Once you reconnect with people and bring their dream back to the forefront, it’s time to determine their level of interest. Questions like, “Where would you like to see yourself with this?” or “What did you like best about the materials I left you?” or “What do you say we go ahead and secure your position on the team?” will help you determine their readiness to get started in the business.
Some people will be ready to get started right away, some will have questions and/or objections, some will want to be members and/or clients, and some won’t want to be involved at all. As a professional in the field, you want to handle your prospect’s decisions objectively. It’s natural to feel excited, happy, disappointed, or angry when prospects state their level of interest – especially if you’ve already formed your own expectations for them. But when our emotions go up, our intelligence goes down so expect the best and recognize the possibility of anything less.
If someone turns out to be a “No,” ask for a referral by saying, “Bob, I can see that you’re not interested in getting involved at this time and that’s fine. We’re looking to fill a few key spots on the team in the next couple of weeks. Who do you know that might be a good candidate and a match for what we’re looking for?”
When you call a referral you can say, “This is ____, we haven’t met yet, but we have a mutual friend through Bob. I’m working on a business project and he thought you might have interest and qualifications in what I’m looking for. I can’t promise you anything, but let me ask you, are you open to taking a look at a business idea?” A referral is a stronger lead than people you meet without any previous relationship so take the time to ask for them.
People who say “No” to the business are prime candidates to become customers. Let them try some samples and refer them to your personalized web site. Talk to them about the benefits of our exclusive products, the convenience of home delivery, and our money back guarantee. Let them know you’d love to earn as much of their business as they think you deserve.
ANSWER QUESTIONS AND OVERCOME OBJECTIONS
When you’re faced with prospects who have questions or objections, listen to what they have to say. Unfortunately, not all prospects are as transparent as we’d like them to be so our questioning, listening, and persuading skills will be especially valuable here. When faced with objections, we don’t want to discount our prospect’s concerns, prove him wrong, beg him, or shrink away with our tail between our legs. What we want is to understand where he’s coming from so we can get to the heart of the matter and help him.
You will find that there are about half a dozen objections that people will give you. They don’t have time, they can’t afford it, they don’t like to sell, etc. Learn and practice your responses. Good answers to some of the more common questions and objections are outlined for you in the last section of this book. Read through them as often as necessary and think about how you’ll respond when you get those objections.
The typical prospect will have somewhere between two to three objections before making a final decision. Understand that questions and objections don’t necessarily indicate lack of interest. In fact, people who have no interest usually don’t ask anything at all. It’s the ones who are thinking who ask questions. It means they’re mulling it over.
Questions and objections are often just a knee-jerk reaction people have to avoid making a decision they are unsure of. It’s also common for people to bring up a few surface objections before letting you in on their main concern so listen carefully and avoid any lengthy responses until you know it’s a major. In fact, if you can get to the main issue and resolve it, many of the other surface concerns will often resolve themselves.
For example: if someone says, “I don’t know enough people to make this work.” Your natural instinct may be to tackle that issue immediately. But if instead you ask, “Aside from knowing enough people is there anything else keeping you from getting involved?”
You can then uncover all her concerns and tackle the most important one first. Once you feel that she’s brought up all of her concerns confirm it by asking, “If we can work through these concerns is there anything else that would prevent you from accomplishing _____ (her dream/goal)?”
Instead of answering every question, point people to the audios for answers. Time and again the leaders in this business have stated that it was hearing the heart-gripping story of someone who made it in the business that was the deciding factor for them.
Underneath all the smoke and mirrors, most everyone will have one primary motivating factor compelling them to get involved in the business. They will also have one primary objection that, left unaddressed, will sway them from doing so. The greater your ability to uncover these two factors, overcome the objection (yourself or by audio), and amplify the reason, the greater your success will be in getting people involved.
Make a point to validate your prospect’s concern and find out if she is looking for a solution. “I understand that you don’t think you know enough people. In fact, I don’t even know if you know enough people to make this work. But I do know that we have a program that can help you – if you really want to focus on the reward of what this business can do for you.”
So often people reply, “You’ve been on the planet for 30 years! You do know enough people. What about your teacher, your doctor, your parents…” And the result is an argument where your prospect is forced to defend her original statement. You may win the battle, but you’ll lose the war. Don’t argue and discount what people say – agree with them. Because they either really believe their objection or they’re just looking for some reassurance.
