Objections are one of the things we must deal with as salespeople. You will hear all sorts of things that people say about objections. “That’s when the sale gets interesting,” “That’s the beginning of the sale,” “This is why I go to work.”
While these statements are certainly a way to keep a positive mindset about objections, I’d rather not get them in the first place.
Let’s first analyze why objections happen, what causes them, and the million-dollar idea of how to avoid them altogether.
These positive things are explained by the acronym MINT:
M - Money (Value)
I - Immediacy (Urgency)
N - Needs (Wants)
T - Trust (in the business, the salesperson, the process, the product).
In a nutshell, that means a yes has sold trust, value, needs, and a deadline.
So, what is an objection - really? An objection of course happens when one or all of MINT is not satisfied. I believe that the first thing you sell is Trust. The customers must trust you, like you, want to buy from you, and believe you. So really you are selling yourself, the business, the process, the technician, the competency, and the character.
It’s a little deeper of course but I’m sure you can agree that without trust, you don’t make a sale, and with more trust, you make a sale. We can surmise then that the more trust you have, the better chances you have at not having an objection arise.
On to the next one, needs. The customer must believe that they need (or want) whatever you are selling. We must understand what their needs really are and be able to tie whatever we are offering back to their needs. When an objection happens here, it’s normally because we as salespeople didn’t listen to what the customer actually said when they told you what they needed during the discovery phase.
Now, sometimes customers lie. Or not outright lie, but falsely represent what their needs are, or instead focus on their wants. Here’s an example: A customer needs shocks. However, they want the gold-plated, dual piston, nylon-infused signed and tested by Vin Diesel shock absorbers. Realistically and logically, they can afford something far less flashy. If you downplay the standard or slightly above standard options, they will never be happy if they buy it and may not even buy it at all.
A simple set of questions, and some good active listening techniques, could avoid taking a customer down the wrong path and potentially communicating poorly. When we are in discovery, we are not just discovering the problems of the vehicle, but we are also discovering more about the customer, their wants, needs, motivation, family, who they are, what they do.
You must get this information so when you present needs to a customer they actually need/want what you are presenting. More importantly, it must make sense to them. Most people have a reason why they say yes. And most of the time it is an emotional response to one of their major motivators. Examples include safety and reliability for a family member, for them so they can commute to their job or go on vacation, or do whatever recreational activity they like, or just because they don’t want to or physically can’t go out and purchase a new vehicle.
Now we get to the immediacy or urgency. Many times, it is our communication that stresses the urgency of our services. That doesn’t mean we’re using scare tactics; we’re only sharing the truths about what could happen.
When the description of the consequence is baked into the presentation, you are almost always going to illicit a “yes” response. This is because you are painting a picture of pleasure on one end - “Your car will last longer, you will get to where you are going safely, and everything will be stress free” - while there is pain on the other end -“Your car will inevitably fail and it never happens in the right place, or at the right time, with the right people in the car.”
Lastly, and probably the most important thing to master, is presenting value. At every point during the sales presentation and our interaction with the client we need to choose words that show value. Instead of “front-end check,” it should be “steering and suspension inspection.” Instead of “scanning your codes,” we should use “we interface with the onboard control systems and perform a full fault interrogation across all the effected modules.”
Many times, it’s how you say the things that you say, and what adjectives you use. Our only tool as service advisors is communication. We need to be wordsmiths. We need to be the best in the world at describing what we do, why we do it, how we do it, where we do it, and when we do it.
And that’s the secret of avoiding objections – asking the questions that will show you why a client would say yes and why they would say no. These are active listening skills, skills that are imperative to being an exceptional service advisor and extremely helpful to overcoming (or avoiding) objections.
If you’re interested in learning more, shoot me an email at email@example.com. We have a variety of workshops, classes, and an Advisor Performance program that can help any advisor become a better listener to overcome and outright avoid objections.
Director of Advisor Training