The simplest techniques can be so effective.

I recently listened in on a call where a prospect voiced an objection, but seemed a bit shaky in his conviction.

The sales rep simply responded, "What was that again?"

The prospect hemmed and hawwed a bit ... and then actually admitted that he probably should go with the salesperson's proposal.

Brilliant. So what happened here?

If you have a strong belief about something, chances are you're able to explain why, with conviction.

On the other hand, if a prospect says something that is not completely truthful or they don't believe strongly in, they will hesitate, hem and haw, or exhibit other nervous behavior when questioned. The same is true if they don't have concrete reasons for their beliefs.

Similarly, some buyers throw out objections as stalling techniques. Still others can't express their objection clearly the first time around -- even though it's valid.

Which situation are you dealing with? To clarify, ask the prospect to repeat, or explain their statement.

For example, you might say:

  • "What was that again?"
  • "I'm not sure I fully understood what you just said. Will you please repeat that for me?"
  • "I heard what you said, but I'm not following the reasoning. Would you mind explaining it for me?"
  • "I'm not following. Could you explain?"

If the objection is truly a legitimate one, their explanation will provide you with information which will help you address it.

If, on the other hand, they are stalling or insincere, your question will help to smoke out the real problem.

Either way, you win. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

Editor's note: This post originally appeared on Smart Calling Online and is republished here with permission.

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