Keeping an Objections Archive™ is just as important as keeping a Story Archive™. These are indispensable items to have at your disposal when you’re discussing solutions with a prospect. Every sales manager should encourage their respective sales forces to generate both.
You may recall from yesterday’s blog, a Story Archive™ is a repository of “wins” that your organization has managed to accomplish for clients in various segments using the various technologies or services you sell. The actual “story” should be concise – capable of being repeated in 15 seconds or less – and should make the listener think, “Hmmm, we look a lot like that past customer. I could see our organization really benefiting from a similar solution.” The beauty of the Story Archive lies in its ability to cross-fertilize everyone on staff – veterans and neophytes alike – with short stories that can turbocharge sales and preemptively vaporize many objections. They are infinitely more useful than glossy brochures, highly manicured case studies, manufacturers’ specification sheets and the like.
So, returning to the topic of today’s blog, what is an Objections Archive™? It's a compilation of all the objections you and your sales colleagues have encountered in the field or on the phone as well as one or more potential answers for each objection. The best way to lay them out is to categorize your answers by effectiveness and eventually come up with a party line on how to utilize each in a sales conversation.
Closely related to the Objections Archive is the Scar Tissue Archive™? The Scar Tissue Archive contains stories of folks who didn't take your advice and suffered horrible outcomes as a result. Your prospect might say, "Well we're tied up with other projects right now so we can't really focus on energy efficiency.” You should have in your back pocket a story of someone who had a similar situation, and how you wound up having to pull them out of a tailspin once you realized that their construction approach was suboptimal.
You could say, "Well, it's interesting you should say that. We had a client last year who just barreled along with their own specifications without consulting us or their utility. As a result, they purchased solutions that weren’t rebate-eligible and wound up losing not only $12,000 in rebates but also another $17,000 in wasted electricity over the first 10 years of building ownership.”
With an anecdote like that, you could likely steer the conversation back on track. Experience goes a long way and is beneficial to both you and your prospects.