Why We Get Objections
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Why We Get Objections
by: Sharon Drew Morgen
For years I’ve written about how sales suffer because the sales model, designed
to seek buyers and place solutions by information sharing and gathering, ignores
the vast opportunity to close more sales by adding the function of facilitating
Buyer Readiness (i.e. systemic change). The absence of this capability restricts
sales to searching for those ready to buy, and causes objections en route:
- You’re getting objections not because of your terrific solution, your
professionalism, your lists, your competition, the buyer’s need, or your price
(It’s never ever about price.). Nor because buyers are liars (David Sandler once
told me he never meant the take-away that that expression has evolved into),
stupid, or connivers.
- You’re getting objections because you’re using content push and various methods
of information sharing as your main vehicle to selling, before buyers are ready
or able to buy, before they know why, or when, or if to hear your message. As a
result, you’re getting objections because you end up merely seeking those who
SHOULD buy, ignoring the vastly larger group who CAN buy but haven’t yet gotten
ready (and who won’t object once they get their ducks in a row).
- You’re getting objections because you’re reducing your entry points, and along
the way, annoying those who don’t (yet) know how to respond to what feels like
Sales is designed to
- find those ready to buy: the low-hanging fruit – those who have already
recognized that making a purchase is the only way to resolve a problem, have the
buy-in to proceed, and know how to manage any change a new purchase would
- seek those who are ready, willing, and able to listen to/hear you;
- ignore those who haven’t yet decided on bringing in an external solution but
will ultimately be buyers (Read my article on the 13 step Buying Decision
- make information/content the preferred focus with which to close sales, and as
a result,gather needs (as per your biased criteria), understand (as per your
biased criteria), pitch/place data (which often overlooks their real internal
change challenges), and/or seek appointments (based on who’s willing to spend
time with you) to pitch solutions without recognizing an additional entry point
might be to find/facilitate far more real buyers through the Pre-Sales, change
management portion of their decision path (causing countless wasted appointments
with those merely seeking data to use internally, or using your content to try
to persuade other team members);
and as a result you’re getting objections. With a function limited to using
solution-based information as the route to placing solutions and searching for
those who SHOULD buy – and getting objections from those who don’t find
relevance in your offering, or may feel insulted or made ‘stupid’ – sales
overlooks the possibility of facilitating the far larger group who CAN buy. It’s
only when they’re certain they can’t fix the problem themselves AND get buy-in,
do buyers consider going ‘external’ for a solution. And objections are merely a
reaction to feeling pushed by your content and goal to place a solution.
WHY YOU GET OBJECTIONS
I define ‘buyer’ as a person/group who has discovered they can’t fix a problem
internally, traversed their change management issues, and has gotten agreement
to seek an external solution. The very last thing buyers need is your solution –
So here, in no particular order, is a list of reasons why you get objections,
and why/how the limited solutions-push focus of the sales model merely handles a
small fraction of a Buying Decision Path instead of actually enabling buying.
And fyi: by adding the functionality to help potential buyers traverse their
systemic change management issues first, you’ll never get objections.
- Selling doesn’t cause buying. Do you want to sell? Or have someone buy? Two
different activities and mind-sets.
- Buying involves both systemic change AND (when there’s no other option)
solution choice. Using solution data as the main skill to make a sale restricts
possibility, getting you objections from those who don’t know how to hear it
(Remember: we all listen through biased filters.)
- Buyers buy according to their buying patterns, not your selling patterns.
- Pushing solution data too early causes objections, regardless of need or the
efficacy of your solution.
- Until buyers recognize how to solve a problem with maximum buy-in and minimum
fallout to their status quo (i.e. when they have their ducks in a row), they
aren’t buyers regardless of what you believe to be their ‘need’. If they buy
without first managing congruent change, they'll cause internal disruption.
- Until buyers are certain they can’t solve a problem themselves with their own
resources, they can’t recognize, and don’t have the full data set to understand,
what they might need to buy and will resist/object when having seemingly
pointless content shoved at them.
- Sales and marketing pitches use biased language to describe solutions, further
restricting the buying audience. Until buyers can handle their change, and know
the full extent of internal givens (i.e. personal, systemic) they have to deal
with, they don’t know how to listen to your content details effectively, and
object when pushed. It’s possible to design unique pitches that facilitate
change and Systems Congruence for each stage of their non-solution-based,
Pre-Sales Buying Decision Path.
- By restricting the sales model to finding interest using the solution data,
you’re only handing the last 30% (steps 1-9) of the 13-step Buying Decision
Path. The first 9 steps (Pre-Sales) are a change management exercise, focused on
fixing their problem in a way that minimizes disruption and maximizes buy-in,
recognizing a need for an external solution only at step 10. When sellers try to
place solutions before they’ve gotten to step 10, buyers object.
- Sales ignores the possibility of influencing the path of (Pre-Sales) change
that is driven by the buyer’s system of unique rules, people, history, etc. that
protects itself at all costs (i.e. objects).
