And the 5 simple words that will help you isolate and overcome almost any objection

BY Robert Bell

Published in the July/August 2014 issue

No! Don’t you just love that word? No, you don’t? Really? Well, I do. It’s a time-saver!

If you attend one of my workshops, you will hear me say, “When you hear ‘no,’ move on. It’s over.” When I say this, all hell usually breaks loose. Everyone gets riled; they say that they’ve always been told to be persistent in trying to convince the patient to say “yes.”

I ask how they usually handle this “convincing” thing. I hear several responses. All of them usually come down to some semblance of “Yeah, but ...” and then talking about the features and benefits of a particular product or service. “Yeah, but ...” is far from the greatest strategy in the world, and it irritates customers, but it is common among many nonprofessional salespeople.

Next I’ll ask, “So tell me, what does ‘no’ sound like in your office? Meaning, when your patients say ‘no,’ how do they say it?” Here are some usual responses:

  • “It’s too expensive.”
  • “Does my insurance cover it?”
  • “I never buy good sunglasses because I just end up sitting on them”

Read those responses again, carefully. Is the word “no” contained in any of those phrases? Let’s be clear, those common responses are not “no.” They’re objections. Objections aren’t no, they’re only objections. And, most of the time they aren’t true! So “arguing” with “yeah, but ...” about something that isn’t true to begin with is just going to lead to “No” anyway ... and you’re going to waste a lot of time getting there.

I know this sounds a bit strange, but let me ask you this: If your patient is going to say “No” anyway, would you rather hear it in the first 20 seconds or 20 minutes later? Who benefits from a wasted 20 minutes? You? Your customer?

We need to understand the objection and determine if it’s real. To establish if the objection is real, try the following five words: Other than the fact that ...

You: “Other than the fact that ... you feel these glasses are too expensive, are there any other reasons you wouldn’t want them?”

Patient: “Oh, well, I’m not sure I understood what you meant by when you were telling me about digital lenses.”

Ah, OK. The price objection wasn’t real, it’s just that they weren’t listening the first time around or they just didn’t understand your explanation. Go back and review the information they need to know about those particular lenses. That’s simple enough, yes?

But what if an objection is real?
You: “Other than the fact that ... you feel these glasses are too expensive, are there any other reasons you wouldn’t want them?”
Patient: “No. They’re just out of my price range”
You: “Not a problem. Shall we explore some less expensive options?”
Patient: “Oh yes, that’d be great!”
Asking questions of your patients, instead of making declarative statements in the pursuit of trying to convince someone of something, will lead them to make decisions of “yes” or “no” quickly.

You can insert almost any objection after “Other than the fact that ...”

I have discovered when I’m respectful of people’s time, no matter if they said yes or no, I gain their respect! I’ve also discovered that my sales started to greatly increase because I wasn’t squandering time with those who were going to say no, anyway.

You must take control of the selling process in your office. You must ask more questions of patients than spending time talking at them. One of the goals in selling is to get definitive responses to make your time most effective. Getting the patient to say yes or no is as definitive as it gets. If you hear “yes,” wonderful. Help them acquire what they need. If you hear “no,” great! Don’t try to persuade them. Move on to the next patient.

Time-saving, isn’t it?

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