By Mark Giganti, National Recruiting Coordinator Tudor Collegiate Strategies
In any presentation, selling scenario, or explanation of something new, the “prospect” is apt to object at some point to what is being sold. The question to the one presenting, is what do I do now? Do I answer the objection or not?
Before you consider the “should I/shouldn’t I” question…let’s consider what an objection is. An objection is often heard as a roadblock, a reason that a prospect doesn’t want to move ahead. It is seen as a potential deal-killer, and let’s face it….they make us nervous. Answer it right and you could have the outcome you want; answer it wrong, and you’ve messed up the whole thing. That’s a lot of pressure!
Let’s understand what an objection REALLY is: An objection is a request for clarification, more information, or greater understanding. It is an easy way for the prospect to say, “I need more information to make a decision to say yes.” You see – most of the time an objection is a sign of interest; an indication that you are moving closer to the “yes” you want to hear from them. These objections are a good thing to hear.
Counterintuitive, right coach?
Now that you’ve changed your internal view on objections, let’s take a look at the mechanics of WHEN to answer them:
There are four times you can answer an objection:
Now – This may be the perfect time to stop the tour/presentation/talk to address the question they have asked.
Later – You may determine that the answer is coming and will make far more sense if given within the context of what you’ll be saying shortly. It’s okay to say, “That’s a great question (whether they formed it in a question or not), we’ll be getting to that in a few moments. I’m glad you brought that up.” Be sure to “get to it” in a reasonable amount of time and refer back to the question they asked by saying something like, “After touring our facilities you can see how we ….. just like you asked about before.”
Never – If a prospect is bringing up frivolous objections, or just being contrary, it’s okay to just ignore the comment with a smile and continue talking about the things you had wanted to cover. Beware of the recurring silly objections that seem tangential to anything you are saying at the moment. A good question to ask is, “Wow, Brenda…you sure have a lot of questions today, and none of them seem to be related to what we’re talking about. I’m oaky with questions but I’m confused about where’s this is coming from?” You will either elicit real feedback, or let the prospect know that you don’t find the banter amusing.
Before – By far the most powerful time to answer ANY objection….before it comes up. When an objection is spoken it has undergone a germinal phase of thought, contemplation, risk assessment, and eventually it is asked. By the time it is asked, it has become more real than perceived. If you can answer an objection before it is asked, then it has less substance, and has the potential to be less of a roadblock than it otherwise might be. Stop the snowball from rolling before it is even a snowflake. Identifying the areas that are most likely to be objections and moving those points into the first part of your communication can enhance your ability to have a smoother conclusion to whatever stage of the process you are in with the prospect.
These principles apply at all stages of the recruiting cycle.
Let’s stop hearing objections as an exclamation point (!), and let’s start hearing them as questions (?).
Let’s answer the questions at the appropriate time to make the process flow more smoothly and quickly.
Let’s tap the information we already have through the resources available to us to find out the potential objections coming our way.
Mark Giganti is a National Recruiting Coordinator at Tudor Collegiate Strategies, specializing in recruiting strategy and sales techniques for college coaches. To reach Mark with questions about overcoming prospect objections in your recruiting conversations, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.