- Your sales and marketing efforts seek those who you’ve determined will have a
likelihood of buying (the low hanging fruit), and you’re competing for this
small percentage, ultimately closing only 5% of a much broader set of possible
- There is an entirely different goal, focus, solution, thought process, skill
set, necessary to become part of, and facilitate, the Pre-Sales, systemic,
Buying Decision Path that must, as per the laws of Systems Congruence, enable
change congruently before any purchase is considered.
- You’ll avoid objections when you first facilitate and expedite the change that
those who CAN buy must handle, and THEN use your information-centric approach to
sell to those you’ve helped be ready to buy. The time it takes buyers to get
buy-in for congruent change is the length of the sales cycle, regardless of
their need or the efficacy of your solution.
- Pitching, content marketing, presentations, cold calling, etc. get objections
because they push solution data into a ‘closed system’ that feels compromised by
the push, and must resist until there is systemic agreement to go external for a
- Judgements regarding the reasons buyers offer objections are subjective,
biased interpretations contrived by sellers to make buyers ‘stupid’ when they
aren’t getting the outcome they sought. Sellers rarely consider that they’re
entering at the wrong time, in the wrong way, for a situation and unique set of
internal, systemic dysfunctions they really (really) have no understanding of,
or that the buyer is in the early steps of change and hasn’t yet recognized a
need to buy.
- You can accelerate a buyer’s route to decision making by helping them traverse
their route to congruent change, but not with a restriction that begins by using
solution-based information as the vehicle to influence buying. It’s possible to
close five times more than you’re currently closing.
You’re actually causing your own objections. You get no resistance when
facilitating prospects through their own steps to congruent change first, get
them ready to change, and continue on to placing your terrific solution content
with those specific prospects who CAN buy. (Read my article on the Buyer’s
Journey that lays out the entire Pre-Sales buying decision process.) But you’ll
need to take a different – additional - path through a different lens. You’ll
need to understand the change management issues within your industry. And no,
you cannot use your current sales skill to accomplish this.
FOCUS ON FACILITATING BUYER READINESS FIRST
Here is the deal. Until now, you’ve waited while buyers do this change stuff:
they must do this anyway (with you or without you). So you can continue pushing
your content and getting objections, or you can add a new function to your
outreach to connect with the right ones sooner: enter their decision path, get
onto their Buying Decision Team, and facilitate the ones who CAN buy through to
buying. Just recognize the sales model doesn’t do the facilitation portion as
it’s solution-placement based.
I designed a new methodology to facilitate the front end of the decision path
(Buying Facilitation®). It’s a change facilitation model that works with sales
to help buyers congruently and
- Recognize all of the elements they must assemble to get appropriate input for
problem solving and change;
- Figure out if they can/cannot fix it themselves (You can facilitate this on
the first call so long as you avoid discussing need or solution.);
- Pull together all of the systemic elements that must be in place for any
change (i.e. purchase) to happen to ensure a minimal disruption;
- Be ready to choose your solution.
Buying Facilitation® is a generic change facilitation skill set, with no content
focus, no bias, and is systemic in nature. It involves facilitating change (vs
pushing content) with a new form of question (Facilitative Question) that enable
systems to recognize their own criteria and manage change congruently; a new
form of listening that involves Listening for Systems; and Presumptive Summaries
to enable people to move outside of their subjective experience and view the
entire situation as an Observer/Coach. I’ve trained it to about 100,000 sales
folks globally, in several industries and product price points, and generally
get a close rate of 5x the control group.
Right now, you’re closing 5% and wasting a lot of resource to find them. You’re
hiring too many people to close too few; ignoring real prospects on route to
making an appointment – and then going to appointments with a fraction of the
appropriate people present, to push content they don’t know how to listen to,
and fighting with competitors for the same restricted group of buyers – when if
you could enter differently, with a willingness to add a new skill set, you
could find/close more buyers.
There are a lot more REAL buyers suffering from lengthy Buying Decision Path
confusions as they fumble through change. They really could use your help. Read
Dirty Little Secrets; why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell, and learn
about the systems involved in buying (or any change), and add this to your sales
initiatives. You’ll have more clients, shorter sales cycles, meaningful
relationships built on trust, and no objections.
Sharon Drew Morgen is the visionary behind Buying Facilitation® - a change
management model that includes learning how to Listen for Systems, formulating
Facilitative Questions, and understanding the steps of systemic change. For
those of you wishing to learn more, take a look at the program syllabus. Please
visit www.dirtylittlesecrets.com and read the two free chapters. Consider
reading it with the companion ebook Buying Facilitation®
Sharon Drew is the author of the NYTimes Business Bestseller Selling With
Integrity, as well as 6 other books on helping buyers buy. She is also the
author of the Amazon bestseller What? Did you really say what I think I heard?
Sharon Drew keynotes, trains and coaches sales teams to help them unlock
situations that are stalled, and teaches teams how to present and prospect by
facilitating the complete buying decision process. She delivers keynotes at
annual sales conferences globally. Sharon Drew can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
512 771 1117
Contributor: Sharon Drew Morgen
Published here on: 06-Aug-17