Last month I was in London on business traveling on the tube. A policeman blocked my progress in the tunnel. “You can’t go any further, there’s been an incident”
So I quickly scurried away not able to proceed with my journey.
This made me think that’s exactly what happens when we’re encountering a new customer looking to promote ourselves and our product, particularly on the phone.
Your sales message hits a blockage and they filter it and attempt to get rid of you based on their preconceptions. They put up their hand to stop you like this.
Now each finger represents a particular barrier that prospects throw up at you but I have question types that you can use to remove the barrier. Let me explain them.
- Missing information is where they don’t have all the information and object to you such as I’ll have to think about it.
- Missing comparisons is where they’ve comparing you with someone or something else and say no as a result.
- Sweeping statements are bland statements that have no grounding but they just are easy to say such as no one needs your service.
- Brick walls are literally blockages, I never buy over the phone or I never deal with people like you.
- And finally mind reads are where they quote others in saying no, for example, everyone knows that insurance is unnecessary or my boss will never talk to you.
How to deal with these? Of course you can fill in their missing information and comparisons, overcome their sweeping statements and give more information to try and convince them.
But that probably won’t work and might just annoy them further. And make your life harder than it needs to be. No, try pinging a question back. Use your other hand:
- Use your thumb to ask a question about the missing information. Use the word specifically such as what do you want to think about specifically.
- Index finger next – what or who are you comparing me with?
- Middle finger for the sweeping statements, who else says that?
- Next finger for brick walls. Pick up on their words – never? ever? always?
- And finally the little finger for mind reads – who else says that, what does everyone say?
Before you start saying that you’ll never get away saying that, you’re right. You do need some rapport and you so must sugar coat the questions using softeners and tone of voice. Do this and you’ll have a good way of precision questioning their blockages.
So when they put their hand up to block you in your stride before you’ve even got going, use your hand over theirs to precision question them through the blockage. I wish it would have worked with the policeman on the London Underground, it would have saved a big detour.