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Disciplines > Sales >  Objection-handling > Fallback

Technique | How it works | See also

 

Technique

When you are going for the close and customers object or otherwise put up resistance, take a step backwards, acting as if you were not trying to close and are in no hurry.

Validate their objection. Agree with them. Give them nothing to push against. Then start feeling your way forward again.

When you move away, watch what they do. If they pursue you or move towards you, then this shows they are still interested.

Examples

Them: Well I'm not really sure.
You: Of course, we've plenty of time here and if you're not yet sure that's just fine.

Them: I can't afford that.
You: Which is a good point and I won't sell you anything you can't afford. Can I ask you more about what you are seeking?

Them: I'm not buying from you.
You: And that's just fine. I've got another appointment now anyway.

How it works

When people push back, they expect you to resist and often have more arguments ready to throw at you. Yet when you do not resist, just accepting their objection without trying to dismiss or deflect it, then they become confused, which gives an opening for persuasion by other means. They also will trust you more and be more open to further discussion if they conclude you are not being 'pushy'.

In Tai Chi and other martial arts, there is a principle of 'emptiness', where if the person pushes against you then you relax back, giving them nothing to push against while also sticking to them and guiding them to a position from which you can easily move them.

In warfare, retreat is a maneuver, not defeat nor any admission of weakness. In fact retreat can be used in all kinds of strategic ways, for example where you lead them into ambush. The most successful generals fight very little as they move their opponents into positions (both physical and mental) where giving in is the best option.

In romance, lovers play a dancing game of approach and backing off as they tempt one another and test the depths of desire and resolve. This dance can be replicated in any changing minds situation where your matching their back-off strategy shows you are not desperate and hence gives you power, which then causes them to re-think and come to you if they are at all interested.

See also

Warfare, Resisting persuasion, Confusion Principle

 

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