you evaluate the answer received at the previous stage and begin to work it out. Subject to the previous two steps, this is overwhelmingly advantageous, because firstly, the client realized that you are on the same side of the barricade, and secondly, now you better understand what is bothering him. Most often, the third stage involves a return to the presentation specifically of the club area, but this time with clarifications. As a result, actions will need to be undertaken that are peculiar to the presentation stage.
Now since we already know the most popular ways to work with objections, it’s time to work out the most common of them in order to have an idea of how to competently maneuver if they arise.
- Not enough time. Often, such an objection is a lie to which a person covers other, true motives. Suffice it to say, “Ok, then let’s pick up a type of membership that suits your employment conditions”. If he becomes befuddled, and you notice this, you immediately pick up a dialogue. Or if the client really names the specific time frame, then you just pick up the appropriate membership and close the deal.
- Inconvenient location. “Indeed, our club is located relatively far from the traffic intersection, but due to this we don’t have large crowds of people, everyone has enough space and air and simulators”. You can also bet on “How would you prefer to get to the club, from home or from work?”. One way or another, the person is already here, so the location of the club is not so inconvenient for him, since he came.
- Inappropriate membership. Here you can operate with many factors, for example, the fact that “We have 8 types of membership for visiting the gym, 5 for group classes and 3 for the aqua zone. Let’s choose any of them that is convenient for you”. Or “If you are going on a business trip, the membership can be frozen. Its advantage is that the longer its term of use, the lower the cost of classes per month”.
- I want to see the other clubs. “Of course, you need to choose what you like more …” and if during the presentation a person was particularly interested in the gym, you can add “… If you are specifically interested in the gym, I could give you an advice where you can go and where you shouldn’t go”. But, you shouldn’t describe the other clubs in detail, and also shouldn’t throw mud on them.
- Something is missing in the club. If we are talking about the aqua zone, or specifically about the presence of a pool, the conversation can be constructed as follows. “We don’t have a swimming pool, however, if your goal is to use the pool to relax after a busy day, then we have stretching and yoga groups that perfectly tone the whole body and at the same time don’t require you to tense up with heavyweights”.
- I need to consult. “I agree, an important decision requires a thorough approach. By the way, who are you planning to consult with?”. Here you can focus on the fact that no matter whether it’s a family, friends, colleagues or relatives, they are likely to have a 50/50 chance either to accept, or to decline the idea. In such a situation, you need to say, “You can invite them and we will make a presentation for them too”.
- I need to think. The beginning is the same, but the second half of the answer is changing “I agree, an important decision requires weighing the pros and cons. By the way, what points did you doubt? I can tell you more about them”. As practice shows, this is another false objection. In this case, ask in advance, “When are you planning to start training?”. The question implies that a decision has already been made.
- I’m afraid that I can’t. “You know, such a fear is absolutely normal. The first step is always the most difficult. However, everything is based on the principle – the sooner you start, the faster you will achieve the result. At one time, I was also afraid that I wouldn’t be able to lose weight, however, slow and steady wins the race, which means that everyone has chances. So everything is in your hands”.
- It is very expensive. The most popular objection, for which there are usually three reasons: 1) a person really has no money; 2) he has money, but he believes that these services should be cheaper; 3) the same services in other clubs are cheaper. Let’s start with the last one. During the presentation, it’s necessary to demonstrate the competitive advantages of your club, that it’s better than others and that you have smth that they don’t. Further. If the client believes that the services are not worth their money – technically, this is your omission, and during the presentation you didn’t convey to him all the value and uniqueness of your proposal, which is quite fixable. But in the first case, if a person really has difficulty with money, you can use the techniques that I described in the article “Conducting a presentation with a client“.
Work with objections, as you may understood, is not something overly complicated. All possible objections, their types and modifications are subject to a rather specific classification, which we have considered above. Having studied the most popular objections and techniques for working with them, you will no longer be confused at the time of a dispute, but will clearly know how to correctly bring the dialogue to the needed direction. The most important thing in this case is practice. Practice all kinds of options for techniques, improve your skills and you will be surprised at how much the number of successful deals increases.
Author – Felix Palmer