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By Dave Yoho, Dave Yoho Associates
It is common to be met with a degree of resistance when you arrive for a sales appointment. Unfortunately, early resistance from homeowners’ is frequently misunderstood and mishandled by most salespeople. Improper management of early resistance leads the appointment down the wrong path and often causes prospects to decide early on that they will not do business with you. Our research shows that many homeowners make the decision not to buy towards the beginning of a sales presentation.
Too often, salespeople identify friendly responses as buying signs when frequently they are nothing more than an effort to avoid confrontation or an unpleasant experience. The presentation can also go in the wrong direction as soon as the prospect voices anything that is perceived as negative by the salesperson. Examples of early statements that are incorrectly perceived as objections include:
Seemingly, these are not ideal responses. As such, one’s brain processes the information as negative and an inhibitor to the sale. Subsequently, many salespeople will consciously or unconsciously decide that the prospect will not buy from them. The salesperson will also frequently alter or shorten their presentation, and not fully concentrate on the prospect’s responses, missing obvious buying clues.
When a salesperson believes that no sale is possible, they will feel validated when they sale is not consummated. However, what if the salesperson had been trained to understand what early resistance really means?
No one wants to hear perceived negative responses from prospects, but it is a reality of being a salesperson. Early resistance statements must be understood for what they are: Defensive reactions because the homeowner does not fully trust you or your company yet. In examining why prospects feel compelled to make such statements, we frequently discover that previously unpleasant experiences tend to drive future behavior. Distancing behavior and defensive statements are more easily understood when considering that prospects want to avoid unpleasant or uncomfortable situations.
In other words, early resistance is natural, and should not be feared, or lead the salesperson on a path to a missed sale. The dilemma of early resistance can easily be resolved.
First, you need to understand why it exists and second, you must have a scientifically structured response that is delivered in the proper manner to defuse the resistance.
Here is an example: “I understand Mr./Mrs. Jones and let me put you at ease. I’m here with the understanding that you are looking for some ideas and a price, and that you may or may not be ready to do anything right away. And if you are like most people, two of your needs might be, to avoid an uncomfortable experience with a salesperson, and to avoid paying more than is needed. Am I close on that?”
WAIT FOR AFFIRMATIVE RESPONSE
“Mr./Mrs. Jones, it’s my hope to provide you with a product and service that’s valuable enough, that when you are ready to get started, my company will be the first you call to complete your project—fair enough? By the way, what did the office tell you I would be doing for you today?”
WAIT FOR RESPONSE
“Well, I’m going to take it one step further. The office asked me to provide you with a thorough evaluation to understand two important things—what you need for your home, and what you want for your home. Now assuming we can help you, I will show you what is available—including samples, and we will discuss all your options and choices, explain what you can expect from the installation process, and help you create a solution that you will love for your home. If you like what you see, I will create a proposal of exactly what your investment will be—and the best part is, we will guarantee your price for one full year, does that sound helpful?”
WAIT FOR AFFIRMATIVE RESPONSE
“Great, I also have a copy of our current promotion and it looks as if one or more may apply to your project, so if we get that far, I will explain those to you before I leave, OK?"
The above example contains less than 250 words, yet they may be some of the most important and valuable words you will ever learn, because the failure to understand and perfect the initial response to early resistance leads to reduced sales efficiency and earnings. However, by using a systematic response you will overcome objections, build trust, and make many sales that you would otherwise miss.
Dave Yoho Associates is one of North America’s largest, oldest, and most successful small business consulting companies. Dave Yoho has appeared in over 100 training videos. He is the author of the best-selling book: Have a Great Year Every Year (Oakhill Press). His company developed the sales methods which are used by the most successful people in the in home sales industry.