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How to Sell the Way Your Customer Buys

Lesson 19 of 23

The Six Real Customer Objections

Shari Levitin

How to Sell the Way Your Customer Buys

Shari Levitin

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Lesson Info

19. The Six Real Customer Objections

Lesson Info

The Six Real Customer Objections

We've gone through the process of getting the four commitments anyway. Now we've got sort of that final objection at the end. No. We hate that word no, don't we? No's like the worst word in the world, and we take it personally. There are some studies that show rejection hurts physically. It's like a pain. You can feel it. And that's why so many artists don't get their work out there. It's that fear of rejection. It's not having that courage, and as I said in the very beginning, it takes courage to put your work out there. And so this no and even asking for the order. I saw a statistic once, a long time ago. I don't know if it's still true, that 40% of all salespeople, people with sales on their card don't even ask for the order. Can you imagine? You make the list, you go to the store, nobody ever asks you. They never ask you to buy. So what I'd like you to do, and I am gonna get two volunteers for this one. I want you to, like we did speed dating, I want you to write down, and at home,...

you can do this as well. This is usually the most fun for people. I wanna see all the objections you've ever heard. Felicia, I am going to volunteer you. Thank you for volunteering. (crowd laughing) And Suzanne, why don't you both come on up? Alright, so they're writing down objections, and again, what I want you to think about is all of the objections you hear when you ask somebody for the money, for the order. What is it you most routinely and commonly hear? No matter what you're selling. Timing. Timing? Yeah, it's not good timing, 'kay? Again, it's sorta the not now, alright? Yeah, go ahead and throw 'em out from the audience as these ladies are writing. Not ready to move, too expensive, lot's too small, need to bring back family, afraid of payment. When people by a house, it's always, the person down the street, the builder down the street is not as expensive as you. They're given an incentive. The home is too small. The home is too big. The lot is not big enough. The lot is too small. You know, it's all. Really? Yeah, and we always have to overcome those. Are you guys getting that many objections? Really? But you can't be afraid. Objections are just like you say. People just, they're interested. If you're getting that many objections, I don't know that I can help, Laura. (crowd laughing) I mean, it's been going well so far. I didn't know it was that bad out there. (crowd laughing) I didn't. Although, the good news is, if you're really getting this many objections, I need to be on CreativeLive for the next 25 days, because we are going to need rebuttals, and you guys do serve great buffalo tacos back there, and we really appreciate that. Here's the thing. I alluded to this at the very beginning, and this ought to make people feel good and go into your midbrain. If you're watching this at home, I can tell you, of all of the objections that you've ever heard to purchasing your product, buying your service, engaging, there's only six, and you can learn how to answer all six. That should feel really good. So let's look at what the six are, because the others are just subsets, and I will say for those of you that are leaders and managers, this is revelatory for your teams. Do this exercise. I know I got quite a few E-mails last night from sales leaders, sales managers, trainers. What you wanna do, do this exact exercise, but let 'em rip. Let 'em go on for 10, 15 minutes. Write down all these objections because they go reptile and they're thinking in their mind, I am never going to be able to answer all of these objections, but once you realize and compartmentalize that there's only six, it becomes much more manageable and much easier, okay? Now, here's another cool thing. You can trace back if you don't get commitment on one of the five commitments, one of the five whys. It will result exactly in one of the six objections I'm about to show you. So again, if we go through this magic formula, I see a lotta head nods, if we go through the magic formula, emotional state plus five whys, you won't get these six. You don't want six objections at the end, or you're not gonna get a sale because they don't have the emotional bandwidth to deal with the time spent. You need to be progressively answering them all throughout this process. So let's go ahead and look at them. We've got some common objections here. Let's first see if these match what we've got here or not. Ready to move, too expensive, lot too small, not enough money, doesn't my CRM already do this, right? We already have a technology that does this. We already have a lawyer, a service provider, a photographer, a whatever it is on our business card. Again, this is why the why listen is so critical. We need to separate ourselves. Won't I have to keep doing this? I have other priorities right now. So these are all objections that our clients, prospective clients conjure up. Why don't we go ahead and look at what are the real six? Number one, talked about this a lot, status quo. No need. Hey, they're similar. Sometimes if you're selling a product that's already in the market, it's a mature product like a software product, like a CRM, they know they need one, but they don't want to change providers or add to it or disrupt, okay? In Lisa's case, selling to children with special needs, they would just say, "No need," right? I don't want it. And it's a status quo issue as well, so they just don't want it. No need. Sort of like if somebody tried to sell me air-conditioned shoes, right? There is such a thing. I literally googled ridiculous products, and there is a product called air-conditioned shoes. Now I guess if I was in Death Valley where my husband just went on a photography journey, I might need air-conditioned shoes, but given my lifestyle, I don't need them. And here's the thing. It doesn't matter what the price is. I still don't need them. You can drop the price all you want. If there's no need, it doesn't matter how much it costs, 'kay? So I just don't have a need for your product or service at all, and it's very annoying, by the way, when we get spammed and we don't have a need. You've had this happen on LinkedIn. Somebody says, "Oh, I'd love to tell you about "my CRM system that's good for 100+ employees," and I'm thinking, I don't have 100+ employees. Delete, you annoy me, okay? Two, it doesn't make