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Objections To Gitomer Tactics

by Doug Davidoff | Dec 11, 2006 11:30:37 AM

Jeffrey Gitomer’s recent column about handling objections demonstrates that traditional sales trainers and authors still don’t get it.

There’s nothing that reminds me of the industrial-age sales school more than the discussion of objections. Objections are to be overcome, trainers say. Objections are merely buying signals in disguise. Good salespeople have learned that objections are just “a way for a buyer to say they don’t understand the value.”

That may be true of good salespeople, but great salespeople realize that the school of overcoming objections should be avoided at all costs. The entire concept of ‘overcoming objections’ demonstrates the truth that the fundamental underpinnings of traditional selling are adversarial. It is a myth that objections are good. Objections are not good – they are bad.

If a salesperson pursues a win/win opportunity and win/win is the only viable opportunity that will lead to fast growth, they quickly understand that they are better served by preventing objections, rather than overcoming them. It is the salesperson’s job to understand everything that is going on that supports a sales being made and the reasons that a sales should not be made. The salesperson’s job is then to investigate, in conjunction and collaboration with the customer, whether the reasons against a sale are legitimate. A salesperson should never make a recommendation that a buyer should buy something until the offer and the situation are fully investigated.

This is not an excuse for salespeople not to control a sale, or to allow a sale to go on forever. As a matter of fact, my experience proves that when a salesperson focuses on preventing objections and focuses on effectively diagnosing an opportunity completely, the pipeline time is cut by as much as 50% and the salesperson is able to use their time more effectively.

When we teach salespeople to overcome objections, they inevitably waste an inordinate number of hours trying to convince people to do things they don’t, and often shouldn’t, want to do.

Salespeople, and the companies that employ them, must understand that it is not their job to ‘make a sale.’ Instead, it is their job to facilitate one. Focusing on preventing objections, instead of overcoming them is a great first step.