3 ways to crush objections and skeptic-proof your small business

Responding to and Crushing Objections from ProspectsIn a world where we are used to politicians dissembling and advertising over-embellishing, everyone is a skeptic. If we hear something that seems too good to believe, it most often is. If there sounds like there should be a catch, there usually is one (and it’s usually well hidden).

In our daily lives, we often find ourselves carried away in a river of BS. Our guards are always up and we are trained to question pretty much everything before we can believe it. We look for flaws and voice our objections to pretty much everything.

So what’s an honest, earnest businessperson to do when we are faced with a flood of objections to our products and services? Well, here are three things that will catch people off guard, cast aside their doubts and make them consider you seriously.

1. Respond to their objections before they ever mention them

“Why are you more expensive?”

“How do I know you’re going to deliver?”

“Do you have enough experience?”

“You’re a small company. How do I know you won’t get too busy for me? Or how do I know you will still be in business a year from now?”

You’ve heard these and other common objections over and over again. The are always in the back of your prospects’ minds, whether they ask them or not. So why not answer them beforehand and get them out of the way so you can discuss more important things … like how you can help them solve a problem with your product or service.

2. Use stories to describe your work
Anyone can create a list of services they supposedly do well and then rattle it off in a meeting. But this tactic isn’t really very believable because there is no detail, no backstory to what you profess you can do.

So instead of just telling someone what you do, show them by relating stories to how you solved the problems of other clients. If you are a photographer, tell how you shot a difficult outdoor setup, about the lighting issues you addressed, about the talent search you conducted, about the equipment you used and the end product. If you’re a designer, talk about how you brainstormed with a client to come up with a campaign that grew their business, about how you translated the campaign into print and the Web, about the revenues generated from your work.

People are much more likely to believe stories because they provide detail and concreteness to what you are saying. So paint a colorful picture when you are responding to objections.

3. Tell people what you don’t do well
When we started our first business 12 years ago, we had labeled our company an advertising agency (for lack of a better descriptor). But we really weren’t an ad agency. We did create some print ad campaigns, but we rarely did any TV or radio and didn’t do any media buying. And people who we pitched saw right through it.

So what we started doing was saying we were an ad agency that did everything but advertising. That made people stop and ask what we did do well (which was brand development, graphic design, copywriting, tactical marketing strategy and integrated marketing campaign development). By telling people what I we did and didn’t do, it differentiated us from other competing agencies and made our story more believable, mainly because most people don’t believe you can do everything well (even if you can).

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