The Loop: Filling Your Calendar
With Work, Part 3

He’s a typical prospect for my resume-writing business – an outside sales rep who’s been laid off when his company merged with a larger competitor. Let’s call him Bob.

Bob’s been pounding the pavement for months looking for a job – without any success.

Come join us. I’m just finishing up my presentation.

“So, Bob, where are we? How do you feel about what you’ve seen so far?”

I can see him starting to squirm a little.

“Here it comes,” I think to myself. “Drum roll please … live, on stage … The Objections!”

Bob says, “Pretty impressive, but I want to think it over a little. Can I get back to you?”

I’m an agreeable guy, so I smile and say, “You want to think about it? Okay, let’s think about it!”

I close my eyes, and put all 10 of my fingertips up to my forehead.

Bob starts to chuckle.

I count to myself, “One Mississippi … Two Mississippi … Three Mississippi.”

Then I open one eye and look at him.

Bob is sitting there, laughing and looking at me like I come from Mars.

I laugh too and say, “Bob, you’re not thinking! You said you wanted to think about this. Let’s think.”

I close my eyes again and count, “One Mississippi … Two Mississippi … Three Mississippi.”

Then I open my eyes, put my hands down, and say, “Okay, we’ve thought about it. Now, has anything changed?”

“No … not really,” he reluctantly admits. He knows he’s still out of work, still looking without success, and still needs a job. He also knows I have the cookie – I’m the guy who can help him.

But, he’s still hesitant.

So I ask, “Is there anything else?”

“Well,” he says, “$500 for a resume is a little steep.”

I ask quietly, “A little steep? Compared to what?”

He just sits there and looks at me.

I continue, “When I was going through my presentation, you told me you were looking for a base salary somewhere in the $75,000 range. Right?”

“Yeah,” he says.

“Okay then,” I say. “Here’s the deal – you give me $500 and I’ll give you $75,000. Would you take that deal?”

“I get your point … I mean … now that you put it that way,” he says.

“Is there anything else?” I ask again.

“No … I guess that’s pretty much it,” says Bob.

“So, we can move ahead,” I say. “The paperwork will only take a minute.”

I slide the letter of agreement over to him and he signs it.

Step#4: The Fortune Is in the Follow-Up

Regardless of how dazzling and complete your presentation, the fear of making a mistake may cause your prospect to be doubtful and hesitant. You have to deal with his concerns in order to get his business.

I cannot over-stress the importance of this step. This is where the rubber meets the road. Your greatest enemies are your prospect’s indecision and procrastination.

You have to answer his questions … overcome his objections … and ignite a fire that creates a sense of urgency that excites your prospect to buy now before it’s too late.

Although somewhat courage demanding, the follow-up is the most fun-filled part of the process – once you get the hang of it. As you can tell, I like to kid around, keep it light, and have fun with my prospects.

Go Ahead, Make My Day … Object!

I love objections. They aren’t sales killers, they’re sales makers. People who don’t object aren’t seriously involved. They won’t buy because they don’t care enough to challenge the price … or ask for more proof … or question their need for your product or service.

Objections are rungs on the ladder to success – they indicate interest.

Sales rarely occur without them. Be glad for the opportunity to defend your pricing, product, or service when a customer complains.

Even if clients respond in an abrasive manner, they are telling you that they are emotionally involved and interested.

Objections are defense mechanisms. They often mean the client needs more information.

People use them to slow things down. They don’t mean that they don’t want to do business with you. They just want to mull things over before committing themselves.

If a prospect says to me, “I need to think it over,” what he’s saying is, “I’m not yet convinced and need additional information to be certain of the decision.”

When he tells me, “It’s too expensive,” or “I can get it cheaper elsewhere,” he wants me to prove I offer the best value.

Objections are signposts – they point out what must be resolved in order to close the sale.

Objections Versus Conditions

There’s a difference between an objection and a condition.

An objection is nothing more than an unanswered question. It’s something concrete you can address.

A condition, however, is an obstacle – a barrier or situation that prevents your prospect from buying. Maybe he’s so cash poor he cannot afford your product or service.

This is a condition you cannot resolve even with the most brilliant presentation. Since conditions are statements of fact regarding your prospect, you will waste your time trying to conclude a sale by overcoming them.

If you carefully listen and pre-qualify your prospects, you will never have to deal with a condition during a presentation.

Remember, your job is to recognize and acknowledge two facts:

  1. By carefully listening and pre-qualifying your prospects, you will never experience a condition as a reason for not closing the sale.
  2. All objections are questions and requests for more information. If you handle them to your client’s satisfaction, you’ll get his business.

Objections Are Predictable

Since the dawn of the first sales call, prospects have been saying, “I need to think it
over,” or “It’s too expensive.”

The good news is customers usually only have a handful of objections. Once you know what they are, you can prepare your answers in advance.

Like an actor in a play, you know your lines (presentation) and you know the other lines (objections) of the other performers (prospects).

In my resume business, I really only get three objections. You can word ’em any way you want, but it usually boils down to:

  1. Price
  2. Competition
  3. Performance (as to claims)

Once identified, it is simply a question of developing, internalizing, and memorizing some bulletproof responses.

The point is you cannot wait until you’re involved in the presentation and then try to make up an answer. You must proactively prepare in advance.

Here are a couple of “don’ts” and a “do”:

Don’t argue. Remember, someone convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.

Don’t attack them when you overcome their objections. Never let your prospects feel that they are in danger of being proven wrong. Remember, resume prospects are hurting … they are very fragile. If you start fighting their feelings, their negative emotions will always take over. You can’t make sales by winning the logical battles at the cost of losing emotional battles. Be gentle.

Do lead them to answer their own objections. Remember, deep down inside they want to go ahead – if you’ll only show them how, and guide their faltering footsteps. They wouldn’t keep talking to you if they didn’t want to do business with you. You have to gently steer them into answering their own objections, because when they say something – it’s true.

Next time, we’ll go through my conversation with Bob and look at five simple steps for handling questions and objections. And here’s the best part – they always work!

Have Fun … Make Money … and Make a Difference!

If you’re looking for a way to help yourself, while helping others, AWAI’s Pro Resume
Writer Program
will give you everything you need to build a strong and profitable resume-writing business.

Resume guru Julian A. Sharp will teach you how to write powerhouse resumes that get results … how to start your own business … how to market your new business … and how to expand your business nationally … or globally. So check out AWAI’s Pro Resume Writer Program today. I’m sure glad I did!

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: June 23, 2009

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