financial sense. People, do not confuse this with I can't afford it. Huge distinction, and when we're isolating objections, we often miss this. So doesn't make financial sense means, I can do it cheaper, I can do it better, I can do it myself, I don't wanna spend the money, I have another way to accomplish this that is much more economically feasible. This happens to artists all the time. Doesn't make financial sense. Why would I do this? And of course, that's when we really need to sell the emotional value when we're selling our art. Does that also mean they don't see the return on the investment? Yes, and that return on the investment can be either financial or emotional. So that's something to obviously present to them in the beginning. Yes. That value. Yes. Okay. That's the value that you're building, and again, this is where we get into a commodity war is, you're in PR. If you can show a financial return that's tangible, great. Most people running PR firms, it's very loosey goosey and hard to do. Now sometimes you can. There is a direct correlation to a financial return, but remember, if the emotion is high enough and you find out what the emotional motivators are, some of those objections can go away. The more you have of both, the better. So it's problem and emotional motivator at the same time. 'Kay, so that's when you would really dive into, dial into some of the benefits of getting your name out there, what that's gonna be like, how it's gonna make you feel, and the long-term benefits to a company's culture, to a company's brand, why branding's so important. That all becomes, and you're brilliant at that. So, no financial sense. Don't believe it'll work. 'Kay, this is a lack of credibility, and again, this is something that has to be talked about early on. If somebody doesn't believe it'll work, that means that we haven't earned their trust. We don't have credibility. They just don't believe that the installation's gonna work. They don't believe that you're gonna deliver them the product that they want. We haven't established any value, or any credibility, or any trust. Next, too confusing. Who made it that way? (crowd laughing) Ooh, that would be us. They're like, "No, not now, too much." Again, people don't want another thing to figure out, to learn, to implement, so your suggestion earlier about your implementation is a really good one, Suzanne. Show them how effortless it's going to be. Number five, too much effort, 'kay? They're similar. Too confusing means they don't understand it. Too much effort means they don't want to effort to do it. They get it, but they just don't wanna do it, so again, you wanna think about if you can categorize all of these six objections and hit them throughout your demo and your product presentation and your marketing collateral. This is where sales and marketing meet. In a lotta companies, sales and marketing don't talk if you have a bigger company. Is your content marketing considering these objections? And this is for bigger companies. Do you have an entire marketing campaign that shows people, woo hoo, easily using the software, right? So this is where that comes in, and articles. So again, depending on what the objection is, you wanna have data, you wanna have case studies, you want to prove that these things don't exist, but if you don't know the six things to address and to hit, you're just sorta playing darts without a board. You don't know where you're going. You're driving to Florida without a map, as we talked about yesterday, okay? And finally, too much money. And I mean, legitimately, they don't have the budget. Be careful of this one. 'Cause I've seen a lotta sales people, particularly more in a B2C sale, say, "We have to look at the numbers," and a sales person, who's selling from their own pocket as I call it, will assume it's a money issue instead of a value issue, okay? So they make the assumption, and I call it selling from your own pocket because, very often, they can't afford it, so they can't imagine that the customer can afford it, and so they get stuck in that process. Alright, so knowing that we've got these six real objections, next question that usually comes up is, alright, well if these are the six real objections, what about I need to run it by my sister, my brother, the board? What about, I'm just shopping? What about, I don't have, there's a lot of other things that come up. Where do those fit in? One of the biggest mistakes I see sales people make in the why now, is they treat an excuse as though it's real. It can be real, but a lotta times, it's not, and unless you know. I used to have a colleague who said, "It's like trying to hit a hologram," right? You can keep punching it and smacking it, but it's not real, and people will say, "Oh, we've gotta run it up the flag pole. "We gotta run it by the board." I used to have a client who always told me, "Oh, I gotta run it by the board. "I gotta run it by the board," and ten years later, my colleagues and I said, does he even have a board? We've never seen them or never heard about them. We looked him up. Could not find a board. Well, I think his board was his dog, but it was a good way for him to say, "I'm not sold yet," and people do that all the time. They don't wanna take the time. They don't wanna be closed. They don't wanna be high-pressured, and you shouldn't high-pressure them or close them, but you should find out if you have the only, the last objection and the real objection, and that's where we lose it. This works very well in normal negotiations. I'm not just talking about selling here. Sometimes people will throw out an objection. It might be a family member. You want to understand if it's the only objection and the real objection, and there's ways to do that, and that's what we're gonna be looking at next. How do we isolate and find out if it's real while maintaining a heart-felt authentic connection and not being too Toneyish. We don't wanna be an always be closing Tony monster, but we do wanna find out and ask the hard questions so that we can find out if it's real. So, how are we gonna do that? And I'd say, closing isn't about finding clever rebuttals to customer concerns or using sharp-angled techniques. It's about having the compassion, patience, and heart to uncover the real objections, what's really going on, and a few techniques can help you do just that. Now, let's again go to the mind of the buyer. When a customer says, "No, I need to think about it. "I need to go to the board," let's assume for a moment that it is an excuse and it's not the real objection. We learned about the brain this morning. What is going on in the mind of that buyer? One of three or