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The Great aha! Formula

6 Jun, 2007 By: Andrea Sittig-Rolf, BlitzMasters imageSource

The Great aha! Formula

Anticipate the objection - Handle the objection - Ask for the appointment
- The “Aha! Formula” works every time for securing qualified appointments with
decision-makers. It sounds simple, and it is. But so often we’re intimidated by
the word “No,” so rather than handle the objection or perceived rejection, we
simply thank the prospect, hang up the phone, and make the next call. Imagine,
though, having to make fewer prospecting phone calls because you have improved
your appointment-setting skill level. 

As good as your opening script is, most of the time you will encounter
objections from your prospect while setting the appointment. After years of
conducting business, as well as taking some good advice from Stephan Schiffman,
author of a fantastic book on cold calling called Cold Calling Techniques…That
Really Work!, the most common objections you will hear fall into the ten
categories below.

As I mentioned in the “Aha!” Formula, the key is to anticipate and handle the
objection properly before asking for the appointment, and always asking for the
appointment after handling the objection. Keep in mind that you may hear more
than one objection in any given phone call. In other words, the prospect may
say, “I’m not interested,” and after handling that objection you might hear,
“I’m happy with what I’ve got,” and then you might hear, “We don’t have any
money.” Prospects may give multiple objections, some of them true, some of them
false and just used as a tool to get you off the phone! While it’s important not
to take the first “No” for an answer, I don’t recommend overcoming more than
three objections in any given phone call. Sometimes, the answer is “No.”
However, by learning how to overcome the most common objections, you’ll
significantly increase your appointments ratio.

Here is an example of how to overcome a common objection you will hear when
making phone calls to schedule appointments with qualified decision-makers:

“No, thanks. I’m happy with what I have.” Also known as “status quo,” this is
probably the most difficult objection to overcome, because people don’t want to
change unless there is a compelling reason to do so. The key to handling this
particular objection is to describe how your product or service complements,
enhances, or supplements what the prospect is already doing. In other words,
don’t put yourself in the position of competing with the prospect’s current
vendor, and possibly insulting the prospect’s earlier decision to go with your
competitor; instead, your solution will actually enhance what they’re already
doing. This works so well, because now the prospect doesn’t have to choose one
or the other, but can instead have both: The former decision they made regarding
the same products and services you offer can simply be enhanced by what you
provide. By using this technique, you’re actually reinforcing what the prospect
is already doing by showing that your solution will fit into their particular
plan. You can also try the tactic of “We don’t mind being second,” which
indicates your interest in having at least some of their business, if not all of

ANDREA SITTIG-ROLF is a sales trainer, public speaker, author, and president
of Sittig Inc., a sales training and consulting firm. Excerpts here are from 
her 2nd book, 7 Keys to Effective Business-to-Business Appointment Setting (Aspatore
Books, 2005). Available on Amazon.com. You can reach her at 206-769-4886 or
visit www.sittiginc.com for more

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