BOSTON — “I offer to review a prospect’s financial situation, I Every time get the same objection” started Shawn, an advisor in our coaching program. He continued, “Everyone says ‘let me think about it.’ I’m starting to notice a pattern. How do I overcome this stall?”
When prospects don’t accept your request to discuss business, understand that it’s usually just a signal of an underlying concern. To push the relationship forward with any prospect, your job is to recognize and address these underlying concerns before the prospect voices them.
You have to do your homework and figure out why your prospects are hesitant in the first place. The secret is to put yourself in the prospect’s shoes and take preventive measures. You want to be one step ahead of your prospect. Here is the process:
Step 1: Identify the Most Common Objections You Receive
In any sales process, patterns will emerge. The key is to step back and recognize the patterns. This isn’t easy and takes self-awareness. In Shawn’s case, he was getting the “let me think about it” response frequently when offering his services—he identified the pattern.
Most prospects have some sort of “go-to” excuse to put off sales professionals. It might be “let me talk to my spouse” or “I already have an advisor”—you get the idea. Delaying taking action is often a knee-jerk reaction. First things first, identify the pattern.
Step 2: Determine Why the Prospect Is Using That Objection
Based on the patterns you identified, consider the underlying concerns. You are reading between the lines and thinking through why someone is actually stalling. In our specific example, the concern for “let me think about it” might be that the prospect is thinking:
- I don’t want to feel obligated to do business with this financial advisor
- This will take a lot of time and energy
- I already have an advisor
- I’m not sure if I will meet their minimums
Don’t take an objection or stall at face value. Dig a little deeper and try to understand your prospect’s thought process.
Step 3: Voice the Objection Before Your Prospect Does
Show the prospect you understand what they’re thinking by putting the objection front and center. When you state the objection before your prospect does, it puts them at ease and eliminates their ability to use the objection.
On the flip side, if your prospect voices their objection first, your only option is to counter them. You’re now in an adversarial position. You’re trying to overcome their concerns. At times this is unavoidable, but it’s not ideal.
In Shawn’s case, he could insert the prospect’s underlying concerns within the actual request. For example:
Can I make a suggestion? (WAIT FOR RESPONSE) It would probably make sense for us to grab a cup of coffee and take a look at your situation. It won’t take a lot of time and there is no obligation to work with me afterwards. I’ll either validate what you are currently doing or offer a few course corrections that could make or save you money. Would you be open to this?
Does inserting the prospect’s concern into your business request always work? No. But will it greatly increase their receptiveness to your request? You bet. It pays to be one step ahead of your prospects’ concerns.
If you’d like to further fine tune your affluent sales skills, consider our Oechsli Learning Center Course entitled Language Matters. This course includes over 20 affluent sales scripts and dialogue models.
@StephenBoswell is President of The Oechsli Institute and co-author of Best Practices of Elite Advisors. @KevinANichols is the Chief Operating Officer for The Oechsli Institute and co-author of The Indispensable LinkedIn Sales Guide for Financial Advisors.