Whether you’re parenting your teenager or applying for a job; enrolling a client or pitching for a new project… if you’re inviting people to make changes, decisions or investments, you’re going to run up against objections and concerns. Last week, I ran a poll asking what the number one objections and concerns people got when enrolling clients. The top 2 got more votes than all the other options combined! Here they are:
1) It’s too expensive / I can’t afford it.
2) Let me think about it and get back to you.
So how do you ‘handle’ these concerns? I’ve worked with a lot of people helping them answer this question, ranging from coaches, therapists and consultants to salesforces in large organisations. My answer points them in an unexpected direction. I’ll unpack it in a moment and reveal the ultimate objection-destroyer, but first I want to tell you a story. Here’s an excerpt from my Sunday Times bestselling book RESULTS: Think Less, Achieve More..(©2016 Jamie Smart).
Case Study: Recovering a client relationship
Juan Jose Quesada works as an account executive for a large multi-national that makes enterprise software. He experienced a profound transformation after participating in a weekend workshop with me, and booked a place on my coach training programme the following week. A week after that, he emailed my office saying he’d decided not to pro- ceed with the programme. I was puzzled at his change of heart, so we scheduled a Skype call.
When Juan first appeared on-screen, his arms were crossed and he seemed abrupt and defensive. This was in stark contrast to the warm, connected experience we’d had last time we’d spoken. ‘What do you want from me?’ he asked. ‘Why are we having this call?’ Unbeknownst to me, Juan had googled me and read that I was a ‘master of influence’. He was afraid that he might be manipulated during our call, and had even written a note to himself warning him not to re-enrol on the programme. His anxiety and tension were obvious; he was caught up in contaminated thinking.
I explained that I’d enjoyed connecting with Juan, and that while I liked the idea of him coming on the programme, what I most cared about was our relationship. I assured Juan his money would be refunded within the next 24 hours, and said that the training programme was off the table for now; that I wouldn’t even be attempting to re-enroll him during this call. He began to relax, and the sense of connection started to re-emerge. We talked about the insights he’d had, his hopes and dreams and about what he planned to do next. By the end of our conversation, the earlier discomfort had evaporated and we were feeling the deep sense of connection we’d enjoyed previously. The relationship was intact.
A week later, Juan reached out to say he’d had another change of heart. He’d been deeply impacted by our conversation and impressed by my commitment to the relationship. He said he definitely wanted to go ahead with the programme. Since then, Juan has trained as a Clarity Coach, and is now working with entrepreneurs and company directors in the Spanish market.
The ultimate objection-destroyer
So what’s the ultimate objection-destroyer? Long-term relationship. When your focus is on your relationship with the person you’re speaking with, and on helping them make whatever choice *they* decide will be in their best interest, they can feel it.
Within that context, there are two other ‘keys’ to handling objections and concerns:
a) Your certainty about the difference you can make to your client; the impact you’re going to have.
b) Your ability to keep your bearings when someone raises concerns (aka your ‘Grounding’)
If you want to watch the full Facebook live where I talked about this on Monday night, you can find it here in the Profitable Coaches Group:
By the way, last week I mentioned I’d be sharing an interview with Christina Cooper, a coach who shifted from ‘charge-by-the-hour’ to a package model after joining me for the Thriving Coaches Blueprint last November. As it happens, last weekend she signed up a client on her biggest package yet, a £2,500, six-month programme. You can watch the short video with her talking about her journey here: https://www.jamiesmart.com/thriving/#christina
Sunday Times Bestselling Author, Speaker and Executive Coach
PLUS: Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you get the clarity and results that matter to you:
1. Hire me to speak at your event
If you want an entertaining and impactful keynote speech or breakout session for your conference, offsite or town hall meeting, click here
2. Join the Profitable Coaches Group
Join the Profitable Coaches Professional Group and connect with the growing community of like-minded transformation professionals who are passionate about exponentially increasing their grounding, impact and their livelihood. You can join for free here
3. Join Chip Chipman, Jan Chipman and me in Tenerife
Each year, my team and I head off to the Canary Islands for a week with my dear friends, colleagues and mentors Jan and Chip Chipman for the Clarity Life Transformation Retreat. We spend 5 days diving deep into the principles behind clarity, and lives transform in the process. If you’d like to find out more about it, go to https://www.jamiesmart.com/clarity-retreat/
4. The Thriving Coaches Blueprint
We’re putting together a new practice-building case study group at The Thriving Coaches Blueprint in April. If you’d like to work with me and my team on growing your practice, you can find out more here: https://www.jamiesmart.com/thriving/
PLUS: check these out :
Get your free Profitable Coaches Scorecard book here
Listen to the Results Mindset Podcast here
Listen to The Profitable Coaches Podcast here
Read the first 2 chapters of my Sunday Times Bestseller RESULTS: Think Less, Achieve More here