Why Care about a Name?
T: Let's talk a little about terminology. We habitually say, “The buyer objects.” What does it mean? He disagrees with something, but we need to get his consent to buy our goods. We need to overcome this objection, win the fight against the buyer. For this purpose, we should use whatever leverage we can: persuasion, concession or deception. We did not even notice how the term “objection” immediately set us in a warlike mode.
S: How else should we look at it?
T: From the buyer’s side.
S: And how is that? If he objects, isn’t he also wanting to defeat us?
T: Not really. What is he trying to tell us? The fact that if he buys our goods on our terms, he is in trouble. He informs us of the threat aimed at him personally or at his company. The purchase of our goods on our terms can become the “trigger” of this threat. He wants to buy our goods but is afraid of this threat. He tells us about his concern, fear.
S: And what’s the difference?
T: The difference, as it turned out, is significant. Fear of threat is a request for help. If the seller helps the buyer to avoid this threat and prevent trouble, the buyer will buy the goods without asking for any concessions. If we consider the objection of the buyer as an expression of concern, we need to provide assistance rather than to fight. The buyer cannot get rid of the threat on his own, he needs help. And if the seller helps him, the buyer will be grateful for this help. He will trust the seller more. And from there it is not that far to go to get to long-term relationships.
S: But how will this help differ from the usual handling of objection?
T: Assistance in finding a solution on how to avoid the threat requires neither convincing, nor concessions, nor manipulation. This is an honest search for opportunities that are, for various reasons, hidden from the buyer. To find new opportunities means to make the buyer smarter, stronger and more self-confident. The result is quite the opposite to the one delivered by persuasion or deception. Moreover, the seller does not need to make concessions out of his wallet. This approach benefits both parties, right?
S: Isn’t that a fairy tale? Sounds too good to be true!
T: Well, what can I tell you? Sounds like a dream. But, when a dream has tools, it is not impossible anymore. When these tools are used properly, the dream comes true.
S: So, it is enough to replace one word with another, and then everything changes, right?
T: Of course, not. But this is an important first step. We stop talking about “objections” and start talking about “concerns.” Such a change of terminology sets us not to confrontation, but to cooperation. This attitude is very important. Without it, no tools or algorithms work. But attitude is not enough. So, let’s get down to the tools.