Destroying Objections like a Neuro-Linguistic Programming Expert
Author: collin stewart
In his words, Paul Ross came to sales via a unique path. Our guest on this episode of the Predictable Revenue Podcast started his professional career as a dating coach – but let’s take it back any further than that. As a young man Paul, a self-proclaimed gangly, awkward egghead couldn’t get a date to save his life. He realized the area in which he was lacking was his social skills, and so he started to study neuro-linguistic programming to learn the communication skills that would transform his barren love life. After he effectively did so, he began to teach other men the same thing. With Paul’s help, his clients met their lifelong partners, but they learned something else that came as more of a surprise. Clients in sales roles began to reach out to Paul, thank him for the hand he played in their love stories, and explain to him that they applied many of his techniques to their work – and were having unprecedented success there too.
This got Paul thinking. A date is like a sale. You do your prospecting and when you find someone and set up a meeting you have to establish rapport, do your demo, and go for the close, often handling various objections along the way. And as a dating coach, Paul was taking people that were terrified of rejection and helping them establish consistent, intelligent motivation that wasn’t dependent on the response they got from prospects – a skillset that is particularly important in a sales environment. So, Paul tweaked his methods and began teaching salespeople how to develop a resilient mindset, how to coax their prospects into a receptive mindset, and how to handle objections.
USING NLP TO INCREASE SALES
NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), in Paul’s view, is a way of looking at how language structures our consciousness and shapes our decisions. It also informs his unique perspective on sales. Paul asserts that you want your prospects to be in a state of consciousness or state of mind that is receptive to your message. Many salespeople make the mistake of, when they get on a call with a prospect, focusing on data, value props, demo materials, and robotic objection handling. Very few stop to first think of the prospect’s state of mind and try to influence it – something that sets the great salespeople apart from the good ones.
PAUL’S BASIC PRINCIPLES OF OBJECTION HANDLING
Paul’s principles of objection handling contain both physiological and cognitive elements, and all of them are designed to make you stand out from the crowd. They are as follows:
- Pattern interrupt – If the prospect expects your response to be x, do y. This is done by breaking rapport for a moment, interrupting the pattern of the conversation, and saying something unexpected.
- Neutrality is better than enthusiasm – Staying in rapport at the wrong time can kill a sale. If when expressing a certain objection a prospect becomes angry, over-empathizing, and feeling that emotion too isn’t going to get you anywhere. But breaking rapport doesn’t mean showing the opposite emotion from your prospect. You need to understand where the prospect is coming from without going there yourself. Many salespeople also make the mistake of being artificially positive or enthusiastic in the face of objections. When responding, neutrality is key. You can keep yourself out of fight or flight by breathing from the belly and, as strange as it sounds, keeping 20% of your consciousness on the feeling of your feet touching the floor.
- Don’t make it about you – There is nothing wrong with you if a prospect objects. It’s not about you, personally, it’s not your fault, and dwelling on it will make it impossible to bounce back in the conversation.
- Don’t make it about them – If someone objects, especially in an emotionally charged way, don’t make assumptions about them. People hardly ever say what they really mean, so most objections need interpreting. Writing the prospect off in your head as any number of offensive moniker will make it difficult to remain neutral.
- The first objection is not written in stone – The first objection is hardly ever a true objection, but rather a reflection of what the prospect thinks, feels, or believes in the moment. Consequently, it is almost always subject to change.
- The reframe – You’re not selling a product or service. You’re selling decisions or good feelings about decisions. Paul recommends you think of yourself as a decision service technician. When you handle an objection, you don’t always have to give your prospect a factual answer. What is even more effective is reframing their objection by giving a counterexample, then asking a question to get to the root cause.
This example applied mostly to closers.
Your prospect says, “I need more time to think it over.”
You respond, “Hey, I understand. But, can I ask you: have you ever had the experience of taking a long time to think something over, and it still turned out to be a bad decision? Maybe it’s not about time, but about the clarity you need to recognize a great decision could be made. Thinking about it that way, what steps do we need to take to make sure you can see that you want to move forward with this?”
First, you offer a counterexample to their objection, reframing objection and offering the prospect a different perspective. Next, you ask a question that helps you understand what the prospect is actually missing.
WHY THIS TECHNIQUE?
Paul isn’t knocking what’s out there as far as sales training goes, but his strategies are certainly unique. There are very few sales methodologies that appeal to the subconscious mind. Paul recommends that if you’re doing something that works, keep doing it, but pepper in some of his tactics and notice your results increasing.
Objections are an inevitability if you’re making cold calls. But with the right mindset, reframe strategy, and pattern interrupts, you can crush 99% of those objections, and the remaining 1% of true, infallible objections won’t be able to dampen your spirits. Take it from a hypnotist/dating coach/neuro-linguistic programming expert/leader – by following this framework for objection handling you can blow your target out of the water.
**For free access to Paul Ross’ complete free training course for you and your team, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “free” and tell us one thing you learned from this blog post/podcast episode!**
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