Preempting Objections

Robert Terson

In a recent blog—Is it an Obstacle or an Opportunity?—I told a story of a young salesman who was hearing the price objection in eight out of ten presentations. He hadn’t been able to come up with a rebuttal to the objection, never mind taking the necessary steps to preempt the objection in the presentation itself.

In case you’re not interested in reading that blog in its entirety, I thought, You’re encountering the same objection eight out of ten times and you haven’t taken the necessary action to devise a method to neutralize it? Why, for God’s sake!? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result.

I told him that if I encountered the same objection eight out of ten times, I’d devise a way to preempt the objection, neutralize it, in my presentation. Why wait for it to come up in the form of an objection when you know you’re going to keep hearing it eight out of ten times?

Throughout my 40-year advertising career, whenever I heard a new objection, I developed a rebuttal to neutralize it right on the spot. Afterwards, in the peace and quiet of my home, I’d refine it until I was completely satisfied with it. If I kept hearing the same objection in a large percentage of my presentations, it was time to slightly alter the presentation; to insert a version of the rebuttal I had created directly into the presentation itself, therefore preempting the objection before it ever came up.

So let me ask you: Have you been stymied by an objection that keeps coming up time after time, but have done nothing to neutralize the objection? If the answer is yes, why for God’s sake? Reread the definition of insanity in paragraph two!

Any salesperson who doesn’t take the initiative to neutralize an objection he keeps hearing over and over again, is either selling weak (more than likely), or just plain damn lazy. This is your profession, how you’ve chosen to make a living; selling weak, or being lazy is unacceptable. If I were your sales manager, neither trait would fly: you’d either change your ways quickly, or you’d be gone.

Admittedly, I’m old school. I’d do everything in my power to help you change, but if you refused, if selling weak or being lazy was part of your permanent comfort zone—adios, amigo!


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