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Thursday, August 19, 2010

THE COLD, HARD TRUTH: Prospecting 101, Part 5

The Cold, Hard Truth with Gabriel Siegel

THE BOTTOM LINE: When overcoming objections in cold-call prospecting, internalize these facts:
  • You will get objections
  • You must deal with them
  • You will become proficient with practice

There are no magic bullets, formulas or “5 minute panaceas”.

Before I deal with overcoming objections, I would like to respond to some of the E mails I received. The volume of responses was indicative of the interest in the subject.

One E mail in particular struck me. “I sell a unique and specialized form of insurance to a limited client base (marine insurance with a unique sub-specialty). My target audience is the yacht broker. I would appreciate any thoughts?” My response to him was to call as many yacht brokers as he can find (domestic and international) and try this approach (or something similar with which he may be more comfortable):
“Good day. My name is __________________ and my company is ________________. We’re in the business of providing yacht and transport insurance. I see we’ve never dealt with you and I would just like to send you a business card with a brochure and follow up in a week. Do I have your address correctly as __________________? Will next (state the day) at (state the time) be a good time to talk? I’m marking my calendar. Looking forward to speaking with you”

In a follow-up E mail I was informed that they have made several appointments for additional phone time. Never fall into the trap of believing your business is too unique for cold call prospecting.

Many E mails writers focused their difficulties on overcoming objections. One writer noted “The only people who don’t get objections are those who’ve never sold”. Another said “I applaud your direct, no nonsense style. Too many sales “training” programs either promise instant and painless success or attempt to “analyze” the reasons for a client’s objections. Neither translates into viable approaches”.

Onto our financial planner. If you remember, our primary objective is to get appointments. The objections, in no special order, were:
“I can’t afford it”.
“Not interested”.
“I have no interest in investments”.
“I only invest in my business”.

In our prospecting roundtables, we developed several responses for dealing with these and other objections. However, the primary rule is: ACKNOWLEDGE THE PROSPECT’S CONCERNS. The prospect has no hidden agendas. They are merely objecting.

Here are two different ways our financial planner client handles these objections.
“I can easily understand why you feel that way. So many people I speak to tell me the same thing. That’s why we really need to speak. There are no commitments or obligations. Would (state day and time) be acceptable or would (offer alternate day and time) be better?”

“I understand your concerns and I know you have some good reasons for feeling that way. That’s why we really need to talk so you can share these feelings with me. There are no commitments or obligations. Would (state day and time) be acceptable or would (offer alternate day and time) be better?”

I’ve acknowledged the legitimacy of these objections; I met them head on and asked for an appointment. Are we always successful? No. However, we do increase the number of appointments in what for all entrepreneurs is a difficult and challenging environment.

For those readers who will be participating in our prospecting roundtables, you will discover that dealing with objections is a technique that can be easily learned. The hard part is doing it!

In my next article, I will be addressing several of the concerns readers have shared with me, notably about prospecting roundtables and sales training programs. I will also introduce you to some interviewing techniques and strategies which you can begin to use when in front of a prospective client.

For anyone wishing to share thoughts or comments, the writer can be reached at I respond to E mails more quickly and thoughtfully than I do when contacted on social networking sites.

For more information, please visit Gabriel's TNNWC Bio.

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