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Beware of Hidden Objections & Hidden Intentions in Selling

By Percy Chong, 4th December 2014

The biggest objection that a salesperson can ever face in sales is, “my objection is with you”, or “I don’t want to deal with you”.

Of course it would be most unlikely that the prospect would say these to your face. But these objections like many others are all part of the “hidden” objections/intentions that salespersons will come to terms with, many times in their career. They may present themselves as different expressions in the prospect’s mind, but the final meaning is the same…”there is no chance for sale here”.

“Hidden” objections/intentions are almost impossible to interpret and handle. How can a salesperson possibly deal with a roadblock that he cannot “see”?

There are some cases where the prospect may reveal the true nature early. Salespersons should be grateful to such prospects for cutting short the sales follow-up and not prolonging the illusion that a sale opportunity might exist.

The common type of “hidden” objections includes:

1)      “I don’t like you”

The prospect doesn’t trust, or is not comfortable or don’t like you and don’t wish to deal with you.

2)      “I don’t have budget”

The prospect doesn’t have the budget and is not comfortable revealing his financial situation to you.

3)      “I don’t know how to say no”

The prospect doesn’t know how to reject or say ‘no’ to you.

An example of a “hidden” intention:

“I don’t have intention to buy, but…”

The prospect has no intention to buy, but is interested to learn more about the services, or to do some market intelligence/research, or is interested in you personally, or just interested in having some company/friends, or even interested in offering you a job or sell you something…anything but sales opportunity for you.

The only way to manage these “hidden” objections/intentions, is to learn to recognised the tell tale signs that the prospects may exhibit when expressing these objections/intentions. But it will take a trained eye and heaps of experience before one may be able to pick up the subtleties of these expressions and the “hidden” signals they convey. Alternatively, the salesperson may take a direct approach and ask the prospect upfront for the opportunity for sales and/or the prospect’s purpose of meeting (with you). More often than not, salespersons tend to focus on securing appointments and not on qualifying the prospects for sales opportunities. The direct approach allows the “non-genuine” prospects to have a way “out” of the sales meetings and not prolong the sales process unnecessarily; unless the salesperson is planning to nurture these prospects indefinitely for future sales opportunities.

So, what are the signals or non verbal cues to sniff out these “hidden” objections?

The prospect’s lack of interest is a good indication of some objections being present. Usually when the prospects are interested or open, they will ask questions and communicate more. The absent of good eye contact or dodgy body language (ie. being distracted or fidgeting about) are also signs of disinterest. Prospects that are unable to articulate firmly or state their position (ie. interest or disinterest for services) clearly, may also harbour some hidden concerns.

What about the signs to identifying the “hidden” intentions?

Contrary to the non verbal cues of the “hidden” objections, the prospect with “hidden” intentions usually expresses great interest with speaking with or meeting up with the salesperson. They tend to ask more questions that seem to communicate interest, and they are also keen to set up meetings or follow-up appointments to explore further. The unusually enthused demeanor of these prospects may be worthy of more in-depth qualification, before rushing into the next step of the sales process and securing any formal meetings.

So, whatever the “hidden” objections or intentions maybe, a productive salesperson will be in good stead, if he figures out the potential roadblocks early to avoid unnecessary wastage of time and potentially frustrating outcomes.

Article contributed by Percy Chong (through Asian Sales Guru)

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