Objections are one the most discussed topics in cold calling and the most feared part of making them. There is no one answer to handling objections, but there is a mindset you can adopt to help you to overcome them. Here are five tips to help you overcome objections to be more Successful in your cold calls.
- 1. It's not an objection. The word objection is a negative term and is an expression of opposition or dislike. So when you think of objections, you will automatically go into fight or flight mode and respond as such. Some of you will demonstrate a more assertive or defensive behaviour, and some of you will fumble around for a retort and show uncertainly in your words. This behaviour happens because you are responding naturally to what you believe are objections from the gatekeeper. To eliminate this mental barrier, all you have to do is listen to what the gatekeeper is saying. Believe me, when I tell you, gatekeepers very rarely present you with real objections. More often they are asking you a question such as: "Where are you calling from?" or "Is this a sales call?" Other times they might be responding with a fact such as "XX does not take cold calls", or "We have a no-names policy". None of the above is an objection to what you have said or to you. They are not saying they don't want your service and or that they don't like you. The sooner you reset your mind to knowing that gatekeepers usually present questions or state facts, the sooner you can start to focus on the content of their response rather than trying to overcome them cleverly.
- 2. Partner the gatekeeper. In all the years that I have been making cold calls, I can honestly say that there have only been a handful of times when a gatekeeper has genuinely been difficult. Most of the time they are pleasant and professional, and I find that as soon as you talk to them like you would any professional the sooner, you will be able to have a comfortable two-way conversation. Their job is to field calls, but they are only human and probably hate having to handle salespeople as much as you hate having to get past them. So make it easy on both of you, empathise with them. You never know, this person might have had a few rude callers or they might be under the cosh. A friendly voice who acknowledges their position can make all the difference to them. We all like to be treated in a friendly manner, and we are all likely to be more assistance to someone who appreciates our position. So when a gatekeeper says the person you are after is busy, please don't assume they are lying, work with them to get their help in finding a way through. Work in partnership with them.
- 3. Be honest. I wrote a book on cold calling, and in it, I shared my thoughts on some of the cold callers that have called me. One category of callers is what I call the 'undercover callers'. These are callers who feel they have to bend the truth or hide behind it to get by the gatekeepers questions. Unfortunately, this does not work. Again I have to ask you to put yourself in the recipients' shoes. If someone tells you they are not trying to sell you something, what are your immediate thoughts? Now gatekeepers have more experience than all of us in receiving sales calls, and they know when someone is calling to sell something. So When they ask if this is a sales call or you are a salesperson, the worst thing you can do is deny it. Trying to hide from the truth means you are either scared or don't respect the person you are calling. That is how a gatekeeper will see it, and they will find a polite way of getting rid of you. I always answer "yes" to that question and follow up with something like "can I speak to....?" or if you don't have a name, something like, "can you point me to the right person o discuss...." Try it. It's just honest, and it will work!
- 4. Serve questions back. When a gatekeeper serves you with what I have now explained is a question or a fact, then you should always respond honestly as in point 3, but immediately you must serve a question back to them. Which has a three-pronged result for you; Firstly you keep the conversation going and the longer you can do this the more chance you have of building a rapport with the gatekeeper. Secondly, you find out more about the prospect and how valuable they might be to your pipeline. Thirdly you are building a mutual rapport and respect with the gatekeeper.
- 5. Be prepared. To help you to be more confident in overcome objections, you need to make sure you put some effort into looking at your prospects online presence. Just have a quick look so that you can tailor your opening line and make sure that any responses you have for the gatekeeper are relatable to what they do. The opening line is important because the more rateable you can make the opening line, the more comfortable the gatekeeper will be in have the conversation with you. We all engage better in conversations that we understand. Also by knowing a little about the business, you can respond to any questions is a way that gives the impression that you know their business and industry, so you are a credible person to pass through to someone else.
- 1. It's not an objection
- 2. Partner the gatekeeper
- 3. Be honest
- 4. Serve questions back
- 5. Be prepared
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