Agree with people and then refocus them in the direction of their prize. “You’re right, you don’t have time. You’re working two jobs trying to make ends meet and you barely have any time with your family as it is, let alone a business project. I know it’s not easy, but what if? What if you were to scrounge up just a few hours a week to put into a business of your own, where in the next 90 days you were able to replace the income from your second job, and in a few months, both jobs? What would it be worth to walk away from those jobs and never have to work for another man or woman for the rest of your life? Would it be worth prioritizing your time temporarily to achieve that?”
As you listen to your prospect, the question you’re looking to answer is, “Is this person looking to find a solution or are they just looking for an excuse?” You can always help the person who has a valid concern, who truly wants to overcome the obstacles to achieve their dream. But when someone is just looking for an excuse, nothing you say or do will matter because they’re not interested in being helped.
For example, IBOs often hear from friends, “When you make your first million, I’ll give it a try.” What your friend is saying is that he doesn’t believe you’re going to stick it out. This friend is not as ready as you are to take initiative, nor is he a good candidate for your business team. Instead of trying to convince him otherwise, move on.
The key to weeding out the excuses is to gain clarity. Don’t settle for anything vague; get specific answers instead. One of the most common responses we hear from prospects is “Let me think about it and I’ll call you.” Most IBOs wait until the drive home to start wondering what are they going to think about? When are they going to call? Your steering wheel can’t answer those questions, but your prospects can so ask them.
When someone says he’ll think about it say, “What is it you need to think about? If you have questions and concerns, let’s bring them to the table so we can discuss them while I’m here.” If he says he’d rather think about it on his own, ask him what he’s going to think about and what his time frame is. If he’s going to call you, find out when you can expect his call and set up a specific date that you will call by if you don’t hear from him.
If he becomes uncomfortable with your questions, let him know that it’s important for you to know what he’s thinking so you know how best to follow through with him. There’s nothing unreasonable about asking these questions so long as you keep a smile on your face and maintain a cool demeanor. If he’s clearly skirting every issue with you, he’s most likely looking for an excuse. Give him a way out and be clear that you’re not interested in playing games. Say, “Bob, if you need to think about things, I’m okay with that. This is important and I want you to make a quality decision. But if you’re just looking for an excuse, then I probably need to know that.”
When you make it easy for people to say “No” they will. When you make it difficult for people to say “No” they’ll tell you “Maybe” to avoid the confrontation and then they’ll stop returning your calls because they really mean “No.” Why waste your time chasing a “No” when you could be talking to a “Yes” instead?
The greatest clues to whether your prospects are sincere about their interest in the business are found not in what they say, but in what they do. Have they listened to the audios you left them? Did they crack the book? Did they attend the meeting? Actions are the telltale signs of a person’s priorities.
When handling objections, don’t always jump to explanation. Try asking questions instead to find your way to a solution. For example, if someone says, “I can get these products cheaper at Costco®.” you could ask, “Do you always buy the very cheapest products? Have you ever bought anything that wasn’t the lowest price? Why?” Or, “Is there anything we have that you can’t get at Costco®?” Or, “Is there any reason you can think of that would make you consider buying products through your own business?”
Sometimes we come across people who are stuck in a state of limbo. They seem to want to get involved, but for one reason or another, they just can’t seem to make that final decision. To help them over the hump and to assure them that they are making the right decision, try mapping out the best, worst, and realistic case scenario for them. Here’s how:
You: “Bob, I can see you’re having trouble making a decision. Let me give you the three possible scenarios of what can happen from here. Let’s say your team grew to 100 people in a few months and 1,000 in one year, would you be excited?”
Bob: “Of course.”
You: “Of course, and that would be a best case scenario. Now, let’s say you join our team and for $ ______ you get some great training, some great products, and have access to one of the largest shopping sites on the web. But you decide to do absolutely nothing with the business. You make a rebate on all of your purchases, enjoy the convenience of home delivery, and benefit from the tax advantages. Bob, if this is what happened, could you live with that?”
