If you’re a buyer anxious to close a deal, then an objection or two from a seller can feel like a deal-breaker.
It’s easy to take things personally and lose your cool, but in reality, when a seller has objections to the deal it’s the perfect opportunity for you to help understand the buyer better.
Once you understand their objections and communicate that understanding to them, you’re in a better position to re-direct the conversation, regain momentum, and complete the deal.
Why Most Buyers Fail To Overcome Seller Objections
They Take Things Personally
Ever been present when either the buyer or the seller lose their cool, and the whole meeting ends up with bad feelings all around? Even if there isn’t any shouting, it can be difficult to recover the trust and goodwill that was present in the room.
Don’t let this happen to you.
An objection doesn’t necessarily mean the seller is rejecting the whole deal. It’s a worry or concern, one that if you address correctly, can end up turning into a way to make your asking terms even stronger.
When a seller says something that seems unrealistic or unacceptable, don’t be tempted to dismiss them. Instead, ask more questions to help you understand their objections better. Start off by saying, “Let me make sure I understand what you’re saying,” and then restate what they’ve said.
Once you understand what their objection is, affirm it by saying, “I understand,” and then resolve it.
Making an effort to understand their side and acknowledging the validity of their argument (even if you don’t agree with it) is a powerful psychological technique that creates trust on a deep level with the seller. Instead of viewing you as the enemy, both of you become part of a team intent on solving a problem you have in common.
Anticipate Objections Before They Arise
Objections are part and parcel of negotiation. Whether it is in the price, the rent, or the terms and conditions of the deal, objections are bound to happen.
Despite knowing this beforehand, some investors still wait until they’re in the middle of negotiations to address potential hot buttons.
That’s a mistake, because not only does it leave you fumbling for a good response, but it prevents you from creating a concrete strategy to overcome each objection.
Rather than wait for a seller to bring up objections only to fumble for a good rebuttal, create a list of possible objections. Then see if you can find third party evidence to back up your claims. These could include surveys, photos, site plans, warranties, testimonials, county reports, or anything else you can find that backs up your point.
For example, if a seller balks at your price, bring data from a neutral yet respected source to back up your claims. Then explain why their comps are incorrect.
Using Reframing To Control the Conversation
While bringing proof to support your claims can work, a better method to use is called reframing.
Reframing objections is a method for turning the seller’s objection from a negative to a positive. It is particularly effective because, in addition to affirming the seller’s point of view, it allows you to reclassify their concerns so that your claims are even more powerful.
Reframing is everywhere once you learn to recognize it.
Successful comedians use reframing naturally when they start a joke with one frame and end it by inserting a twist. Advertisements also employ reframing. You’re not buying a t-shirt – you’re joining a group of cool fans that do amazingly adventurous things.
It’s not a vacuum cleaner that roams around your house unsupervised: it’s something that gives you the freedom to do what you want to do instead of cleaning the house.
Politics is full of reframing when they reframe a topic in order to prove their point. One side may argue that unemployment is down, lauding the signs of a recovery in the job market; the other side might use the same stats to back up their claim of unemployed citizens unable to find a job.
A well-known example of this occurred during the 1984 U.S. Presidential campaign. Reagan’s opponent, Walter Mondale, constantly brought up Reagan’s age, in an attempt to prove Reagan was too old to be President.
Finally, a member of the press asked the same question, to which Reagan answered with a now famous statement: “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”
Reagan’s age was never mentioned again.
There are three ways to use reframing to your advantage:
Reframe the objection as a misunderstanding
People hate to be wrong. They also expect you to defend your side to the last breath. If instead of beginning a whole diatribe on why you are really right, you can defuse the situation (and give yourself more time to think about an answer) by stating, “I’m sorry, my fault. I guess I wasn’t very clear about what I meant.”
Then instead of repeating yourself, use analogies, stories, or a quick case study to clarify your point of view.
Reframe the objection by taking the subject and turning it around.
Sometimes clients object to a particular problem when in reality, not solving that problem can be much worse.
Let’s say, for example, you’re negotiating a sandwich lease. At the last minute, the seller decides they’re not sure if you can really deliver the results you say you can. Assuming you’ve already provided them with proof of your past successes, you could reframe their objection by showing them how much money they’ll lose by not signing with you.
In this case, you’re listening to the seller, hearing their worries, and then reframing the discussion so that they’re able to see how your offer creates value for them.
Show them how the negative is really a positive
Sometimes objections are valid and don’t need to be overcome. That’s a perfect opportunity to show the seller that what they think is a problem is actually a part of the solution. It all depends on how you look at it.
The secret to this powerful form of reframing is to ask yourself how and under what circumstances this objection could actually help the seller. Once you’ve identified the value the objection may have for the seller, make it easier for them to understand by using a story or a metaphor to clarify your point.
Seller objections are an opportunity to communicate more clearly with the seller, but they are also a chance to seal the deal with even more confidence than before. Use these techniques with a seller and you might be pleasantly surprised to see how much more smoothly your next negotiation goes.
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