It’s NOT an Objection – So Answer The Question!!

Pet peeve time. The whole concept of “Objection Handling”has always really bothered me. This started when I was a first-time SE many (many)years ago, plus sitting through multiple sales training since then – all frompeople supposedly teaching me how to handle, absorb, deflect and occasionally answeran objection.

My concern – as an SE – is well over 90% of the questions youget from a customer are not actually objections. That’s right – the customerasks you a question because they just want an answer! I think “ObjectionHandling” makes it a very confrontational affair – and one best left forsalespeople. It’s NOT about defeating the customer in a battle of wits, it is aboutworking with the customer so they see the value, simplicity and uniqueness ofyour “stuff”. It’s one of the reasons I teach “Answering Customer Questions”instead of “Objection Handling”. Certainly the classics like “I can’t afford it”and “We already have a product that does that” are objections, but questionssuch as “why does it take so long to..” or “do you interface with X” and the “how can I..” should behandled as questions. And no-one ever teaches you how to answer questions, you are just taught how to defuse an objection. As SE’s that’s missing the mark and certainly not setting you up as a trusted advisor.

There are all kinds of techniques out there for answeringquestions, and mnemonics that go along with them. I’m a fan of LACE – Listen,Accept, Communicate, Execute. Yet I keep coming back to the fact that as an SEyour intent matters more than your ability. As both a former IT exec and aformer presales leader, nothing used to irritate me more than watching someonetie themselves up in knots by NOT answering my question.

So – the next time you are asked a question by a customer,go through the standard routine of pausing, making sure you understand thequestion and why it is being asked – and then ask yourself … is it a question or is it ablunt objection? I think you’ll be surprised at what happens.

(from Mastering Technical Sales http://masteringtechnicalsales.blogspot.com/2012/03/its-not-objection-so-answer-question.html)

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Acerca de José Carlos Martín

Consultor de Colaboración y especialista en Telepresencia.
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