You: “Great, let’s talk about the realistic case scenario. You start tonight, and in a few weeks we’ve added a few people to your team, and in a few months you have over 25 people on your team. By the end of one year, you have over 100 people in your organization and you’re making anywhere from $500 to $2,000 a month. You’ve added some financial security and more time with your family. Bob, if that were about to happen to you, would that change your lifestyle for the better?”
Bob: “Yes it would.”
You: “Then let me ask you this Bob, are you willing to make a decision and risk the worst case scenario in order to get to the realistic case scenario, and possibly the best case scenario?”
Bob: “Yes, I think I am.”
You: “In that case, here’s what I recommend…”
Mapping out the possibilities for Bob eliminates his fear of making a wrong decision and you’re also building trust by openly discussing the worst case scenario with him.
Many of the leaders in the business recommend using the “feel, felt, found” method to overcome objections. “I know how you feel, I felt the same way, here’s what I found…” Whether you use these exact words or not this method has impact because you’re sharing your own personal experience. These types of stories show that you understand and they have influence on people because they’re personal.
For example if you were inviting someone to a hotel meeting you could say, “Bob, it’d be great for you to go to this next meeting. It’s at this hotel, on this date, at this time. You’ll learn a lot by seeing the business plan again and meeting the team.” In this example you’ve informed Bob.
Now compare that to: “Bob, I remember sitting here just like you looking at this idea for the first time wondering, ‘Could this business really work for me?’ It wasn’t until I went to a hotel meeting where I met all kinds of people who were building this business that it really started to make sense for me. I saw a young man show the business plan that night and he talked about how he had earned his freedom as a result of this idea. He answered a lot of my questions and made this business real to me. The more I saw, the more I realized that I could do this. I’m so grateful today that I took a few hours out of my life to see if this idea could work for me.” Feel the difference? If you find the same objections coming up, over and over, consider incorporating them into your plan. In other words, handle the objection during your plan before your prospect has a chance to bring it up himself.
One diamond who got sick of hearing that the reason people didn’t want to get involved was because they didn’t like to shop online decided to address the objection in his plan. As he talked about the mega-trend of online shopping, he’d say, “Look, it’s not a matter of whether you like to shop on line, it’s whether you are willing to shop online. You don’t have to be a woman to own a woman’s clothing store and you don’t have to like donuts to own and profit from a donut shop. It’s not a matter of what you personally like, it about understands the trends in the marketplace and whether you’re smart about making money. People are going to shop online whether you like to or not. And whether you get involved or not, this mega-trend will happen. So the question is: Are you going to make money with it?”
When leading your prospects to make their decision, rather than pressuring them to make an all out “I’m going to do this!” decision, try easing them into taking baby steps. In his classic book of positive persuasion skills titled Winning Without Intimidation, author, Bob Burg, suggests planting questions in the affirmative. He gives the following example:
Let’s say you’re going to ask someone out on a dinner date. Which of these three ways do you think would elicit the most positive response?
#1. “You wouldn’t want to go out to dinner with me, would you?”
#2. “Would you like to go out to dinner with me?”
#3. “If we were to go to dinner, where would you most like to go?”
Number three is the only question that is set up so that within the answer is the “Yes” response. If the person you are asking responds by saying, “Oh, I’d like to go to the Lobster House Restaurant,” they have actually said, “Yes, I’d like to go out with you … to the Lobster House Restaurant.”
Asking these types of questions gets people picturing their involvement and takes the pressure off of having to make a difficult decision. Instead of having to say, “Yes, I’ll do it!” They’re able to say, “If I did do it, I would…”
Here are some other examples of planting the affirmative:
“Let’s say you did get involved, would your schedule permit you to attend our next team meeting?”
“Let’s say you talk it over with your spouse and she gets excited, how soon would you want to meet the team?”
“If you knew for a fact that the first person you called was going to get involved in business with you, who would you call first?”
“If you did decide to build the business, what would be your number one reason for doing so?”
People rarely say things like, “I’m ready!” or “Sign me up!” when they’re ready to get involved. Instead, they typically say things like, “I guess there’s nothing to lose.” Or they’ll ask involvement questions like, “So what would we be doing?” or “When did you say that next meeting was?” When you hear these types of comments, take the lead and say, “Here’s what I recommend: Let’s go ahead and take care of the registration, you can come out to the meeting on Tuesday and meet the team, and then before we leave tonight we’ll pencil in a time to go over our game plan.”