four emotions is going on causing them to go reptile, and when we define them, I find that it helps quite a bit, and there are three different states. State number one is suspicion. They're suspicious. They don't trust you yet. They're a little bit nervous. We've all had that happen. I see a lot of head-nodding. Fear. That's the big one. They're concerned. They don't wanna make a decision. They don't wanna upset procurement or somebody else. They are just gonna wait. They don't wanna lose their job. They wanna stick with the status quo. What could this mean for me in my role? I'm not gonna go ahead with that. Embarrassment. Maybe they don't understand your product because we made it too confusing. We gave them too much information. We didn't give them the right information. We didn't stick to the three or five most important features and benefits, so what we ended up doing is we confused them by giving them too much information. They're embarrassed to ask questions, 'cause they don't really get it at all, and they don't even know what to ask, 'kay? And unfortunately, the capital of all these emotional states is indecision. People just don't make it. I think there is another state called boredom today. (laughing) I think people are just bored, and they're like, "Enough of you already. "I need to go on and do something else," and that's when they stop taking calls. They don't see the value, and that again, we talked about yesterday. Why you wanna give value at each interaction. Sometimes it takes time. The more complex the sale, the more value that we have to give. If you treat somebody like they're a customer today, they're more likely to be a customer tomorrow. Now, you have to know, and it's not a science, when to stop giving, giving, giving, giving, and when to say, "Okay, it's time now "to go ahead and move this forward," okay? So if we think about what's going on in the mind of the buyer, and we realize that this buyer is often now in a fearful state or a suspicious state or a bored state, it becomes, again, a question of timing. We talked about emotional state. So, here's the mistake that I see people make when they get a little too much Tony in the close. Customer says, "We need to think about it." We've been working really hard, really long, and we look at 'em and we say, "Well, what do you mean you need to think about it? "We did all this, this, this, and this. "We've answered all your questions," and they get defensive. Well, what happens? Customer goes from a state of fear to a state of anger. No one's gonna buy in a state of fear or a state of anger, and I'm telling you, you lose the emotional state, you lose the deal. So my advice to anyone is when you get that resistance, think they are in their reptilian brain even if you can change the deal, make it different, make it work, we have to change the emotional state before we change the deal, or they will not hear you. That's why we studied the brain today. Have to stay connected with them. So our lack of impulse control, our reptilian brain sinks more deals than anything else. We get agitated, we get nervous, and we end up changing it. So, think it over. Speak to a third party. We need to shop around. I'm not saying they're not real. I'm saying you need to figure out if they are. So I'm gonna give you a few techniques in order to do that. I want everybody here to remember the story that I told yesterday about (speaking in foreign language), and I mean this from the bottom of my heart. I'm gonna show you closing techniques. Techniques without heart, compassion, and true concern will never work. Sometimes we really need to get our own head right, and we've gotta really think, what is our intent? If it's not a match for your product, let it go. It's not right. If it doesn't feel right, let it go. Only you can tell what's true for you, but very often, it's right here, right at this pivotal point if we can isolate and get to the real concern that you will break through and close twice as many deals, sell twice as many of whatever you're selling because you have the courage to ask these questions and to go through this process that I'm gonna share with you. Okay, couple of things before we go into this. Don't challenge the excuse. So again, if you get an excuse, don't do what I just showed you. Don't challenge it and say, "What do you mean you need to think about it?" Don't call 'em out on it. Don't say, "That's not true. "You don't have a board." (crowd laughing) Not a good idea. That's not what you told me yesterday. I work with a guy, I'm not kidding you. I work with a guy. We called him Buzz Cut Bruce, and he was an investigator. He was a real private eye, for real. And he wasn't selling well, so my sales manager said, "Can you sit along with Bruce and see what's going wrong?" Well, sure enough, I'm listening to one of his calls to a client, and I hear him say, "Yeah, George, just five minutes ago "you told me that you weren't using any similar software "at all, and now you say you are." He's really calling him on it, and you gotta be careful not to do that and make 'em wrong because you're gonna turn 'em off. Don't drop the price. This is what a Susie does. Immediately we get resistance, and we drop the price. Be careful of that, because it also devalues you, and you can lose credibility, 'kay? If your price moves all over the place, you can lose credibility. I'm not saying you don't negotiate the price sometimes. Sometimes you do, but when you do negotiate the price, you should probably take away some benefits, otherwise you have no credibility for what you're offering, so you need to build into your offer. Sometimes when we write proposals, we'll write in things that we know the customer probably doesn't want, 'kay? But it also gives them an opportunity to say, "I don't want this, I don't want that, "I don't want this," so you wanna think about what is in your offer. Don't sell a hat that doesn't fit. I've got a video. It's on YouTube. You may wanna look at it. I was in Budapest. Laura, Budapest. We've been talking a lot about Budapest lately, and we were vacationing in Budapest, and there was a gypsy woman, and she was selling hats, and the hat didn't fit, and I think she was selling it in Euros, and I don't remember what it was, but I told her the hat didn't fit, and maybe we can show the video later, I don't know. It's pretty funny. We went from 30 Euros to 20 Euros to 10. The hat still didn't fit (crowd laughing) no matter how inexpensive it was, it didn't fit. So you wanna be careful of those. Don't be a doormat. We talked about this, and don't be desperate, and this is where it really takes the courage to go through this process.

