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The art of handling objections

From time to time, we all experience difficulties in closing a deal or getting a contract. The reason can often come in the form of a range of objections presented by the prospect as to why they cannot move forward. Business Coach Andy Herrington talks us through his four step process – that may just help you close your next deal.

First things first let me define the word “objection” for you so we are on the same page. Objections are direct statements from a client, customer or lead, whichthey use as an excuse not to do something with, or get something from you, the agent. This ‘something’ could be signing a contract, making a legitimate offer, booking an appointment or simply obtaining information. People object to just about anything and everything at one time or another.

Now that we know what an objection is, let me take a moment to say what they are not. Objections are not legitimate reasons the person cannot do or get something. Sometimes objections and legitimate reasons look very similar so one needs to treat them the same until they know the excuse is real. How do you know the excuse is real? Well when you handle the excuse with quality and logic the objector continues with the same excuse. This means even though there is a logical solution it just will not solve their issue.

So, what then is the best way to handle an objection? Well, it involves a four-step process with the acronym“LISA” – Listen, Identify, Solve and Ask.

  • Step one– Listen and Agree with The Person.
  • Step two – Identify and point out the problem with the persons thinking,
  • Step three – Solve the person’s problem.
  • Step four– Ask for closure.

I will go into more detail on each so that as you face objections in your future dealings you will know how to follow this approach.

Step one – Listen and agree with the person

This is a vital step in ensuring that you are handling the correct objection, and creating an environment where the objector will listen to you as you continue to handle their problem. We do not want to be immediately perceived as arguing with the objector. We want to be viewed as someone who is on the same page as the objector. We will accomplish nothing and not get the outcome we desire if we skip this step.

We will listen to what they are saying and identify the issue, possibly even clarify with a question to ensure we are on the same page. Remember the same objection can be articulated in a largenumber of ways. Our next actions will be to agree with them in part – for example “I’m Too Busy” – you might respond with something like “As a busy person myself, I am well aware of…”, then continue on in the process. We do not argue that what they are saying is wrong, we agree with them (in part) even if they are wrong. In doing this, it is more likely that the person will listen to the remainder of the objection handle.

Step two – Identify and point out the problem with the persons thinking

Once we are seen as listening and agreeing with our prospect, we begin to turn the conversation to our agenda. We need to use the objection to point out the flaw in the objector’s issue. We need to show that the objection is actually part of the problem, not that which they are objecting too. (For example, the sheer volume of listings and information that is out there today and the time that it would take someone to navigate to the best information is truly daunting, particularly if you are a busy person!)

Step three – Solve the person’s problem

This sounds a little tricky, but we need to now show how our prospect that we can provide them a better alternative, or a solution to the original problem, that when viewed logically will solve the clients issue and make the clients life easier and better. (For example “What I am going to do will save you hours of time by making sure you are exposed to the very best information as quickly as possible….”)

Step four – Ask for Closure

This is easily the most skipped step in the process. Once we have identified the problem, showed the real issue and the solution to the problem, we must act confidently! Using that confidence we must return to the original offer (of service, contracts, offer…) and ask again for what the client needs to do. (For example, “It only takes 10-15 minutes – when would be the best time for us to meet?” and of course provide some options!)

Conclusion

Hopefully, if we have solved their “problem” they will now be closer to, or in fact ready to book an appointment, write the offer, or complete the action to which they were objecting in the first place. Once again, if they repeat the same objection it could be a sign that either we did a poor job providing the logical solution or the objection is a legitimate excuse.

It is also at this time where your prospect might throw out a new objection. This is a sign they are still trying to avoid the necessary action that we would prefer they took! Handle this second objection using the same “LISA” technique. Provide a nice and firm approach and do your best to calm their worries. However, if they should come up with a third different objection, this is a sign that the client is being difficult and truly at this moment you are not going to be able to turn their mind without causing damage to your own reputation in their minds. At this point,it may be best to break off the conversation in a friendly way and let the client know you will revisit the subject in the future. Then go about your day, talk to more people and handle their objections, and more people and more objections.

Once you become a real wiz at this method, you will be far more confident to talk to more people at anytime and in anyplace. You will see a marked improvement in your conversion skills, whichshould in turn affect the bottom line. You will make more contacts with people because you know that you can handle anything they plan to throw at you.

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Andy Herrington

Andy Herrington has been a full time real estate coach since 2008 and is currently the Director of Coaching at Powerhouse Coaching Inc.