It’s not easy to hear an objection, in fact, when an objection occurs; controlling the way you react can be one of the most difficult situations you will face as a financial advisor. Sometimes objections are over specific advice, products, or even recommendations. Often emotions will start to run high because the notion of an objection consists of negative variables, such as: being wrong, not being good enough, not being completely trusted, or even the possibility of an inferior service or product offering from the customer’s point of view.
For this reason many financial advisors can get defensive and react in a way that perpetuates and reaffirms the prospects initial assertions to the objection, as opposed to extinguishing and reversing them. So let’s talk about a few ways advisors can go about reversing an objection and start making it work for them, instead of against them.
Step1: Remain Calm, No Matter How Wrong Or Right The Prospect Is
This first step is a no brainer, but one worth reemphasizing. No matter what the situation may be… the last thing you want to do is overreact. Even if the prospect is dead wrong or continues making assertions that were previously addressed. Overreacting can escalate the situation and create an uncomfortable environment for both parties involved. Additionally and more importantly, the moment you overreact, you reinforce the foundation of the objection to be built upon emotions as opposed to problems (problems you can solve, emotions you can’t.)
Step 2: Open Dialogue, Be Sincere, Listen, and Ask Questions Related To The Objection
Multiple studies have shown (particularly when it comes to customers purchasing products) that trust is rated as the single most important factor for customers citing objection. That’s why it is so imperative to establish some type for rapport with the customer. You need to listen, ask questions and engage them. It’s also very important to be aware of your physical and verbal actions. Many people without realizing it wear their emotions on their face and with their body; when a prospect sees you rolling your eyes, gazing somewhere else, or looking completely disinterested with your body language, they’ll think you are being insincere with them.
A subtle but great technique for projecting more sincerity while listening to customers is by simply acknowledging them through quick feedback signals. You can do this physically, or verbally. So for instance, with every other sentence spoken by the customer, either nod your head in approval, or add a quick verbal gesture (i.e. “I Understand”, “Ok”, “Right”…etc.) This subtle technique gives the customer an indication that you are actually listening and paying attention to them.
Step 3: Pinpoint The Real Problem That Resulted In The Objection
After patiently listening and engaging your customer, you should now have a much firmer understanding and grasp of what the problem may be; but before you start providing a solution you need to clearly identify that problem with them. Although the customer may be signaling one issue that resulted in the objection, it may be an entirely different one. Maybe the customer simply doesn’t have the resources, or he/she was just emotionally reacting. Simply restating what the problem you’ve identified is, in a matter fact way with the customer, will give them opportunity to be frank and forward with either confirmation, or the eliciting of the true nature of the objection.
Step 4: Arrive At a Solution Together
Working with the customer to arrive at a conclusion is very important. For that reason, when it comes to providing the solution; you need to act like you arrived at that place together. If it’s financial, work with them on it, if it’s emotional, empathize with them. Many customers are too stubborn to admit when they are wrong or made a bad decision. It’s much easier for a customer to arrive at a result thinking their needs and concerns were justified and have been met, than to have been ignored.
Step 5: If That Doesn’t Work, Take a Step Back and Revisit the Subject On An Agreed Future Date
Sometimes despite your efforts, the timing is just not right to resolve the objection. When you’ve exhausted all your options try not to overwhelm the customer, instead keep the dialogue friendly and respectful then work with them to revisit the subject. Try to at least get them to commit to a date and time and stress the importance of how much this really matters to you, and how you’d like to see this issue resolved.
It is our hope that these recommended steps provide a tweakable framework to help you overcome objections and close more business…ultimately increasing your ROI in your marketing efforts!
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