Class Description

These days, it’s tougher than ever to make a sale. Customers are overwhelmed with too much information and suffering from decision fatigue, so they’re delaying purchases or sticking with the status quo just so they can avoid the dreaded sales process. In response, many sales professionals overcompensate, either by being too accommodating or putting on the pressure, which only alienates potential buyers even more.

In this challenging environment, salespeople must learn how to sell the way customers buy. They have to reconcile their need to make the sale with the customer's desire for a heartfelt, authentic sales approach.

Shari Levitin, best-selling author, entrepreneur, speaker and sales guru, will share her proven methods for increasing sales revenue without losing your heart. She’ll help you tap into your passion for your product or service and talk about it without coming off as cheesy or manipulative. You’ll discover how to get comfortable asking for what you want and start feeling good about selling again.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Create an authentic connection and build trust with anyone.
  • Craft a compelling sales presentation that makes your customer want to buy.
  • Uncover the seven key emotional motivators that drive all customer decisions.
  • Overcome the fear of “no” and turn customer excuses into reasons to buy.
  • Use constructive delusion to create wealth, better relationships and peace of mind.
  • Demonstrate actionable value.
  • Appeal to customer problems and buying motivations rather than lowering the price.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Heart of Purchase Decisions Infographic

Get Out of Sales Hell Handout

Commitment Cards

10 Truths

7 Benefits of Asking More Questions - Infographic

Bonus Videos Links

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Karen Kennedy

Sheri had me at HELLO! Her content kept me engaged for the entire class. This class does not have nuggets of information, it has BOULDERS. Even an "old sales pro" like me found so many helpful hints and tips in Sheri's methodology. If you are a newbie to sales, search no more -- just take this course and you will have everything you need to be successful. Trust the process, follow the steps. It will work for you. I especially loved the subject matter guests who covered the topics of Digital Seling and Storytelling. Do not put off buying and viewing this class. Do it now! NOW! Sales are how people and companies get revenue. Get going on your pipeline of opportunities, connect with your Heart and SELL in a genuine way. Kudos to Sheri for this amazing class. I loved every minute.

Lisa Bournoutian

By sheer luck, I came across Shari's book, Heart and Sell, about a year ago and instantly recognized that her process was one that would align nicely with my B2C sales team. Having read her book, I knew I was in for a real treat coming to Creative Live and watching her deliver her content in person. Shari seamlessly weaved invaluable examples that creative artists, B2B and B2C entrepreneurs could all relate to, and in a way that was fun, engaging, and easy to understand. She has absolutely mastered the science of selling and the heart of connecting. If you haven't read the book, you're missing out, and if you've never seen Shari in action, it is an experience you'll never forget. This course is a perfect opportunity to not only dive right in and learn how to sell the way your customer buys, but to make the right CALL (Connect, Ask, Listen & Link) in your personal sales journey and watch your business grow.

a Creativelive Student

If you are an executive, business professional, or a salesperson who wants to improve your communications, negotiation, and sales skills --- acquire Shari Levitin’s course. Shari will show you how to better connect with customers, prospects, team members, and people from an authentic perspective. Shari Levitin’s class is filled with excellent frameworks, content, actionable exercises, insights, and knowledge that will help anyone to be better a salesperson in your professional and personal lives. I loved how Shari included other experts, such as Mario Martinez (digital sales evangelist), Lee Eisler (store telling framework and presentation skills), and Deb Calvert (how to stop selling and start leading to make extraordinary sales happen with results from her B2B research study).