Can you REALLY Overcome an Objection?

I've taken a six month hiatus on writing, but there's many topics for me to catch up on.  After recently onboarding a half dozen new hires, I have realized one question just keeps popping up: "Stephen, how do YOU overcome objections?"  I've had answers for that one over the years, but I recently came to grips with an interesting fact: I don't.
What I mean is, I am not the one who overcomes objections - the person raising them does. Allow me to explain further: You go out to eat and order a diet Coke (because ordering anything else in the Atlanta area is paramount to a sin, and could be met with legal ramifications in some jurisdictions).  Anyway, the server says "We have diet Pepsi - is that OK?".  Now, YOU have a choice. Please forgive my simple example, but it matters with large purchases, too. In my example, it is the restaurant patron that must make a choice.  You, as the customer, have some choice responses: 1) "I think i was clear. I ordered…

Friends, Facebook, and Followup

Facebook is so funny.  You're sitting there trying to beat level 89 of Candy Crush, and up pops this friend request - this person you haven't seen or heard from in years, you were in homeroom with him in 10th grade.  During your years, you probably exchanged... I don't know... 35 words?  Now, he is so excited to have found you.

So, your finger hovers over the button on your smartphone...
Do I accept?  What's his name again?  oh, yeah.. Jake.  

So, you click on his profile to see what he shares with the public.  A few photos, not much.  He looks like his younger version, just heavier.  Oh, his wife looks nice.  Looks like they live in Rhode Island.  I don't know anybody else in Rhode Island.

So, you accept the request.  Now, there he is.. friend number 389.  You don't really care that he found a new shawarma place for lunch today, or that his kid lost a tooth.  You don't want to be bothered with how upset he is at his electric bill.  The truth is.. you don&…

How to earn the right to close

In my last blog I told you about Rachel, and how to recover from a really BAD presentation.  Luckily, you can avoid that, too!  What if there were a foolproof way to AVOID bad presentations in the first place, thereby ALWAYS giving you the right to close, thereby increasing your conversion rate and your wallet?!?  What would THAT be worth to you?
OK, nothing's foolproof, but I do have some suggestions!
First, begin with the end in mind.  Stephen Covey said it best in 7 Habits, you should always launch your ventures knowing where you ultimately want to land.  Imagine working hard for a vacation, packing up the family cruiser with tons of luggage, toys, kids, grandma, and the cat- then heading down the road.  About an hour into it, your spouse lovingly looks at you and innocently asks, "so, where we goin'?"   Ridiculous, right?  Who would go through all that trouble without a plan?
  Well (sheepish pause), we've all done that with a sale, haven't we?  We've al…

How to close after a terrible presentation....and tonight's winning lotto numbers

Forgive the title, but I figured if I was going to promise something big, I should Go REALLY big!
In the last blog, I challenged the big, fat, lie about closing- which is that it is Only a numbers game, that if you aren't selling enough, you simply aren't closing enough.  Now, this may be partially true, but I submitted that what really is probably going on is that you are holding back.  You aren't closing enough because you aren't building trust, demonstrating value, and creating separation from your competitors- so your gut is telling you that you haven't earned the right to ask for their business!
So, how do you earn the right?  Well, you'll have to read the next Blog for that!  The feedback I got from the last blog tells me that you agreed, that's why you're not closing more often.  So, as promised, I'm going to help you with that scenario first - the "what if I screwed up already?" answer.
Let me answer with a story.  One of the greatest…

The big, fat lie about closing

When visiting with a group of students at a University recently, the issue popped up about when and how to close. I find it interesting how much it is discussed, yet how bad most people in the profession actually ARE at it.

Now, I know that people can close. Just about every person that is on this planet is here because someone closed the deal: to go out with them, to date them, to marry them, and then to have kids. OK, I'm not that old, I know many of those get jumbled now, but still - a close occured, and boom - billions of people are on this planet.

Somehow, without the pheromones and emotions connected with my analogy, however, when it is only...your livelihood... on the line, salespeople gradually get worse at it. That is why most trainers have summarized and watered down the close into simple phrases you are supposed to carry around for motivation:
"Close hard, close often."
"You don't ask, you don't get."
"It takes 5 "no"s (or …

Are YOU On Demand?, Final

Time to wrap up the 4 parts on "Are YOU on Demand?" with the final challenge - how engaging are you?  Chances are, you probably consider yourself pretty engaging, which is why you are in sales, but let's take a step back and compare back to these "smart" devices again, and find out how engaging  they are.

On a recent 12 hour drive to see family in Maryland, my kids thought it would be amusing to talk to Siri.  They asked it every possible question to confuse and mesmerize this 'artificial intelligence,' while I, the driver, was pretty amused at the...well...conversation.

Kids: "What is the best smartphone?"
Siri: "I think you've already answered that question"
Kids: "what is the best smartphone?"
Siri: "Seriously?"
Kids: "Whatever"
Siri: "Fine"
Kids: "Whatever!"
Siri: "Everything is definitely OK"
Kids: "You are so weird"
Siri: "You are certainly entitled …

Are YOU On Demand?, Part 3

In this installment of Are YOU On Demand?  we will focus on the promptness.  As you recall, we've been looking at how we have moved into the On Demand era, and how our consumers are demanding it from not just devices, but from everyONE they deal with.  Not only are they looking for someone who makes it simple to do business with, they also want those people to be prompt and engaging.

The newest laptops on the market have solid state hard drives, whose main purpose is to create an "Instant On" experience, one touting a 2 second boot up!  Compare that to your laptop!  Why do I bring this up?  well, again, your consumer's iphone, iPad, and now laptop starts as quickly as their cars have for years (although even those now have Push button starts now!)  How does this translate?  If a customer leaves some question in your lap, they kind of expect it answered....quickly.  This is best seen online, where customers who used to survey that they were happy with a response within…