Fear is the Real Objection

A gentleman said something very truthful to me yesterday.  “I’m going to talk to a few more contractors before I make a decision.”  I asked him why.  “I don’t want to make a bad decision,” he explained, “I don’t want buyer’s remorse.”

He’s entirely correct.  The salesman I was with was asking to disrupt his life.  Financial disruption.  Time, space, schedule, people.  Lots of temporary disruptions.  And because the gentleman had never been through this process before it made sense.  He doesn’t want to look back on the decision and kick himself.  Bear in mind the salesman did an exemplary job.  Still, the customer may have been asking himself :

“Is he being truthful?”

“Is he over-promising on the results”

“Am I confident in my understanding of this process?”

“Does the value exceed the sacrifice he’s asking me to make?”

“Am I compromising existing loyalties?”

“Are the recommendations improving my current quality of life?”

“What are the risks?”

None of these questions are going to be answered with a “take away close” or a “first person who talks loses” or “hand them the pen and be quiet” attempt.  They won’t.  Buyer’s remorse is motivated by fear.  Fear is the real objection and understanding a consumer’s fear is the key to resolving nearly every objection.

Gaining this level of understanding often happens during the beginning of a sales call.  Salespeople should slow down, ditch the predictable questions and stop looking for pain or, worse yet, inventing it for the customer.  Have an authentic conversation about priorities, aspirations, and yes–the things that worry customers the most about disruption.  Allow customers the opportunitiy to tell stories that are rich in detail.  Encourage the customer to co-create the value proposition.  Identify the risk/reward considerations that the customer is weighing.  After all, people don’t buy products they buy progress.

People buy things because it makes them feel good.  It’s that simple.  Successful salespeople understand that their job has a little to do with nuts and bolts and more to do with helping customers attain safety, calm, peace-of-mind, and progress.

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