It’s a natural impulse to argue or justify against an opposing viewpoint when confronted with an objection. A defensive posture does little to build strong client relationships or successfully influence their perspectives. Producers who are passionate about the solutions they provide can make clients feel pressured if they react in this way and mishandle objections. While advisors cannot always prevent or anticipate objections, they must understand how effective responses can address client concerns and impact sales. Responses that focus on value and recognize the client’s point of view will advance the conversation and can close the deal.
Use a client and empathy-oriented formula to illustrate the value
Implement a proven system to address objections in the prospecting process and develop deeper relationships with clients. A method I’ve honed over the years is called the 100 E of Value Method and is named to reflect its supporting theories and components. Within this method’s three-pronged framework, each element aims to balance responses to objections and advance the sales conversation. The number 100 is meant to remind advisors that clients are 100 percent welcome to bring any of their concerns into the sales process and discussions. The letter “E” represents the importance of empathetic responses to objections. Finally, “of Value” is a useful phrase to complete logic-based questions to entice prospects to affirmatively respond. This simple and effective objection handling technique is almost guaranteed to work if you learn it, practice it and implement it into your practice.
Express acceptance and validation
It’s important to accept a prospect’s objections as a first step to immediately dispel negative thoughts. Validation will foster a comfortable relationship where clients are encouraged to be honest and forthcoming with their concerns. Key phrases such as “I’m so glad you mentioned that” or “that’s a really good point,” will set them at ease early on in the conversation.
If the objection is of a more personal nature, thank them for their honesty. Empathy is especially important to help clients feel their objections are understood on a personal level. One way to communicate this sentiment is to say, “If I were you, I would be thinking exactly the same thing.” Clients will feel reassured that their concerns are valid and will be addressed by someone who understands their perspective.
Avoid confrontational language and emotional questions
Engage in these discussions with positive language. Confrontational language – even when used unintentionally – can damage mutual trust with a client. Many advisors rely on the negative word “but” in response to an objection; instead, words like “and” should be used to soften the language. Be aware of negative implications that every individual word in your response may communicate.
Responses to objections that are emotional rather than logical might result in additional objections. Successful rebuttals will focus on the overall value of services. Questions ended with “would this be of value to you,” change the conversation to hinge on a client’s emotions. Alternatively, ask if further examples “would be of value,” without the personal tie-in. This will take the focus away from prospects’ preconceived thoughts and motivate a logical decision to accept the offer.
Practice with common objections
Advisors repeatedly face the same objections from clients throughout the prospecting process. Identify common questions or weak points in presentations as opportunities to leverage the 100 E of Value Method. Practice ways to effectively include all elements of the method in your responses to validate client concerns. Below are responses to common objections that adhere to the method.
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