I don’t have to tell you that selling is a difficult profession. To make things even more convoluted good ‘ole Joe (and Josephine) America prospects, who are basically honest folks, immediately begin to stretch the truth every time they have a conversation with a salesperson, and seem comfortable doing it. They don’t tell whoppers like, “We won’t be needing your Kazoozel since we’re moving to Mars in February;” but rather semi-believable misrepresentations that tend to make your job miserable. You hear stuff like:
“We just don’t have the money.”
“My wife and I will need to spend some time kicking this around.”
“We’re just not ready to have this work done right now.”
If the salesperson buys into this as reality, their chances for sales success plummets because very simply it’s impossible because the buyer has constructed a fantasy and tried to pass it off as the truth. You can’t overcome objections that aren’t real. Why do basically good people do this? Let’s explore a few reasons together in this post.
Some don’t handle contradiction or conflict well – Some people would rather climb a tree and tell you a lie, than stand on the ground and tell you the truth. They basically start lying as a way to handle their anxiety the minute they determine their viewpoint differs from the salesperson.
Others don’t want to listen to the salesperson rebut their concern – They assume their objection might be overcome, so they lie and beef it up in order to hopefully make it unsolvable by the salesperson.
Some folks want to dodge feeling awkward or embarrassed – Maybe they don’t have the “juice” to sign the agreement and approve the deal, or they have already signed an agreement with another vendor, but would rather lie than look the salesperson in the eye and tell them that.
A number think the salesperson is lying – In this situation the reputation of salespeople preempts anything that is said or done in the prospect’s mind. They feel a few white lies are permissible because they assume the salesperson will be lying his/her butt off.
When you suspect that your prospect isn’t exactly telling the truth, there are several things to keep in mind:
Folks don’t really want to lie – People would rather be truthful because lying is stressful. Help them help you and make it easy for them to tell the truth.
Lying can be a positive sign – As crazy as it sounds when prospects give you phony objections, they have determined that their true objection is not that strong. If they have a legit reason for not being able to buy, they would probably fess up and tell you the truth. So when they tell a tall one it may be a sign that the salesperson’s case is strong.
Be a helper, not a hurter – It’s easy to lie to somebody who you think is trying to pick your pocket, so ensure them you are a problem solver for what they’re facing since it’s harder to lie to someone who’s trying to help you. I like to announce early in the conversation that I’m not there to give them a sales pitch.
Questions are your best friends – When your prospect says they really want to buy, but can’t because of (whatever), simply verify it by responding with some version of “If that wasn’t an issue would you proceed?” If that is truthful they will simply agree. If there is something else, they will bring up the additional objection. Either way you have isolated an honest concern you can respond to.
Blow away the smoke – When you are trying to sell, lies just obscure things and make your job tougher, so don’t automatically take prospects at their word. By learning how to effectively identify and address them, you’ll be far more effective and waste much less of your precious time.
Next time in Part II we will uncover some signs that a prospect is lying.
©2017 Robinson Training Solutions, LLC