I have watched hundreds of sellers and sales managers ask for money and have asked for a lot of it myself. And through the years, I have become convinced that the art of closing—securing new local revenue—has nothing to do with the facts we present.
Rather, it’s about the buyer’s emotions and overcoming three common objections that prospects feel in their gut—financial fear, detail doubt, and idea insecurity.
Financial Fear. “This won’t work and my money will be lost.”
Almost every local business owner has very real emotions tied to money. So, even if your prospect believes everything you’ve presented, there can be fear in saying yes. Success stories are a powerful tool here, especially stories and testimonials from similar business models and budget ranges. Sharing them gives your prospect the gift of going second, helping allay their financial fears.
Detail Doubt. “Statistics can be manipulated, they’re a bunch of bull.”
Many numbers we present are seen as data that can be manipulated, not to be believed, nor taken at face value. Prospects may also believe we present only the data and stats that support the narrative we want them to see (and not the bigger picture).
How can you overcome detail doubt? I’ve found turning details—data/numbers/stats—into stories works. Or minimize the use of data and stay high level—said another way, “focus on the problem you solve, not your product.” Other tactics would be to provide client references or establish consistency with the prospect to build up trust.
And here’s a unique thought—ask the prospect outright if they believe the numbers/data. If they say no, don’t sweat it, support your numbers and say, “I know it’s hard to believe. Does this stop you from proceeding?” The question gets the elephant out of the room.
Idea Insecurity. “Will this idea really work?”
Showing actual creative that has worked (success story) is once again, a smart strategy. My favorite close—if they seem hesitant about the idea—is to set up an appointment to discuss it with production. Third parties can be extremely helpful in putting a prospect’s mind and emotions at ease.
In all three of these emotional objections, trust is the salve that overcomes them.