One of the most important elements of recruiting is the ability to handle objections. I remember when I first started in real estate sales, handling objections was what I feared the most. In the beginning, I would get stuck when someone told me no or objected. I didn’t know what to say and I didn’t want to be the person who talked people into doing things they didn’t want to do.
First of all, no one really has the power to talk someone into doing something they don’t want to do. Often, it is a matter of you validating their decision or clarifying why it is important to them that has them accept. The other thing I realized is my need for people to like me was what was really causing my fear.
As I gained experience, I realized that I was not talking anyone into anything by handling objections. As I became more confident I was clear about my own personal value and I knew that I was the best person to help them buy or sell. The same is true with recruiting. I know that what I have to offer someone who is a good fit for me is better than what they can find anywhere else.
When I realized handling objections begins with confidence and consultation with the prospect everything was easier. That helped me overcome my fear and then I learned that handling objections is a skill that can be learned. What I learned is framework (not a script) that helped me consult people through the process.
Here is a framework you can use to handle any objection. It is a simple four-step process:
- Acknowledge their concern. The way you do this is to start by saying, “I understand how you feel that way, I have felt that way before.” Or, “I understand how you feel that way as others I have worked with had the same concern.”
- Ask an open-ended question. Once you have acknowledged their concern, you want to ask a question. For example, “Let me ask you this, what is keeping you from increasing your production or hitting your goals?” Insert relevant question based on their concern.
- Offer a solution. “If increasing your production is the most important thing and you already know that you have not been able to accomplish it where you are, let me show you how I can help you increase your production.”
- Re-close. “Now that you see how I can help you increase your production, would you be interesting continuing the conversation? Or would you be interested in joining us?”
Let’s talk about some of the most common objections you might encounter. Following are three that come up regularly:
- I need to think about it.
- I am happy where I am.
- I have too much business right now.
Now, let’s examine how we handle each of these objectives using the easy four-step framework.
I Need To Think About It
This stands out as one of the most challenging objections because of its ability to stall the process. Why? The reason why is it is not a no and doesn’t give you any real specific direction to go. This where the framework is helpful. You want to ask an open-ended question to gain clarity. You could ask, “Other than time to think, what else is keeping you from making a decision? Then ask a piggy-back question like, “What else?” Keep asking questions until you uncover their real concern -for them – not for you. This is an important thing to notice. Your prospect might not be aware of any issues that are keeping them from saying, “Yes.”
It is important when you get this objective not to settle and say something like, “Let me know when is a good time to reach back out to you.”
I Am Happy Where I Am
What I have learned with this objection is everyone says they are happy but when questioned further they often have challenges. This is another objection that is vague and often stumps us if we don’t use the framework.
There are several ways you can approach this objection:
“I am glad you are happy. Happy is good. Let me ask you this, “What is making you the happiest with your business? What about your company makes you happy? What is missing? What challenges do you have?” Once you have asked clarifying questions then you can offer a solution and re-close.
Or, “I am glad you are happy. Happy is always a good thing. I assume since you are happy that you met your goals for the year? (Or quarter or month). This is where there is typically a gap – people often are not meeting their goals so you can produce a moment for them to reflect on why they haven’t and then drill into what is missing if they aren’t achieving their goals.
If they say they have met their goals, then you can ask, “What are your 1-3 year goals? How will you accomplish them? Can you do that in your current situation? “What I have found in working with successful producers is they have things in common: extreme focus, they are highly accountable and have an accountability system to maximize their productivity. They are systematic and consistent. If I could show you how to increase your productivity 2-3 times would that be meaningful to you? Would you be open to continuing our conversation?”
One of the key components of handling objections is to always get the next engagement. This means getting comfortable with questions that take your conversation to a deeper level. For example, tell me more about that, what else, why, what do you mean by that, can you give me an example, why do you say that or why is that important to you. These questions are consultative and will help your prospect discover where they might be lacking. Once you have them reflecting through questions then you offer your solution and ask for the next engagement or re-close.
Remember, recruiting is a process so you might have to re-close for the next meeting or interaction until they are ready to officially join you. Phrases you can use are, “If I can do X, would you be willing to do Y.” For example, “If I can show you a plan to increase your production by 20%, would you be interested in getting together so I can show you the plan? Or, “Would you be interested n talking to one of the agents in my office who increased her production by 20% in 12 months after joining us? Or, “Would you be interested in joining us if X?”
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