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Don’t say “No!”

What is your first instinct when someone calls you a liar or has a contrarian view to the point you are making?

You are making this killer-pitch, you are in your element and then someone from the customer’s side butts in with a comment against your opinion or says that a fact you have presented is not correct in his / her opinion.

Quite often, faced with such a situation there is a tendency to get annoyed and the urge to immediately respond with a rebuttal / substantiation of one’s stated view.

I am suggesting that such responses from the customer are windows to his mind. The objection or reaction may be an indicator of what the customer wants / what’s on his mind. By responding strongly and by pushing home our view we are throwing away an opportunity to get closer to making the sale.

Maybe, just maybe, there have been new findings on the subject, or you have not been thorough while preparing your presentation, or even that the speaker is an authority or has  experience in that subject area. It could also be because your competitor is strong in this account and has convinced the customer about something differently.

Jumping in with a negation or a strong response is fraught with danger –

–          The customer may think you are inflexible and difficult to deal with

–          They may stop sharing information with you

–          They may get irritated with the stand you are taking and stop taking the discussion further

So, the best course of action when faced with such a situation is to take a step back and pause – it’s a good time to get the customer to speak. By knowing their mind you can reshape your strategy. You may even get to know where the objection is coming from!

If you information is right; gently present proof to substantiate it rather than telling the customer outright that he is wrong.

But the best next step when faced with an objection is to ask a question. A carefully worded question or even a simple “Why do you feel so?” can take you much further than striving to win brownie points with a response.

The next time someone objects to your point of view, are you going to say “No!”? I hope the answer to this one is –  “NO!”

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